Next time you find yourself feeling just a wee bit uneasy as you sit in a commercial airliner goingbounce, bounce, bounce through heavy turbulence, try to keep this photo in mind. It demonstrates that the planes we fly are engineered to withstand conditions far more extreme than anything they're likely to see in regular service.
The aircraft shown here is a prototype version of the new Boeing 787 as it underwent a wing-bend test over the weekend. Boeing VP of commercial airplane marketing Randy Tinseth blogged about the test:
It was an exciting day in Everett on Sunday as we took the wings on
the 787 static test article to their “ultimate load” condition - bending
them up by approximately 25 feet (7.62 meters).
The test represents 150% of the most extreme load any Dreamliner is
expected to ever see in service, and it’s meant to ensure that we have
appropriate design margin to account for unexpected events.
While the test only lasted a short period of time, as the team slowly
applied the loads necessary, it took years to get to this point - and
the expertise of hundreds of people. An airplane is an amazing creation,
with countless design decisions that all have to come together in a
machine that flies safely and reliably.
That just never gets old, if you know what I mean.
The test team is now taking a detailed look at all of the data
gathered during the test. There are thousands of data points that need
to be correlated to the expectations we had going into the test. That
effort will take several weeks.
It really is remarkable how much stress these wings are designed to withstand. To truly appreciate it, click the image above to explore the eye-popping, wing-bending, full-size enlargement.
But to see the reverse -- what happens when a wing is pushed to failure -- watch this amazing-yet-harrowing video of a Boeing 777 wing test in 1995, in which the wing failed at 154 percent of max extreme load:
Courtesy of our friends over at Muni Diaries, Telstar Logistics just received a luridly detailed piece of video porn for infrastructuralists.
The video shows how San Francsico's public transit agency recently replaced a large section of streetcar railbed around the intersection of 18th and Church streets, near the city's Dolores Park. The project, part of the J Church Improvement Project, was completed in a marathon stretch lasting just 56 hours. Press play to see how it was done.
If this vintage Trailmobile bus could talk, we're quite sure it would have some tales to tell. Spotted recently on a wet day in San Francisco, this particular specimen -- which probably rolled out of the factory sometime during the 1940s or 1950s -- underwent a DIY conversion into a camper/RV somewhere later along the line.
Today it looks like an archeological dig on wheels... but therein lies its charm.
The venerable Ford Crown Victoria, the vehicle platform preferred for use by American police and taxi fleets -- and practically no one else -- is finally slated for a ground-up replacement.
After 15 years, the old, heavy, rear-drive Crown Vic will receive a full makeover for the 2012 model year, using a platform based on the Ford Taurus. That means scenes like the one below, which Telstar Logistics snapped at the California Highway Patrol's vehicle-preparation facility in West Sacramento, will soom be a thing of the past:
The 2012 Police Interceptor makes some big changes -- most notably, a switch to front-wheel drive, with all-wheel-drive available as a option. MotorAuthority details the powertrain specs:
The new Police Interceptor will also be available with a standard V-6 engine and front-wheel
drive, however. The only sure way to tell the difference on the road?
Try to outrun one. Not that we recommend that. The standard Police
Interceptor gets a 263-horsepower 3.5-liter V-6 with E85 capability,
improving efficiency by 25 percent over the current Crown Vic version.
The EcoBoost V-6's 365-horsepower and 350-pound-feet of torque make the
upgraded Interceptor even more imposing in high-speed pursuits.
A six-speed automatic transmission is fitted to both models.
Ford's new Police Interceptor won't have the cop beat all to itself; it will also face competition from the Chevrolet Caprice Police Patrol Vehicle (PPV), which hits the streets in 2011. But if you suspect Ford will try to maintain it's 75 percent share in the cop market, then here's the headlight pattern you'll want to learn to recognize in your rear-view mirror:
Earlier this month, Telstar Logistics stopped by San Francisco's Japantown to stock up on some of our favorite brands of boxed sake. When we arrived, however, we noticed swarms of gearheads milling around outside the Japantown complex. Following the crowd, we decended into the lower floor of the basement parking garage, where the Wek'fast SF Car Show was taking place. It was a great little scene in a Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift kind of way, and these pictures give a sense of what we saw.
Telstar Logistics Special Correspondent Fred Sharples piloted his sailboat under the bridge construction project recently, and he returned home with these lovely photos that showcase the temporary scaffolding used to hold new bridge sections in place while the suspension system is completed.
Telstar Logistics decamped to Utah last weekend to enjoy some fun in the snow. On way our back from a superb powder day at Alta, we saw an unusual sight: On Interstate 80 east near Park City, we passed San Francisco PCC streetcar No. 1080 strapped to the back of a flatbed truck.