Deconstructing Technology, Go-Fast Technology, Hooniverse, Pushing Boundaries

The badge says DAF Variomatic. It’s a racing transmission.

Huron 4A Cosworth DAF Variomatic, by Wouter Melissen, via UltimateCarPage

It was a rainy Tuesday when I got a tip from Monkey10is that DAF had a history of racing. A machine I’d never heard of called the Huron 4A Cosworth DAF Variomatic. A quick search turned up an article by Wouter Melissen. Real enough. That’s where I found the first picture. Seems DAF already had some experience in Formula 3. Never mind their reputation for making innocent-looking two-cylinders named Daffodil. Wikipedia noted, quote ‘interesting’ low speed behavior when ice was around. And it’s an open secret that at top speed, slowly releasing the gas will make Daffodil go faster instead of slowing down. But I was more interested when Wouter mentioned an AWD DAF 555 prototype in passing. As if such a thing can be mentioned in passing.
Continue reading The badge says DAF Variomatic. It’s a racing transmission.

Go-Fast Technology

You Have to Land Sometime


No doubt you have wondered to yourself while watching Star Wars, “Sure, the Millennium Falcon is fast in space, because spacecraft shape doesn’t matter in a vacuum, but what would the reentry be like?” After all, one you finish the Kessel Run you’ve still got to deliver Logan or whatever else it was you were running, and that means landing on a planet or moon. (Unless it is no moon.) Now, certainly this could be simply explained away with shields and other such-not, but that’s just not all that interesting, now is it? So how about a wind tunnel model, with speeds up to Mach 3!

“Supersonic wind tunnel testing and schlieren flow visualization of a Millennium Falcon model at Mach 3. The high-speed images show startup, steady state, and shutdown of the blowdown wind tunnel facility at Penn State University. The oblique shock waves over the model are observed. The boundary layers on the bottom of the wind tunnel are also imaged”.

Continue reading You Have to Land Sometime

Go-Fast Technology

Steamed Saturday


The image you see above is from LES 24 HEURES DE CHOO CHOO, by Stan Mott, originally printed in Road and Track magazine. The entire cartoon, along with the story of how it came to be from the man himself, can be found over at Dean’s Garage. These illustrations also inspired some fellows over at Digital Light Studios, including creator Andrew Ledenev, to make a video animation of a steam race, with much the same feeling and vibe of Stan Mott’s art. Hit the jump and check it out!

Continue reading Steamed Saturday

Go-Fast Technology



Dr. J.A. Purves demonstrates his remarkable invention in spherical locomotion!! Video after the jump!

Continue reading Dynasphere!

Go-Fast Technology

I’m Leaving On A Jet Train…

…don’t know when I’ll be back again. A Soviet ER22-based jet train, that is. One that achieved 180 mph. The SVL (which stands for High-speed Laboratory Railcar) was built around 1970. It added two Ivchenko AI-25 turbofans from a Yak-40 passenger jet in lieu of the electric drive. Details are skimpy surrounding this […]

Go-Fast Technology

TGV’s Futuristic Train

TGV, or Train à Grande Vitesse, is France’s high-speed rail service. It was the fourth high speed rail system to open when it went into service in 1978. It’s original trains, TGV Sud-Est, has captured the imaginations of more than one generation. Originally painted a bright orange, the unmistakable Alstom-built trains became a […]

Go-Fast Technology, Technostalgia

Designing the 1986 Cosworth F1 Engine


Ford Cosworth GBA 1.5 liter turbocharged V6 F1 engine. Click for Largerizer

I was rooting around through YouTube videos, looking for something else entirely, when I came across these videos that I think everyone will find interesting. They’re from the BBC series Equinox and document a part of the early years of the Formula one turbo era. In particular, they follow the efforts of the Ford Cosworth engineers to design and build a competitive turbocharged 1.5 liter engine for the Beatrice (remember them?) F1 team.

This post might be better fodder for Hooniverse, but there are all sorts of technology in evidence that was cutting edge in the mid-80s but is antique junk now. The computer technology for example, is very quaint and brings back memories that I’d just as soon be rid of to make room for something else, like all of the tricks that I used to use for programming and burning EPROMs. Totally useless today.

There are evidently 3 videos in the series of which I could only locate the first two, each about 50 minutes long. The two videos cover the design and debugging the the engines, and I think the last one follows the team’s travails in the 1986 F1 season. If anyone can find an embeddable copy of the third video, let me know and I’ll add it.

Continue reading Designing the 1986 Cosworth F1 Engine

Airborne Awesomosity, Go-Fast Technology, Military-Grade Awesome

Sud-Ouest SO.9000 Trident

I knew I was never getting a date in high school when the pretty girl who sat beside me in grade ten math class caught me drawing pictures of the Sud-Ouest SO 9000 Trident. Continue reading Sud-Ouest SO.9000 Trident

Airborne Awesomosity, Go-Fast Technology

Leduc 0.10

Leduc 0.10 in flight

Atomic Toasters’ editorial staff are big fans of early American and British Jet-Age aircraft; and rightly so, given the extraordinary machines they produced. However, we tend to overlook another innovative power of that era: France. Continue reading Leduc 0.10

Airborne Awesomosity, Go-Fast Technology


This scene should have been repeated for the next twenty years

The 1950s and ’60s were the best of times and the worst of times for the British aerospace industry. They were the best because the country’s engineers were at the top of their game, producing excellent machines like the Vulcan, Canberra, Lightning, and ground-breaking TSR-2. The worst because of the government’s disgraceful and vicious assault on a world-class industry. Continue reading Roto-rooted