Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Vehicles - Aptera 2

Vehicles - Aptera 2

Aptera 2 Series

Preproduction Aptera 2e

Manufacturer Aptera Motors, Inc.
Production 2009 (planned)
Assembly United States
Predecessor Aptera Mk-1
Class Subcompact
Body style(s) 2-door three wheeled car
Layout Front-engine, front-wheel drive layout
Engine(s) 2e: Electric motor
2h: Gasoline generator
Transmission(s) 2e: Gear box 10:1 ratio
2h: Series hybrid layout
Wheelbase 111 in (282 cm)
Length 173 in (439 cm)
Width 91 in (231 cm)
Height 53 in (135 cm)
Curb weight 1,500 lb (680 kg)
Fuel capacity 2e:10-13 kWh Lithium iron phosphate battery
2h:5 gallons
Electric range 2e: 100 mi (160 km)
2h: 60 mi (100 km)
Designer Eleven

Design and fuel consumption:

The Aptera 2 Series is expected to consume 96 watt-hours/mi, making it a low energy vehicle. The Aptera 2 Series has a drag coefficient of 0.15, compared with 0.19 for the record-holding EV1. Its atypical shape is a result of extensive optimization in a virtual wind tunnel. It uses recessed windshield wipers and low rolling resistance tires. The Mk-1 prototype used “Eyes-Forward” cameras exclusively instead of high-drag mirrors, but this concept appears to have been abandoned, possibly due to the fact that California Vehicle Code mandates having at least one outside mirror; September 2008 Aptera newsletter showed a rendering of the Aptera 2e with a conventional driver-side rear-view mirror and no driver-side camera. Fambro has stated that the system was simplified to a single camera mounted near the top of the vehicle.

The body design is similar to the human-powered ‘Pegasus’ and ‘Fusion’ vehicles and the MIT Aztec, but the direct inspiration was the Volkswagen 1-litre car.

The Aptera 2 Series is a three-wheeled vehicle. On the Mk-1 prototype, the two front wheels steer, and the rear wheel is belt-driven by the electric motor. However, the latest design renderings appear to feature front-wheel driveshafts and CV boots.
Aptera's December newsletter confirmed the shift to front-wheel drive.

Aptera Motors uses composites in its construction, both to reduce weight and allow the unconventional body shape. This would normally be prohibitively expensive, but their Panelized Automated Composite Construction (PAC2) process fully automates the manufacture of the composite body.[citation needed]

The battery will also be paired with supercapacitors for acceleration and braking.

Plug-in Series Hybrid:

An early Aptera 2h design used a “small, water-cooled EFI Gasoline engine with closed loop oxygen feedback and catalytic converter,” coupled with a 12 kW generator/starter. With a tank capacity of “up to five gallons,” the Aptera 2h would have a claimed range of 600 to 700 mi (970 to 1,130 km), compared to the 120 miles (190 km) range of the Aptera 2e. The 2h will be a series hybrid: the engine would not be connected to the drivetrain; instead, it would be used to recharge the batteries.

As with any plug-in hybrid, fuel economy of the Aptera 2h depends on trip length and battery charge. For trips of less than about 50 miles (80 km) after a full charge the engine may not turn on at all, resulting in approximately the same energy consumption as the pure electric model: 96 watt-hours/mi. If on the other hand the car was never plugged in, the Aptera 2h would get 130 miles per US gallon (1.8 l/100 km). Aptera Motors quotes 300 miles per US gallon (0.8 l/100 km), which applies to a 120 mile trip after a full charge. They justify this by stating that 99% of Americans drive less than 120 miles daily.


Because the Aptera 2 Series has only three wheels, most states in the US classify the vehicle as a motorcycle. This means that safety and emissions tests are not mandatory, as they are for automobiles.

Despite this, Aptera Motors has emphasized that safety has a high design priority. Aptera Motors has performed simulated crash tests using ABAQUS FEA software, crush testing on structural components, and is planning real-world crash tests before production. The Aptera 2e features a Formula One-inspired passenger safety cell and boxed sandwich foam core composite structures. Frontal crumple distance is 45 inches (114 cm), large for a vehicle of its size. As the body is above most car’s bumpers, a colliding vehicle’s bumper will travel under the body, deflecting the energy. Despite its height, the placement of the heavy batteries lowers the center-of-mass of the Aptera 2 Series, a design similar to the highly stable Commuter Cars Tango. Driver and passenger airbag-in-seatbelts are also provided.

Accessories and interior:

The release model, announced in September 2007, seats 2 adults with a child seat optionally between them, and has 15.9 cubic feet (450 L) of cargo capacity, enough for a couple of surfboards. It will use LED running and interior lights to reduce power. A solar panel mounted on the roof runs the heat pump during the day. This keeps the interior comfortable and reduces the size of the heat pump needed. The seats can be heated or cooled by forced air, both for comfort and efficiency reasons. The only comfort downside is that the rear wheel transmits every bump. While absent on current prototypes, the production Aptera 2e will have windows that open.

Radio, CD/DVD/MP3 player, and GPS navigation are integrated into an in-console touch screen StreetDeck-based carputer, but the climate control uses physical dials. It will also have RFID-based keyless ignition and entry and scarab doors.

To reduce the ecological footprint of construction, EcoSpun recycled materials and organic dyes will be used for the seats and flooring, and the dashboard and the door panels are free of heavy metals and plasticizers.

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Bora Bora Island

Bora Bora Island
French Polynesia

Bora Bora is an island in the Leeward group of the Society Islands of French Polynesia, an overseas collectivity of France in the Pacific Ocean. The island, located about 230 kilometres (140 mi) northwest of Papeete, is surrounded by a lagoon and a barrier reef. In the center of the island are the remnants of an extinct volcano rising to two peaks, Mount Pahia and Mount Otemanu, the highest point at 727 metres (2,385 ft). The original name of the island in the Tahitian language might be better rendered as Pora Pora, meaning "First Born"; an early transcription found in 18th- and 19th century accounts, is Bolabolla (or "Bollabolla").

The major settlement, Vaitape is on the western side of the island, opposite the main channel into the lagoon. The products of the island are mostly limited to what can be obtained from the sea and coconut trees, which were historically of economic importance for copra.

During the August 2007 census, the population on the island was about 8,880 people.

The island is administratively part of the commune (municipality) of Bora-Bora, itself in the administrative subdivision of the Leeward Islands.
The commune of Bora-Bora is made up of the island of Bora Bora proper with its surrounding islets emerging from the coral reef (29.3 km²/11.3 sq. miles in total) and of the atoll of Tupai (11 km2/4.2 sq mi), located 20 kilometres (12 mi) north of Bora Bora. The atoll of Tupai has no permanent population apart from about 50 workers in the coconut plantations.
Former President of French Polynesia Gaston Tong Sang is the current mayor of Bora Bora.

The Island was first inhabited by Polynesian settlers around the 4th century. Its previous Polynesian name was Vava'u.
The first European sighting was made by Jakob Roggeveen in 1722. James Cook sighted the island in 1769 and landed in 1777. A London Missionary Society arrived in 1820 and founded a Protestant church in 1822.
In 1842 Bora Bora was made a protectorate of France following the actions of Admiral Abel Aubert Dupetit Thouars.

World War II:
Following the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor by Japan, the United States entered World War II. The US chose Bora Bora as a South Pacific military supply base, and an oil depot, airstrip, seaplane base, and defensive fortifications were constructed. Known as "Operation Bobcat", it maintained a supply force of nine ships, 20,000 tons of equipment and nearly 5,000 men. Seven massive naval cannons were set up at strategic points around the island to protect it against potential military attack.
However, the island saw no combat as the American presence on Bora Bora went uncontested over the course of the war. Although the base was officially closed on June 2, 1946, many American personnel loved the island and the people so much that they refused to leave.
This World War II airstrip, which was never able to accommodate large aircraft, was French Polynesia's only international airport until Faa'a International Airport was opened in Papeete, Tahiti in 1962.

Today the island is mainly dependent on tourism. Over the last few years several resorts have been built on motu (small islands) surrounding the lagoon.
Thirty years ago, Hotel Bora Bora built the first over-the-water bungalows on stilts over the lagoon and today, overwater bungalows are a standard feature of most Bora Bora resorts. The quality of those bungalows ranges from comparably cheap, basic accommodations to very luxurious - and pricey - places to stay. Most of the tourist destinations are aquacentric; however it is possible to visit attractions on land such as WWII cannons.
Air Tahiti has five or six flights daily to the Bora Bora Airport on Moto Mute from Tahiti (as well as from other islands).
Although French and Tahitian are the main languages spoken by the inhabitants, people in contact with tourists generally have some command of English. Most visitors to Bora Bora are American, Japanese, or European.
Public transport on the island is limited, consisting of a single bus that goes halfway around the island and back approximately every hour. Bicycles are the recommended method of transport. There are also small fun-cars for hire in Vaitape.
Bora Bora is predestined for snorkeling and scuba diving in and around its lagoon. Many species of sharks and rays inhabit the surrounding body of water. There are a few dive operators on the island offering manta ray dives and also shark-feeding dives.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Travel Shot - Amsterdam

Travel Shot - Amsterdam














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Moments of Love

Moments of Love

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