Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Tractor Cycle - Timless Design

You've probably heard the saying that "what's old is new again". Well lest you think the information posted on Friday was just a frivolous dream of a crazy Frenchman, check out the modern day designs of two German designers, Tilmann Schlootz and Oliver Keller.
You may have seen the Ball (front) and the Hyanide, in the news before as they were designed for the Michelin Challenge Design 2006. While the Hyanide is more akin to the design of J. Lehaitre in that it is mean to be a workhorse, the exciting Ball is a light weight racing design. Both designs uitlize a flexible rubber track for traction and are steered by both hands and feet. Conceptualized around a 500cc ATV engine, the frame design is adaptable to other application. Unfortunately, there are no plans to put them into production.

However at least one track drive cycle has previously reached production. Manufactured by Finncat Vehicule Oy of Posantie, Finland, the 1980 Finncat featured an unusual technological innovation: with no directional skis, it was guided and driven by the track, which consisted of two segments of pleated plastic. The segments stretched like an accordion and were joined longitudinally like a spinal column. Four guide wheels mounted on a directional pivot traveled along the centre of the track to provide steering. Two sprockets and the back gave the vehicle its forward power. The track would stretch to the right or left to turn the vehicle in the desired direction.

Source: Musee Bombardier