Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Amphibious

It's a tank, no it's a boat. No it's an amphibious tank

May 6, 2009 If there’s one thing besides the retreat of my hairline and expansion of my waist that makes me wish I was a kid again, it’s the seemingly endless supply of cool toys that today’s youngsters have to entertain them. While I was forced to make do with a stick and a piece of string growing up, the children of today get to enjoy toys like the transforming Amphibious Tank – a remote controlled tank that is as happy on land is it is in the bathtub and comes complete with a water cannon to smite your enemies.  Read More

The AN-1 AeroQuad flying platform from Aeris Naviter

We've written before about the nifty flying carpet-style PAM Individual Lifting Vehicle - now it seems there's another self-stabilizing coaxial dual-rotor flying platform on the way. The AN-1 AeroQuad, from Spain's Aeris Naviter, boasts all the key advantages of the PAM VTOL platform - it's as easy to pilot as a Segway, it'll fly for up to 5 hours, and happily hover at 20-30 feet with a maximum payload of 200kg - making it very handy for crop spraying, firefighting, aerial photography, lifeguarding, rescue and border control in mountainous areas. The AeroQuad moves forward from the PAM design, though, in that it comes in both land- or water-based configurations, and either one is able to fold up after use to a size so small you only need a half-trailer to transport it.  Read More

Sealegs Amphibious RIB

Tradition is ingrained in the marine world and there's a sense of fragility and mistrust which most boaties harbour for amphibious watercraft – so the successful completion of a 3015 km (1873 mile) circumnavigation of the rugged New Zealand North Island by a Sealegs 7.1 meter amphibious craft today might go some way to allaying those fears. The 7.1 amphibious RIB averaged 46 km/h (28.6 mph) over 65 hours of driving time.  Read More

The iChange shape-changing concept car

Each year for the last three decades, Swiss-based Rinspeed has presented a new concept car at the Geneva motor show – customizing Porsches might be the company’s bread and butter, but synthesizing highly inventive and original concept cars is the company’s forte. This year’s concept car is entitled the iChange, and its defining feature is its ability to change shape from a streamlined teardrop one-seater, to a three seat compact sportsvan. The iChange car makes the most of its 130 kw electric propulsion system by having very low weight and high aerodynamic efficiency.  Read More

The Hov Pod.

UK based Reaction International Ltd. has added to its line of personal leisure hovercraft with the Hov Pod SPX 120 Turbo. Powered by a 120 HP 4 stroke Weber engine which offers greater performance and range, the SPX 120 hovers at a height of 9-inches over any flat surface, including water, ice, snow, sand, mud or grass and can reach speeds approaching 50mph on water. It's also buoyant enough to take over a ton in weight before water ingresses into the hull, making it suitable for commercial, patrol and rescue use.  Read More

ICON A5 - first flight
 Photo: ICON Aircraft

ICON Aircraft has passed a key hurdle in the development of its innovative, amphibious sport plane design by successfully completing its maiden test flight. The full-scale prototype of the composite carbon fiber, two-seater A5 took to the skies at an undisclosed lake location in California on July 9, demonstrating the aircraft’s performance and flying characteristics during take-off, landing, and low-speed maneuvering flight as well as it on-water capabilities. The versatile A5, which has a folding wing design for easy transport and storage as well as retractable landing gear for flying off land and water, is set to undergo a series of test flights throughout the next year with a view to putting the finishing touches on the design and building a pre-production model for Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and ASTM compliance. Production is expected to commence in late 2010.  Read More

ICON Aircraft unveils fold-up amphibious sports plane

A recurring theme at Gizmag in recent times has been the growing accessibility of the recreational sports aircraft, with manufacturers offering increasingly versatile and user-friendly designs combined with falling price points. Like the Cessna SkyCatcher, the ICON A5, which was officially unveiled last week in Los Angeles, is a case in point. Powered by a 100hp Rotax 912 ULS engine achieving an estimated maximum speed of 105 kts (120 mph) and a range of 300 nm, the amphibious, two-seat, composite carbon fiber plane features a sportscar inspired cockpit and retractable landing gear for flying off land and water, but the standout element is the folding wing design which allows the plane to be towed on the road like a speed boat and stored at home rather than paying for space at an airport.  Read More

Rinspeed sQuba

May 7, 2008 Following its preview late last year and head turning debut at the 2008 Geneva Motor Show, it's time we took a closer look at the sQuba - a James Bond inspired, zero-emissions, electric aqua-car from Frank M. Rinderknecht and the concept magicians at Rinspeed that "moves like a fish in water" to depths of up to 33 feet (10 meters) and still manages to reach speeds of around 75mph (120kmh) when on terra firma. Continuing its ongoing relationship with Rinspeed, Swiss engineering firm Esoro was hired as the general contractor on the project - which amazingly took only six months complete - and replacing the combustion engine with a series of electric motors was the first task.  Read More

The Tang Hua Detroit Fish Concept

One of the oddest-looking, and most bizarrely named cars at the North American International Auto Show was an amphibious people carrier named the Detroit Fish, along with two other equally eccentric, electric car concepts, named the “Book of Songs” and “Piece of Cloud” respectively. All three come from the design studios of respected Chinese auto designer Li Guangming, who wants to create a unique Chinese design language, and he sees these rounded little cars as a starting point. “There will be no Chinese national cars of significance if the Chinese spirit is absent from their design,” he said. The Detroit Fish has a 3.5kW electric motor and Lithium Ion battery pack, giving a range of 150km and a top speed of 45kmh, making them ideal for “tourist spots, large communities, university campuses and small towns”.  Read More

Sealegs amphibious on-water record

December 7, 2007 Earlier this week we reported on a planned record attempt by Sealegs to become the fastest amphibious vehicle in the World on water - a goal which the company achieved earlier today at speeds of more than 100kmh (62mph).  Read More

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