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F1 suspension adds extra track speed to new tank

  CLICK HERE TO VIEW BAE Systems has introduced active suspension to its CV90 range of combat vehicles. The British defence engineering giant has adapted a system, originally developed for use in Grand Prix racing in the 1990s, to improve handling and speed across the battlefield. The ‘active damping’ system has seen the firms CV90 combat vehicles fitted with it breaking speed records in rough terrain and displaying increased agility by reducing the vehicle’s pitch acceleration by approximately 40%.   [ read more ]

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Beaurepaires wins top employer accolade

    Our previous post, Random act of kindness helps house homeless youth, was intended to show that not everything happening in the world is as bad as the media makes out and now, quite by chance, we have another good news story, this time from Perth. Beaurepaires, one of Australia’s leading tyre retailers, has been named Employer of the Year for its commitment to providing and supporting employment for those with disabilities.   The award was made by Bizlink an organisation [ read more ]

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Swaying, sagging, bouncing and other towing hazards

  If you’ve ever been on the M3 out of Sydney towing a caravan or trailer and heading into a strong southerly then you’ll be well aware that it can be quite a hairy experience. Even in calm conditions, on a friendly suburb street towing a trailer, boat or whatever, can present problems, especially when the load being pulled is in excess of the power of the vehicle to do so safely and efficiently.   All-Air Suspension recently published a [ read more ]

F1 suspension adds extra track speed to new tank

 

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CLICK HERE TO VIEW

BAE Systems has introduced active suspension to its CV90 range of combat vehicles. The British defence engineering giant has adapted a system, originally developed for use in Grand Prix racing in the 1990s, to improve handling and speed across the battlefield. The ‘active damping’ system has seen the firms CV90 combat vehicles fitted with it breaking speed records in rough terrain and displaying increased agility by reducing the vehicle’s pitch acceleration by approximately 40%.

 

The system works by sensing the speed of the vehicle and lay-out of the terrain ahead and responding by pressurising the suspension to keep the vehicle on a level plane at all times. In Formula 1 this was done to ensure a stable aerodynamic platform in cornering, something that was also achieved more recently with FRICS. The increased stability on the combat vehicles helps reduce the wear and tear and subsequently reduce through-life repair costs for each vehicle, despite seeing each able to travel 30–40% faster on rough terrain.

 

CLICK HERE TO VIEW

For the crew of a CV90, the technology means a smoother ride and a reduction in fatigue; an important factor on the battlefield. The reduced vertical motion also increases the gunner’s probability of finding and hitting targets. In trials the CV90’s using the system proved to be faster on a rough terrain course than main battle tanks such as the Challenger 2 and Leopard 2.

 

Dan Lindell, CV90 platform manager at BAE Systems, said: “Adapting the active damping system for the first time from a light weight car to a heavy tracked vehicle such as CV90 was a unique challenge for us, but this advanced technology will deliver results to our customers in terms of vehicle performance and savings on the through life costs, as well as providing real benefits to the front line solider”

 

The CV90 is designed and built by BAE Systems in Sweden and is one of the largest families of armoured combat vehicles. CV90 is currently used in countries such as Norway, Finland and Denmark and has successfully performed in global operations including UN and NATO collaborations. Formula 1 has considered re-introducing active damping in recent months to make up for the loss of front to rear interconnected suspension systems. Active suspension was openly used in F1 during straight line testing until testing away from F1 standard circuits was banned. Similar systems are still used in Nascar. Source: Racecar Engineering

CLICK HERE TO VIEW

 

Beaurepaires wins top employer accolade

 

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Our previous post, Random act of kindness helps house homeless youth, was intended to show that not everything happening in the world is as bad as the media makes out and now, quite by chance, we have another good news story, this time from Perth. Beaurepaires, one of Australia’s leading tyre retailers, has been named Employer of the Year for its commitment to providing and supporting employment for those with disabilities.

 

The award was made by Bizlink an organisation that assists people with a disability in preparing for, finding and securing a job with ongoing support. For the past five years Beaurepaires has partnered with the not-for-profit organisation during which time the tyre retailer has supported seven employees.

 

The strong relationship between the two organisations began when Beaurepaires’ Kelvin Harvey and Bizlink’s support coordinator Troy Sabetta got together to secure a work experience opportunity for a Bizlink client that resulted in a successful full time contract:  “We’ve had some incredible employees through the Bizlink programme over the years and some particularly great success stories. The employees have become great assets to our business and are reliable, popular and confident team members,” said Kelvin.

 

True to the notion of success is Mitchell Weckman of the Beaurepaires’ Claremont store, who joined the company as a tyre fitter in March 2014 and is now the assistant store manager. Mitchell is diagnosed with autism and found it difficult to gain employment before being employed by Beaurepaires:   “I was referred to Bizlink by a friend when I was struggling to find work and quickly found employment with Beaurepaires through the programme. I really enjoy my job and the company has been a great support, along with continued help from Bizlink. I’m now working towards one day becoming a store manager,” he said.

 

Beaurepairers was considered for the award, alongside 95 other employers, on the basis of the number of Bizlink workers employed, the level and nature of interaction with staff and customers, the level of support given for training and inclusion, and a commitment to the value of a ‘fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work’.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Swaying, sagging, bouncing and other towing hazards

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If you’ve ever been on the M3 out of Sydney towing a caravan or trailer and heading into a strong southerly then you’ll be well aware that it can be quite a hairy experience. Even in calm conditions, on a friendly suburb street towing a trailer, boat or whatever, can present problems, especially when the load being pulled is in excess of the power of the vehicle to do so safely and efficiently.

 

All-Air Suspension recently published a list of some of what to lookout for including sagging, leaning, swaying and bouncing. If you’re all hooked up and one half of the vehicle looks visibly lower than the other, then you’ve got suspension sag, which means that the vehicles suspension is not able to cope with the load. Driving with suspension sag leads to extra wear and tear on the vehicle and is less than safe when braking and turning. Putting too much load on one side of the vehicle with a suspension not set up to handle an uneven load is also a no-no as it makes a vehicle particularly unsafe on corners and uneven surfaces.

 

Most vehicles are designed to handle regular bumps and potholes, but under a heavy load it’s a whole new ball game. A vehicle can become very unstable and start bouncing and swaying that in turn will seriously compromise steering and braking. Heavier loads will inevitably wear down shock absorbers faster than usual. The general rule is that a set of shocks should last up to 80,000kms. If they’re not then it could be due to increased pressure from hauling heavy loads without adequate suspension. Then there’s the all-important GVM. What? Gross Vehicle Mass set by the manufacturer and going over the limit is nearly as dangerous as exceeding the alcohol limit. Exceeding the gross vehicle mass should be avoided at all cost as it puts enormous strain on the vehicle and puts its occupants at great risk.

 

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All-Air Suspension has a motive in supplying this information in that it can sell you a sound solution to most of the problems listed above through its Firestone airbag kits that have earned a sound reputation for supporting suspensions, particularly under heavy or uneven loads. The kits can be adjusted for varying loads and road conditions by simply inflating or deflating, just like inflating a tyre. When towing caravans, boats and trailers, or when a vehicle or truck is carrying heavy, uneven loads, airbags are used for front-to-rear and side-to-side ‘level up’ providing full adjustability for off-road or passenger loading.

 

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The range includes Ride-Rite airbags designed to fit between a vehicles chassis and the axle or leaf spring to provide leveling control, front-to-rear and side-to-side, when a vehicle is under load. The heavy-duty, double convoluted airbags are a two ply, reinforced rubber bellows. Coil Right airbags are, as the name suggests, designed to fit inside existing coil springs to provide leveling control whilst On-Air is a full air suspension applied to vehicles where the coil springs are removed and replaced with airbags. More info @ www.allair.com.au

Random act of kindness helps house homeless youth

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“If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you’re mis-informed.” This famous quotation, attributed to Mark Twain, still rings true whether you get you news fix from the radio, TV or internet. No matter what your preference, over the past few weeks you’d have been inundated by the sort of information that can only lead one to believe that the world is a pretty mean sort of place. But if this is the case, you would, as Mr Twain says, be misinformed, because it is not all bad, especially when one gets to hear about a random act of kindness, such as an anonymous donation to charity that took place recently in NSW.

 

The story begins a few years ago when our Good Samaritan treated himself to a 1985 Ferrari Modial Coupe with the intention or roaring around at the weekend. But the novelty soon wore off and this valuable piece of prancing horse history has since spent much of its time in the garage. The Ferrari Mondial was produced between 1980 and 1993 and sold as offering four-seat comfort and the performance of a Ferrari. Just over 6000 were produced, most of which have become collectors items, including a metallic grey version in great condition, with a mere 130,000kms on the clock, now taking up space in a Sydney lockup that the owner wanted for other purposes. So, there was no alternative but to sell and put up with all the hassle that this entails even for a collectors item.

 

Being a man of generous spirit, he had thought of sending it to auction and giving the proceeds to a charity, but even this would take up quite a bit of his valuable time. Then his attention was drawn to the idle solution, Kids Under Cover, a national, not-for-profit, organisation that offers a free and fast alternative to selling or trading-in a vehicle and at the same time doing something to help prevent youth homelessness.

 

“We are absolutely over the moon with this incredibly generous donation. While we have personally thanked the anonymous donor, we know that the proceeds raised through the auction of this rare and expensive vehicle will go a long way to assisting in the life of a young person and that young person’s gratitude will be greater than anyone’s,” said Kids Under Cover’s CEO, Jo Swift.

 

Equally excited is Sam Hunter, who will auction the vehicle at Manheims in Sydney on 12th May with 100% of the proceeds going directly to Kids Under Cover: “We don’t often get a chance to auction off such a desirable and collectable donated vehicle. This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to secure, not only an amazing vehicle, but also knowing that the sale proceeds go to a worthy cause. I cannot think of a better outcome for this wonderful vehicle.”

 

Independent research shows that for every dollar invested in the work of Kids Under Cover an average of $3.30 is saved in the form of reduced health and justice costs and more importantly a young person is no longer at risk of becoming homeless and is housed in secure and stable accommodation.

 

“Helping to prevent youth homelessness can be simple. All it takes is filling in an online form and Kids Under Cover will pick a vehicle free of charge and 100% of sale proceeds will go to helping at-risk young people stay connected to home and education,” said Joe.

CLICK HERE for further info about Kids Under Cover and HERE for Manheim Car Auctions.

Hino Australia turns of the celebrations at the Brisbane Truck Show

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It’s one of the last big time, gloss and glitter, in your face, truck shows left, which is probably why Hino Australia is going all out to make it’s presence felt at the Brisbane Truck Show. There’s also the fact that the company is celebrating the brand’s 50th anniversary in Australia and will display models from its 300, 500 and 700 Series ranges, an important historical vehicle plus a range of what is says are innovative new truck accessories. The 300 Series light duty models will include a 716 Hybrid, from the TNT, which operates the largest hybrid truck fleet in Australia, a 717 Crew Tipper and the 921 Auto, said to be most powerful light duty truck on the market, fitted with a range of accessories. The 500 Series will be represented by the new FE 1426 Auto, equipped with a tilt tray and an FM 2630 Auto, the latest addition to Hino’s ‘two pedal’ model line up. There’s also an FS 2848 ProShift 16 AMT tipper from the 700 series
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One of the vehicles will be fitted with the Hino lane change visual assist system that displays side view images on a multimedia unit when the turning indicator is used. The Hino DVR dash cam features a 5.0 megapixel front camera and a 2.0 megapixel rear camera that record HD driving footage using two channels with Android/iOS support, digital zoom and parking monitoring.
 

A 1970 Hino KL 300 that is still in excellent condition after having clocked up more than 1.6 million kilometres will support the anniversary theme. The truck belongs to CMI Hino, which itself has put a few clicks on the clock having been a Hino dealer for 45 years. The KL 300 is equipped with an EC 100 engine, which develops 88kW and 298Nm of torque. The Brisbane Truck Show runs from 14 to 17 May. For more info @ www.brisbanetruckshow.com.au.

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SmartRim adds breathing space to the ego

 

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Few driving noises can be as damaging to the ego as that of a wheel scraping against the curb when parking. It means you’ve hopelessly misjudged your distances and inflicted some ugly and potentially expensive damage on the ‘alloys’. But help is on hand in the form of the SmartRim which uses a sensor that measures the time taken for ultrasonic waves to reflect off nearby objects dozens of times every second.

 

smartrim-wheel-sensorThe device also contains a micro-electromechanical sensor that is used to constantly measure acceleration and can reportedly detect actions like a person entering the vehicle. This helps it to be aware of its environment and allows it to become active only when necessary, thus saving energy.

 

The product, attached in just a couple of minutes to the inside of a wheel well using a high bond adhesive and removable clip base-plate, is powered by a single AA battery that is said to last for more than 1000 parking cycles. What is more, the SmartRim is waterproof, dust-proof, dirt-proof, vibration-proof and able to operate between temperatures of -29 to 49°C. smartrim-wheel-sensor-2The sensors are wireless and relay information to an accompanying iOS mobile app, which is then used to provide alerts when the vehicle gets near to a curb, wall or other hazard.

 

An Indiegogo crowd funding campaign for the SmartRim has just launched, with a pledge of US$345 currently getting you a set of the sensors, when and if they reach production. A subsequent retail launch will reportedly see the system priced at $495 per vehicle, for which buyers will receive a sensor for each wheel and the SmartRim app. CLICK HERE TO VIEW the video.Sources: SmartRimIndiegogo

 

 

A hot hatch, a ute, a couple of apps and a catalogue, that’s what?

 

ford-focusThe newly updated Ford Focus ST hot little hatch has finally made it Down Under having taken just under twelve months to find its way from Europe. The vehicle has been given a bit of a styling makeover with restyled lights at both ends, a revised grille and a more shapely bonnet design. There are also some new features including a dash design new flat-bottomed steering wheel and a bit of tweaking to the suspension and steering. Then there’s Ford’s Sync 2 infotainment system with an eight-inch colour screen offering access to audio, navigation, climate control and mobile phones via voice control all priced from $38,990 plus on-road costs.

 

 

2016-Mitsubishi-TritonMitsubishi has a memo for Australian Ute buyers: bigger isn’t always better. The Japanese carmaker openly admits it doesn’t have any headline features with its fifth-generation Triton, launched this week. In a segment where marquee numbers have the ability to attract buyers in droves, the new Triton’s 2.4-litre diesel engine pales in power and capacity to class leaders. Its 3.1-tonne towing capacity is well down on the segment’s 3.5-tonne benchmark. But a big headline number doesn’t tell the full story, says the car maker, arguing that with a gross combination mass of 5885kg and a tow ball down-weight of 300kg, the Triton offers up to 300kg more payload capacity than its rivals with a full trailer in tow.

 

 

bmw-watchBMW has launched an i remote app for Apple watch that will work with all BMW i models, in a similar fashion to the app for the Samsung Galaxy Gear. Installed on to the Apple watch by pairing the device with an iPhone plus running the latest version of iOS 8, the BMW i Remote App delivers three core functions. Users are able to view charging and vehicle information, indicating the current status of their BMW i car, including projected driving range and required service details, while also outlining whether any doors, windows, sunroof or lighting are open or in operation. A preconditioning option can activate comfort climate control and a ‘flash headlights’ function for locating the vehicle in a car park.

 

 

Ryco-Apps-and-QR-CodesOn the subject of apps, Ryco has built such a device, along with QR codes, into the cabin air filter section of its Big Red Book. A technician can now simply click the relevant code, using an iPhone or Android, and details on the general location of the cabin air filter and precise fitting instructions, relevant to a specific vehicle, will be displayed. Sounds all very complicated, but it’s not really, but just in case, Ryco has put out a short video showing how to download the QR scanning App. For Android devices the ‘i-nigma’ QR scan app works with the Ryco code types and is available free from Google Play. Details are also available on www.facebook.com/rycofilters www.rycofilters.com.au and www.breatheasier.com.au

 

VDO-catalogue-2015-PRVDO has released a 90-page, spiral bound catalogue on its latest Vision and Cockpit international line of instruments, updated CAN Cockpit GEN III, expanded oil and temperature sender listings, more electronic cruise control applications, plus an expanded technical data section on senders and switches. There is also a heap of information covering other VDO items such as hour meters, trailer weighing systems, alarm and central locking systems, speed alerts, tyre gauges electronic switch boxes and gauge accessories.

More details @ www.vdo.net.au

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It used to be pigs, but maybe this will really get off the ground

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We’ve been teased with the prospect of a flying car for years now, with heaps of designs under development but few, if any, yet to arrive in garages or hangars. Now it’s the turn of a German company to try and square the circle with a twin-fuselage, road-ready, monoplane that made its first public appearance in prototype form at a recent air show.

 

A regular fixture on science fiction and engineering magazine covers, the flying car is more than just an escape fantasy for frustrated commuters trapped in the sixth traffic jam of the week. There’s also supposedly a business case for such vehicles, which would make private plane travel more practical for greater numbers of business people.

 

Small planes operating from local airports can greatly speed up business travel, but it often isn’t practical because of the problem of getting to and from remote airfields. And this is where a flying car could come into its own by just being able to drive to the airfield, pop out a set of retractable wings and it’s off into the blue yonder. But there’s a catch. Cars make poor aircraft and aircraft make poor cars, a problem that has plagued what Carplane says is more than 2000 flying car projects over the past century.

 

 

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Developed with money from the EU and the German state of Lower Saxony, Carplane says it is aiming to have its vehicle certified both as a light aircraft, in the very light aircraft (VLA) category and as a passenger car, without any exemptions in either category. Its creators also claim that it will fly at least as well as a trainer plane and drives as well as a compact car.

 

Like a number of flying car designs, the Carplane has retractable wings and tail section. It’s not even the first twin-fuselage flying car design, but what is different is where Carplane tucks its wings. Instead of below, above, to the sides, behind the car, or in the boot, the wings are stowed between the two hulls. This means they don’t have to be folded or retracted, which allows them to be lighter and stronger without making the car too tall or too long.

 

They are also protected from the wind while driving, preventing lift or slaloming without obstructing vision, as has been the case with some alternative arrangements. In the current prototype, the wings are stowed manually, but the company says it has designed a mechanism to do this automatically in production models, provided the vehicle is granted a weight exemption to accommodate the extra mechanics.

 

carplane-debut-22The twin-fuselage design also allows the Carplane to have four non-retractable 15-in wheels with block tyres from a Smart car. These provide for a takeoff run of only 85 metres as the wheels are under power, which means that the Carplane can operate from short grass airstrips. In addition, the hull arrangement allows the thing to fit in a standard garage and its empty weight of 498kg is about the same as a two-seat compact car.

 

The twin-fuselage arrangement does have an obvious downside, in that it separates the driver and passenger, which in some circumstances may not be such a bad thing. Carplane says that this isn’t really a big deal, as the vehicle is aimed at the business market, where the driver and passenger are usually separated as a matter of course…whatever that means!

 

The Carplane’s foldable push prop is powered by a 151bhp PC850 engine that gives the vehicle an estimated range of 833 km, a service ceiling of 4,570m (15,000 ft) and a cruising speed of 200km/h. On the ground, it can do 176km/h and is compliant with EURO-5 emission controls. Carplane says that it hopes to have the currently unfinished prototype completed by July.

 

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Source:  Aviation Week