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Bicycles Set New Land Speed Records

About 184 mph, on a bike. Also, a solar super yacht.

Solar Yacht

This week at the Cannes Yachting Festival, the world caught its first glimpse of the SolarImpact, a 78-foot yacht that offers nearly 2,400 square feet of luxury — that’s nearly twice my house, and 22 conkers.

The yacht has three levels, but the most impressive feat is that it is solar powered, drawing most of its power from an 800-kWh battery that is charged by 3,229 square feet of solar arrays to give it about 10 hours of power. The yacht also includes a range extender in the event of too much cloud cover or bad weather.

The new yacht glides over the water, even in three-foot-tall high waves, because the hull is based on the SWATH (Small Waterplane Area Twin Hull) design principle. The ship has two torpedo-shaped buoyancy bodies beneath the water surface. According to the company, this achieves a physical wave decoupling that reduces the yacht’s rolling and heeling by up to 90 percent.

The yacht tops out at 22 knots (about 25 mph) and relies on components that are controlled by an onboard artificial intelligence (AI). Most of the systems onboard are automated, so that the yacht can be piloted by a single person.

The company is based in Zürich with production facilities in Dresden and is made up of a team of engineers, designers and precision mechanics.


Bikes Designed to Set Land Speed Records

Neil Campbell wanted to become the fastest European ever on a bicycle, again. He wanted to break his own land speed record that he set back in June.

Cheshire-based Moss Bikes designed him a new bicycle that was strong and capable of remaining stable at speeds of up to 200 mph. 

Pulled behind a Porsche Cayenne Turbo, Campbell's bike topped out at 149.160. A new record while riding a bike built with a mix of carbon fiber and 3D-printed parts. As you can see, the wheelbase is much longer and he has special tires that are more up to the task.

What was interesting is that the feat was pulled off at Elvington Airfield on a two-mile runway. Campbell didn't have much room to work, which is why he went with the Porsche Cayenne Turbo, which can reach 100 mph in about 9 seconds, and tops out at 177 mph. 

The feat was somewhat dwarfed by Denise Mueller-Korenek who just last Sunday, was pulled behind a pace car at the Bonnneville Salt Flats in Utah.

The previous land speed world record was 167 mph, Mueller-Korenek smashed the record by nearly 20 mph when she hit 183.932 mph.

Mueller-Korenek used a modified bike as well, and had a little more than 3.5 miles for her effort. 

This is Engineering By Design. 

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