View Full Version : how far have we come?

12-02-2003, 12:00 AM
"Maximum number of miles that Ford's most fuel-efficient 2003 car can drive on a gallon of gas: 36 [Ford Motor Co. (Dearborn, Mich.)]

Maximum number its 1912 Model T could: 35 [Ford Motor Co. (Dearborn, Mich.)] "

12-02-2003, 12:09 AM
es, but the Probe can do 65 MPH on the interstate and get you from Boston to Tampa in about 15 hours where as the Model T got you from Boston to Tampa, say on the same exact roads, in about 6 days, and required many many repairs.

Also, 4 cylinders vs 2, better handling, better safety, less pollution, and much more comfort including real air conditioning, heating, bucket seats, CD players, DVD on installation, 12 gallon gas tank, and a 100 thou mile warranty, AND it comes in colors like metallic blue, teal, green...compared with Black.

My Ford Ranger gets only 17 MPG, but hauls about 3/4 ton compared to 2 people and a suitcase.

BUT, I sure would like A Model T.

J. R. Williams
12-02-2003, 12:39 AM
The only way to compare mileages is make the comparison in "ton miles" (vehicle weight x MPG). The new vehicles would give higher mileages if you ran them at comparable speeds.


12-02-2003, 01:00 AM
I wonder how many miles a go cart can go on 1 gallon of gas, with a normal briggs or honda 5hp engine

12-02-2003, 01:36 AM
Ever hear of the "Great American Race"?Its the antique car rally where they drive from coast to coast,well I don't remember which year it was but there were two model "T"S entered in the event,both from Mississippi,people in the event said the T's would never make it,but do you know that they where the only two cars to make the entire trip without a single mechanical break down?

Also take todays car,do something illegal as hell and knock the converters off while leaving the o2 sensor in place and geuss what happens?The mileage goes up.I did just that recently gained 3 mpg .

[This message has been edited by wierdscience (edited 12-02-2003).]

12-02-2003, 02:12 AM
Maybe history (or technology) is repeating itself. I bought a new '02 chevy pickup, when I looked under the hood it had an ignition coil for each cylinder. Just like the "T", only a lot harder to fix.
BTW what kind of milage did the economy cars of the '50s get. Crosley, Henry J, etc.

12-02-2003, 10:15 PM
62 falcon 6 cylinder, 3 speed stick got 27 mpg. I know cause I put the hose into the milk jug myself. We drove it till it ran on fumes. Them were pretty decent cars, suspension was light thou.

My My.. luxury costs money, all them lil things like the Air conditioner running while defrost to dehumidify the interior.

My lil ranger truck, 4.0 5 speed gets a regular 26mpg. I made it into a lowrider, a 3/4 ton trucks' frame is level with the bottom of the windshield.. Would I live in a collision with one? Probably not.

BMW Isetta, I loved the looks of them cars as a kid, they should come back. Most commuters have One person in the car. DO they really need a Suburban that gets 8mpg? most times you see them they have one person in them. Lessons in excess.

DO most people really need to purchase a 3800 sq ft house?


John Stevenson
12-02-2003, 10:30 PM
Peugeot diesel 2.5 litre 3 ton van, non turbo 33 mpg

Ower Gerts little Citroen 1.9 non turbo diesel hatchback 73 mpg.

Last months diesel usage for both vehicles - 25 gallons.

[This message has been edited by John Stevenson (edited 12-02-2003).]

12-02-2003, 10:41 PM
Small diesels not very popular here.Most crad and shrimp fishermen drive full size 4X4
Trucks.Cost over 100.00 to fill!!
I drive a Toyota Tercel $20.00/week in gas.
One of my kids has algeries(sp).
Just hate to see people killing our kids air just to be seen in a big truck.
Oil companies laugh all the way to the bank.
hater of SUV's

12-03-2003, 12:29 AM
IBEW: I think maybe air conditioning gets a bum rap. I agree it reduces mileage but the old economy runs drove with the windows UP to gain mileage. I don't remember the numbers. i suspect that, at 60 MPH, windows down cost as much as air conditioning and windows up. Around town? air is going to cost you. Closest check I have ever made was with cruise control and vacuum gauge. I could see no difference either way- and it was a big Chrysler New Yorker so the percentage would not be nearly as much as on smaller engine. I drove an air conditioned little (rented) english car up Malaya (Singapore to Kuhala Lumpur via the mountains. For sure, when the grade came, air conditioner went off, windows down or you needed to pack a lunch eat between bottom and top of hills. I bet air cut the mileage by 30 percent , maybe more- but at its worst still beat the big car at home at its best (so far as gas mileage is concerned).

12-03-2003, 02:05 AM
The Model T sold new for something like $495, I can't even find a used car for that price these days (and I desperately need one). In the 1930s Bucky Fuller designed this little number: http://www.thirteen.org/bucky/car.html

And no one's been able to beat it's performance yet.

12-03-2003, 03:10 AM
Fuller was a very strange person in many ways. If I remember correctly, Fuller generally did little more then draw some pictures and get other people to finance his "ideas". The car was created and built by some out of work Rolls Royse (?) engineers and fabricators. The depression had left many excellent workers unemployed, so the best could be had for chicken feed.

12-03-2003, 03:18 AM
I went to hear B. Fuller talk once. I have a feeling he was like Tesla and others with grandiose visions. He was facinating to listen to but you had the feeling he wasn't well grounded in present reality. He talked about a future that was a long way off at the time. Well, we are now living in that future and I don't see any city domes. AND, where are the flying cars? They promised me flying cars and I don't see any flying cars! I want my flying cars!!

[This message has been edited by Evan (edited 12-03-2003).]

12-03-2003, 03:22 AM
The fuller dome, AKA the geodesic dome, has as it's greatest strength it's greatest weakness. It makes the most efficient use of material to enclose a given space. All members are load bearing, equally. Unfortunately, that means that any and all members are a single point failure. If any member fails it compromises the entire structure. That sucks.

[This message has been edited by Evan (edited 12-03-2003).]

12-03-2003, 03:31 AM
Yes, he could talk endlessly and make it sound good, but never actually say anything. Much like a politician I suppose. He was grandiose like a salesman indeed. Do you think the comparison to Tesla is valid? Tesla actually solved an enormous number of problems. Strange perhaps, but talented and credible.

12-03-2003, 11:06 AM
Evan comments "If any member fails it compromises the entire structure. That sucks."
Its scary evan, but more and more things are designed so EVERY part is critical to operation. One part fails and everything is dead in the water. Unfortunately, Some parts whose operating criteria are critical to operation are also tied to noncritical luxury items. Dern! that is worded poorly. What I am trying to say is that some really non-essential element fails and takes out the essential stuff.

Example: electric doors (windows and locks) are a luxury. Let them fail in right place and you are dead man. Locking ignition is fine, but when you want to leave (emergency), its very inconvenient to have to find a key while a kid bleeds on the up[upholstery. And we have an electrical system, hundred alternators spinning together, and if ONE gets a few degrees different shaft rotation from all the others the system must isolate that alternator or the whole country goes dark.

Worse yet, we claim EVERY person has rights. But let two snipers in Washington DC start killing and a city is paralyzed a while. Then a "copy cat" paralyzes another section of the county. 280 million elements, if one fails in wrong mode much of the structure is junk for a while.

Gonna dig me a hole and crawl right in, I read that at least one percent of country is unstable mentally (to some degree)- Before I crawl into my hole, quick- whats one percent of 280 million? http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif But I don't worry none no how.

12-03-2003, 12:42 PM
There are interesting things out there. This month's Nat. Geo is on flight. I marvel again and again and the Wright bros. innovations. The engine and props are just so cool.

There is a short blurb that should have been on the front cover. I still can't believe it is true. An indiviual tweaked a pair of his RC aircraft design to a full AV. Then flew them from NF across the Atlantic to Ireland. 1800+ miles. One made it successfully. This is a serious, serious achievment. Like the Lindberg (literally) flight... did you notice? This was not a big plane, either.

The things coming out of such efforts can be applied to a host of technologies... Yes - especially to cars & other things....


12-03-2003, 01:06 PM

[This message has been edited by pgmrdan (edited 03-08-2004).]

12-03-2003, 01:30 PM
Model airplane engines can be really efficient, especially diesels. I have built quite a few in the past. I had one that I designed with a 7 foot span that could easily have carried a gallon of fuel. That would have been enough to run it for at least a day. That would have given it a range of around 1000 miles.

There is a very little known SAS (stability augumentation system) that exists for model aircraft. It was written up in an issue of Model Airplane News about 30 years ago. It uses sensors on the wing tips and the tail. These sensors use a small bit of radioactive alpha emitter material such as the tiny bit of americium in a smoke detector to ionize the air. Also little known to most people is the fact there is a steep voltage gradient between the ground and the ionosphere at all times, several hundred volts per meter. It's a giant capacitor. By ionizing the air at the sensor it makes it conductive and it is possible to then sense the voltage gradient. This is fed into a three channel amplifier with really high input impeadance and gain. The signals from the wingtips and tail are compared and the difference signals are pulse modulated and mixed in to the inputs of the elevator and aileron servos. This allows for remote control as usual but if you take your hands off the controls the aircraft will self stabilize to level flight.

Really cool is the way it works near obstacles such as trees or mountains. They are grounded so they are surrounded by a depressed potential well. If the plane nears a tree straight on it will then sense the declining potential and the elevator will be commanded so that it climbs over the obstacle. If it approaches from an angle it will turn away as it approaches and as it passes it will turn back to it's original heading as it follows the curve of the potential well. This sytem can recover even from inverted flight automatically. If combined with a flux gate compass it would have the capability to easily navigate across the Atlantic. It could also follow a winding river valley down the middle of the river with no mapping required.

[This message has been edited by Evan (edited 12-03-2003).]

12-03-2003, 02:21 PM
I was looking at a picture of the Preaditor the otherday,I thought it was funny that it looks upsidedown,but then thats probibly what makes it stable in flight.

12-03-2003, 02:53 PM

It is no longer necessary for an aircraft design to have inherent stability. None of the recent designs of military aircraft are inherently stable. The fly by wire computer system provides the stability and presents the pilot with the desired flight model. Same goes for the Predator. The flight model the pilot feels will vary according to circumstances and the control computer will prevent the pilot from doing things that hurt the aircraft. This also applies to the space shuttle. It is almost impossible to fly the shuttle with the computers turned off. They have tried re-entry in the simulator with computer aid disabled and they burn about two out of three times.

[This message has been edited by Evan (edited 12-03-2003).]

12-04-2003, 02:42 PM
I only know what was written in the Nat. Geo. I want to find out a lot more, myself. According to the article, it was from NF to Ireland (?) - or about 1880+ miles.

There are fly by wire systems, but it always cost more resources to do it.....

I guess the key item is that "big Iron" still has it's place (ie, 747s), but they are not useful - every day things to most people.... the AV stuff will be.... Doing these "off the wall" things can lead to a lot of innovation - if followed up right. I am sort of astonished that this is not a bigger news item.... Implications are profound....

-- Jerry

12-04-2003, 03:11 PM
Global Hawk (USAF) flew unmanned from California to Australia, 13,840km by itself. It is not remote controlled, it takes off, flys and lands autonomously. The mission parameters are programmed in before takeoff and it then does as told. Range is over 14,000km. It can fly for almost two days non-stop.

12-05-2003, 12:51 AM
Thats kinda what I was going after on the preditor,I think it was designed with stability in mind for the purpose of counter acting the delay in communication between the pilot(s) and the aircraft,this wouldn't be much,but since the pilot is in a control booth and quite isolated from the craft some of those split second flaming wreckage decisions need not be so sharp.

I have to say the Globalhawk is impressive even though both prototypes where lost in Afganistan,maybe we're looking at the future of at least high risk missions,after all the pilot is the expensive part.

Same kind of problem with the Mars rover,long delay between command and feedback,something like 10 minutes each way.Couldn't you see yourself driving a car like that?-Ooops!Wish I had seen that stop sign a lot sooner! http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

12-05-2003, 03:55 AM
Actually, the delay to Mars is about 30 minutes when it is close.