who makes these ultra-light trailers/wheels and are they highway legal?

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Squidly-Diddly, Jul 6, 2020.

  1. A II
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    A II Junior Member

    I have no evidence of it, and it's no guess either, that the looks of the small wheels on the old Mini design were regarded as cute by many buyers at the time, and as such were an marketing advantage, is my own observation from my surroundings at the time, from what several buyers told me in the ± 19602000 era.
    The Moulton Bicycle design and development started out as a hobby project of Alex Moulton, which he after it was finished for several years couldn't sell to bicycle manufacturers, so after the design and development was finished and after several years of failed search for partners he also needed to set up production and financing for it from scratch, which all needed a lot of time. During that time the Moulton Bicycle design and research data were interchanged with the Mini car design team he simultaneously assisted to, and had a much higher priority to finish as that was already a steady income for him as a designer.

    Below's a quote from the same link you've cited, actually it's the next sentence:

    ‘‘ . . . . Having sought for several years to market an innovative design, he had discussed with Raleigh the possibility of collaborating with the company. When the negotiations did not work out, he decided to go it alone and set up Moulton Bicycles Ltd. . . . . ’’

    In not so short, several years after the bicycle design was ready for production, Alex needed to start to set up the first production facilities and find financing for it, all in his spare time. So after the time needed for designing and development, and after that it all had survived the following several years of failed search for partners, the new set up needed a lot of time too, before the first bicycles came to the market, and to Earl's Court Cycle Show in 1962.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2020
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  2. Tiny Turnip
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    Tiny Turnip Senior Member

    The tensions between engineering and marketing in a mass market product are interesting. A friend of mine researched a dissertation into the design of the Audi 100, shortly after it came out in 1982. Its marketing was led by its drag coefficient of 0.3, astonishingly low for a car at the time. However, my friend asserted that achieving this figure, and giving the car a very powerful marketing edge, involved extraordinary compromises. Developing the flush glass alone took '3 years of nightmare development' and a very significant amount of money. Even more interesting is that, apparently, to achieve the world beating drag coefficient (cd), easily marketable as 'slipperyness', meant increasing the reference area (approximately cross-sectional area with some surface area influence, IIRC) of the car to the point that any reducion in cd were more than cancelled out by the overall aerodynamic efficiency. An absurd decision from an engineering point of view, but probably correct in terms of selling Audis. And indeed the technological developments would have a significant impact on car design going forward, which they likely would not have done if sales had been poor.
     
  3. DCockey
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    DCockey Senior Member

    Did you friend have direct acess to Audi employess involved in the design and decision making, or did he work from published information?
    I worked for a major auto manufacturer researching auto aerodynamics in the 1980's and recall technical presentations about the Audi 100. I don't remember any hints that the reference area was larger than similar competitive vehicles.
     
  4. A II
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    A II Junior Member

    At least I didn't mean to do so when I was asked and answered about a marketing reason for the small diameter wheels on the Mini, and not about technical or other rational reasons, so I've pointed out an only marketing advantage, without denying any other advantages.
    Of course I'd better have said:
    ‘‘ One of the marketing advantages was far more irrational, much of the buyers market believed it was cute, like the little hands and feet of a baby. ’’
    An irrational question, because the current Mini by BMW hasn't small tires when compared to other contemporary cars of the same size.
    I'm fascinated by that myself, and only might blast it when I think unjust claims are made, like on the thread Yrvind in post #560, which BTW wasn't about an unjust claim by Sven himself, just corrected the number of failed boats posted by another poster, but the number of consecutive failed boats is remarkable, however much I do admire Sven.
    P.S. —
    One of the things I love about Sven is that he documents all his successes and failures and put them online, and keeps them there both, so everyone can learn for free from all his experiences.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2020
  5. A II
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    A II Junior Member

    The latter is well possible, for example the brothers Robbert and Rudolf Das (Dutch link), twins 23 years old then, were in 1952 accused by the British secret service of breaking into the secret RAF Supermarine Swift development project, while they only worked from a few a few published pictures of a prototype, and guessed the whole plane interior and technics right from the rivets they saw on the outside, and the then among specialists generally known state of the art fighter plane techniques, and published complicated drawings of the fighter in development in the international Swiss aviation magazine Interavia. By their accusations of theft the British told the world the drawings were correct. Here's a Feb. 1, 1952 video in Dutch about it, a screenshot from the video of one of their Interavia magazine pages is shown below, there's more drawings shown in the video.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2020
  6. Rurudyne
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    Rurudyne Senior Member

    Also, if you look at some other ultra compact cars the Brits produced we find the front of the car as your door and no reverse gear (don't drive too far into your miniature garage!) and severe tipping issues on turns in other three wheelers ... so the Mini was a step up from the competition.
     
  7. Tiny Turnip
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    Tiny Turnip Senior Member

    It's a long time ago, David, but my recollection is that yes, he did correspond with Audi employees. I've a vague memory that he had a contact prior to the study.
     
  8. Squidly-Diddly
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    Squidly-Diddly Senior Member

    Small wheels also reduce rotational momentum, so its quicker off the line. They will also be easier to turn, which is important for "city car" without power steering that will do a lot of lock-to-lock turns when parking at creep-speed.

    Its true that bigger wheels handle bumps better, but also consider Un-sprung Weight. Its important to have the biggest possible diff between sprung (the car), and unsprung (the wheel and HALF the related suspension that connects the wheel to car) for smooth ride and control (getting the wheels back in full contact after bump).

    IIRC the Growth Factor for land vehicles is about 3:1.

    It was this "less is more" counter intuitive that allowed the Mini to win lots of races against "real cars".
     
  9. Barry
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    Barry Senior Member




    Who would have thought
     
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  10. Rurudyne
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    Rurudyne Senior Member

    Do you notice the stance of the Mustang's front wheels to try to grab some extra turning power?

    Since this is a road course with lefts and rights they're both out at the bottom. But the inside wheel is losing grip in every turn as the car's suspension lets it roll / wallow about.

    If that seems bad, have you watched many of those old Car and Driver videos of test drives on their tracks and seen what they used to describe as sporty?

    EDIT: yes, I'm poking fun at a classic. But at least it's making it around the corners.

    Imagine hard charging Reliant Robins "going around" the track ... to the Benny Hill theme music of course....

    Reference...

     
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  11. A II
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    A II Junior Member

    Fantastic ! - Thanks Barry !

    Racing isn't about comfort, the Mustangs definitely need to be lowered and on harder springs, so they roll less, and get able to take a corner.
     
  12. A II
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    A II Junior Member

    Also thanks, for the fun !

    Of course trikes need to be tadpole, not delta for speedy corners...

    [​IMG]
     
  13. A II
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    A II Junior Member

    Peel P50 (tadpole trike, in this case still not stable, but easily to set backwards or turn around)

    [​IMG]
    The Ten Most Awkward Official Car Photos Ever Taken # 6: "Peel P50"

    P.S. - the link has wrong info I think, as the Peel P50 is a tadpole trike, and the lady handles here a delta, so don't know what brand and type she has there.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2020
  14. upchurchmr
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    upchurchmr Senior Member

    The mustang needed stiffer roll bars. On top of everything else.
    Notice the Mini wasn't as badly rolled.

    The Robin needed less weight high up, longer wheel base, and the engine between the two wheels. If it was a completely different car it could have been good handling.
    But it was just a typical sedan with one wheel gone.
    Not engineered at all.
     

  15. upchurchmr
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    upchurchmr Senior Member

    Did you guys know that the US Gov paid for a study to see what was required for a commercially useful 3 wheel car?
    A reaction to the early oil crisis.
    Everyone suggested 3 wheelers to get increased gas mileage.
    A well known racer/ race car designer did the study.
    I still have a copy.
    The baisc conclusion was that either 2 wheels front or 2 wheels back could be properly engineered to make a safe car.
    2 wheels back resulted in final oversteer - made the car feel like a race car.
    2 wheels front resulted in something that handled just like everyone's 4 wheeler - with the problem that you could never avoid a pothole
     
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