Photokina 2014 highlights

Marine

ABN AMRO ONE retires from round-the-world racing and sets itself for Rolex Sydney to Hobar...

October 19, 2006 ABN AMRO ONE, the winner of the 2005-6 Volvo Round-the-world Ocean Race will sail in the 2006 Rolex Sydney–Hobart Yacht Race. The world-class race begins its 62nd running on December26 and takes the fleet out of spectacular Sydney Harbour then down the East Coast of Australia, across treacherous Bass Strait finishing in Hobart, Tasmania. The crew has its sights firmly on line honours and a race record if the conditions suit the wide-transom boat. The current race record of 42 hours, 14 minutes and 10 seconds is held by Wild Oats.  Read More

First non-military diver detection system sold

September 28, 2006 QinetiQ recently made the first private, non-military sale of its Cerberus high performance diver and swimmer detection sonar system into the yacht market. The system will be deployed to protect a large private yacht and its passengers while at anchor or alongside in harbour. Cerberus, designed to provide early warning of underwater threats to ships and other high value assets, has previously been trailed with naval forces around the world and is currently under extended evaluation with the US Navy. A Cerberus unit will be accommodated in a specially designed moon-pool built into the hull of the private yacht and is expected to go into service in early 2007. Cerberus is able to detect and locate swimmers and divers at ranges exceeding 800 metres, providing operators with sufficient time to establish whether that individual represents a threat and decide upon an appropriate response.  Read More

First Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Launched

September 26, 2006 The LCS is finally in the water, and one of the most anticipated combat ships in history has moved a step closer to deployment. There are two types of LCS (the other is the Austal-designed General Dynamics Trimaran) and the first Lockheed Martin LCS (previous stories here, here and here) was last week christened FREEDOM (LCS-1). The agile 377-foot FREEDOM is the inaugural ship in an entirely new class of U.S. Navy surface warships is designed to help the Navy defeat growing littoral, or close-to-shore, threats and provide access and dominance in coastal water battlespace. Displacing 3,000 metric tons and with a capability of reaching speeds well over 40 knots, FREEDOM will be a fast, maneuverable and networked surface combatant with operational flexibility to execute focused missions, such as mine warfare, anti-submarine warfare, surface warfare and humanitarian relief.  Read More

Remote-Control Pool Skimmer

September 2, 2006 Love what you do and you’ll never work a day in your life. Accordingly, if you can find a way of making disagreeable chores fun, you’re well on the way to making your whole life super peachy keen outside of work. We’ve previously written about how to make mowing the lawn fun, and now here’s a way to make skimming the pool equally enticing – so enticing that you might be able to find others to do it for you. The US$140 Jet Net Remote-Control Pool Skimmer removes leaves, and assorted debris from your swimming pool's surface. The two foot long remote-control catamaran runs on 9 volt rechargeable Ni-MH batteries and does all the work while you laze in the sun up to 100 feet away. Via our esteemed colleague Red at the The Red Ferret Journal  Read More

The Protector Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV)

August 17, 2006 It might be remote controlled and small, but it’s not a toy boat by a long shot. Indeed, it’s the only operational Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV) that exists today having successfully served in the Persian Gulf and Mediterranean. Developed by Israel’s Rafael Armament Development Authority in response to emerging terrorist threats against maritime assets, the Protector is stealthy, highly autonomous and can operate with general guidance from a commander in port, riverine, harbour and coastal waterways in a variety of roles, thanks to the plug-and-play design of its various mission modules, such as force protection, anti-terror, surveillance and reconnaissance, mine warfare and electronic warfare. The options include a highly accurate, stabilized mini-Typhoon weapon system with an excellent hit-and-kill probability, plus cameras, search radar and a Toplite electro-optical (EO) pod for detection, identification and targeting operations.  Read More

Rinspeed Splash makes amphibious English Channel attempt

July 27, 2006 The English channel is without doubt the world’s busiest waterway, even before the raft of record attempts we have seen for amphibious vehicles in recent times. Yet another amphibious vehicle took to the waters this week, and although the outright amphibious vehicle record remained intact, and the amphibious car record also remained unscathed, there’s a new record for hydrofoil amphibians which has been set by Rinspeed and its outrageous Splash concept car.  Read More

The flight of the Manta Ray

July 14, 2006 Last month we ran a story on the Kite Tube, a human-bearing inflatable towable water kite and within a week we’ve been sent another one – the Manta Ray has an 11 foot wingspan and is specially designed body to allow an average-sized body to rise out of the water and hover in the air. It takes approximately 23 mph moving to get an average sized adult airborn and hovering but as can be seen from this video, once the Manta Ray is airborn, it can hang there for very long period. Now Sevylor “absolutely discourages attempting to hover with two people” but there’s two seats and … aw shucks! At $US499 it comes in one hundred dollars below the Kite Tube and is distributed across the world.Please note that the Kite Tube has now been withdrawn from the market for safety reasons.  Read More

Kite Tube withdrawn from market

July 14, 2006 Just four weeks ago we wrote about the the Wego Kite Tube and figured it looked like a heap of fun, but reports just in show that about 19,000 Wego Kite Tubes are being voluntarily recalled. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is aware of 39 injury incidents with 29 of those resulting in medical treatment. Those injuries include a broken neck, punctured lung, chest and back injuries and facial injuries. Sportsstuff has received reports of two deaths in the United States and a variety of serious injuries. Sportsstuff has not yet been able to determine the cause of the incidents but has withdrawn the kite tube from the market . The Sportsstuff Wego Kite Tube is a 10-foot-wide, circular, yellow inflatable watercraft designed to be towed behind a power boat. A rider in the tube becomes airborne by pulling on handles attached to the floor of the tube. Model 53-5000 is printed on the tube near the product valve. The floor of the tube has black caution warning stripes. The cover for the product bears a skull and crossbones and the statement "Never Kite higher than you are willing to fall." The tubes were imported and sold through marine distributors, mail order catalogs, and various retailers from approximately October 1, 2005 to July 11, 2006 for about $500 to $600. Consumers should immediately stop using the kite tubes and contact Sportsstuff on (866) 831-5524 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. CST Monday through Friday to learn how to obtain free replacement products. Consumers can also visit the firm's Web site for more information.  Read More

The World’s largest Container Ship launched

July 11, 2006 It’s normal for things in the digital realm to get much larger very quickly, but it seems the same thing is happening with container ships, which seem to be more efficient the bigger they get. Samsung Heavy Industries recently launched the World’s largest container ship, breaking its own world record of 9200 teu (a teu is a 20 ft container) which it set less than 12 months ago. The Xin Los Angeles is the new heavyweight champ and carries 9600 teu - equivalent to 1.3 million 29 inch color TVs, or 50 million mobile phones. Whatsmore, the record will almost certainly be broken again in the near future as SHI has developed a 12,000 teu container ship design in co-operation with Lloyd's Register and is working on a container ship capable of carrying 14,000 teu. To put matters in perspective, SHI built what was then the world’s largest container ship in 1999 - it carried 6,200 teu. This ship is more than three times larger than the Titanic and has a crew of (you’ll never guess) …  Read More

environmentally friendly foam for surfboard blanks

July 7, 2006 Sandia National Laboratories prides itself on provifind technology solutions to the most challenging problems that threaten peace and freedom for our nation and the globe. It’s accordingly highly appropriate that it has developed an environmentally friendly foam that may also be the answer to surf industry crisis. TufFoam was originally conceived by Sandia materials scientists for NNSA as an encapsulant material to protect sensitive electronic and mechanical structures from harsh weapons environments. It is a water-blown, closed-cell, rigid polyurethane foam that features formulations as low as 2 lbs.-per-cubic foot density. But beyond its use as a structural material, the foam likely has other applications. Clark Foam, the leading manufacturer of foam for surfboard construction, unexpectedly closed its doors late last year because of the impact of ever-tightening environmental regulations on the manufacturing of their polyurethane surfboard blanks. The move led to near-panic, particularly in California, by manufacturers and sellers of surfboards who fear they will not be able to find the high strength-to-weight ratio surfboard blanks necessary to make the boards. Surf historian Matt Warshaw, in an article in the Santa Barbara NewsPress, said “it’s the equivalent of removing lumber from the housing industry.”  Read More

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