View Full Version : Admired engineering

2008-Jul-10, 05:57 PM
So list your most-admired feats in these categories:

1. Motorcycle

Britten V1000

2. Airplane


3. Spacecraft

TOUGH one... SpaceShip One.

4. Electronics

Tubes. Any and all vacuum tubes. I also greatly admire the Amiga computer system.

2008-Jul-10, 10:09 PM
So list your most-admired feats in these categories:

1. Motorcycle

VERY little knowledge on this front. Let's say, the tune-till-you-drop Indian of Burt Munro. Because that bike, surpassed on all fronts now, was 95% engineering and 5% Indian :). Trial and error engineering if you like, but still engineering.

2. Airplane

XB-70. Second that. From the limited information available, it appeared more practical than the Blackbird (you know, the leaking and refuel stuff and all that...). If they gave it some time, it would quite possibly have turned out real fine. Imagine it with modern materials, avionics and improved ejection system. But the point is, things weren't as readily available at that time, yet still there you have this magnificent, ultra fast, big bomber. Quite the engineering indeed.

I'll also mention the Gripen. Developed in a rather small country, this is an excellent fighter featuring very high tech avionics inside an advanced aerodynamic package. Can perform 3 roles in one design, is quickly and easily made ready for flight, can use regular roads to takeoff and land, and is quite cheap indeed. Solid engineering.

3. Spacecraft

May I just nominate the Saturn-V's F-1 engine? From the limited information on them, they appeared quite reliable indeed. Plus their thrust was massive, and a maaaajor key to achieving landing people on the moon.

4. Electronics

Oh this is hard. Tubes were revolutionary. Transistors as well. Computers... I love audio. I love computers. I love synthesizers. I think I'll go very basic and nominate the transistor in all its forms. Though that is more research than engineering. I'm thinking about an engineering challenge in the field of electronics...The analog minimal energy "neural network" circuits by Mark Tilden (for example used in the Spyder, Unibug, Nito, Lampbot). Using the most simple electronic components in very small numbers, he creates VERY interesting craft. These things work so simple yet good, he's got to be "on to something". My guess is he's mimicking some very basic motion steering patterns in living creatures very well with his circuits. Not only his circuits, but his craft as a whole are really sleek engineering. It's all so simple, yet it works excellent. The best engineering need not always be the most complex.

2008-Jul-11, 01:33 AM
1. Motorcycle

I know precisely nothing about motorcyles.

2. Airplane

I really admire the engineering/design of the Heinkel He 162. It leaped from the drawing board into active service astonishingly quickly, was cheap and easy to build and was nevertheless one of the best fighters of the second world war. Fortunately, too little, too late by that stage.

3. Spacecraft

Boringly enough, probably the workhorse Space Shuttle.

4. Electronics

Probably all the engineering that's gone into miniturisation.

2008-Jul-11, 01:41 AM
I've covered Spacecraft and Airplane in a couple other threads...
I can admire so much of the engineering in Airplanes and spacecraft that I literally could go on for pages. From mundane details about Apollo's lunar landers and capsules to the rocketry to the designs of heavy load aircraft and helicopters.

So I will leave those two alone. In motorcycles, I don't know squat sadly and would have nothing of interest to contribute.

In electronics- I run into the same problem- so I will toss out 2007's Nobel Winners.

Paul Leeks
2008-Jul-11, 02:16 AM
alright then...

1. motorcycle....Britten Bike (Kiwi)
2 aircraft of Richard Pearse (Kiwi)
3. spacecraft...ISS
4. electronics.....Integration...internet,TV,DVD,home security,movies,everything..all in one!!(this was at the Kiwiingenuity Expo)

Paul Leeks(proud to be a Kiwi!!)

2008-Jul-11, 03:10 AM
I don't think much could touch the Britten bike. I'm calling that category a sweep.

Kaptain K
2008-Jul-11, 03:40 AM
1. Motorcycle

Honda's oval pistoned racing engine. They wanted a V8, but the rules limited them to 4.

2. Airplane

Add my vote for the XB70 Valkyrie

3. Spacecraft

I'm still waiting for it to be built. :mad:

4. Electronics

Digital signal processing. As far ahead of active crossovers as they are ahead of passive ones.

2008-Jul-11, 04:05 AM
1. Motorcycle

Yamaha RD350LC.

No real reason. Just because.

2. Airplane


Engineered with "last years" materials, at a time of need, but did the job for many years to come.

3. Spacecraft

Spider. LM.

Kind of "beat" the CSM :-) (and did more than it was built for).

4. Electronics

Epson HX-20.

(Does your laptop have an inbuilt printer?)

mike alexander
2008-Jul-11, 04:16 AM
Motorcycle: I dunno. One of those Blue Plate Specials cops used to ride?

Airplane: Most admired? I guess the Douglas DC-3 and its clones. They keep going and going...

Spacecraft: I guess the Saturn/Apollo stack.

Electronics: Meters. Those big old ones where you can see the jeweled suspension and spring.

2008-Jul-11, 04:47 AM
Never drove one I didn't crash, so motorcycles are evil.

SR-71 blackbird. Coolest plane ever.

Mir space station. A great example of how far you can push man/machine with duct tape. wire and determination.

HP laser Jet printer. A great use of lasers and electrostatic technology. Still hard to beat a laser printer for printing needs.

2008-Jul-11, 05:36 AM
Motorcycle: no idea

Airplane: SR-71: faster than the XB-70, and did it with 1/3 the number of engines. Much more elegant than the 70 IMHO.

Spacecraft: Saturn V. The Mercury Atlas is nice too.

Electronics: Hard to say, but if I had to pick one, probably the Intel Core 2 Duo CPU.

2008-Jul-11, 06:02 AM
So list your most-admired feats in these categories:
4. Electronics
Tubes. Any and all vacuum tubes......which have the added advantage of EMP-resistance.

Ham Radio

5. Automobiles
Any Ferrari,
...the technology transfer between its Formula One racing cars and its GT road cars continues...the Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS)...will be introduced in the 2009 Formula One season...---but the FXX Milli Chile (http://www.drive.com.au/Editorial/ArticleDetail.aspx?ArticleID=54438&pg=3&vf=0&IsPgd=0) will do for now. http://www.bautforum.com/images/icons/icon10.gif

2008-Jul-11, 07:35 AM
Airplane: SR-71: faster than the XB-70, and did it with 1/3 the number of engines. Much more elegant than the 70 IMHO.

Oh come on, NO PLANE is as elegant as the XB-70. Look at the adorable way this cuty is posing after landing. How much more elegant do you want it to be? ;)

Nick Theodorakis
2008-Jul-11, 02:36 PM
Electronics: The Zilog Z-80.


2008-Jul-11, 02:42 PM
1. Motorcycle

all big bikes

2. Airplane

i don't know much about planes , does kites counts ? :p

3. Spacecraft

hmmm....another thing that I'm not much familiar .

4. Electronics

Ipod - but I lost it a year ago

2008-Jul-15, 12:26 AM
1.) Motorcycle: Know nothing about them, sorry to say.

2.) Airplane: Me-262. I shudder to think what this could have done if it had been fielded early in the War.

3.) Spacecraft: The Voyagers, which flew a once-in-a-lifetime mission full of close calls and stunning observations that--in the case of Uranus and Neptune, anyway--will write the books for decades to come.

4.) Electronics: Though I'm weak in this area, I'll go out on a limb and say transistors, which greatly reduced the size of electronic components.

2008-Jul-15, 02:14 AM
Motorcycle: Any Harley Davidson
Spacecraft: Apollo Command Service Module (lots of delta vee)
Airplane: Boeing 747 (roomy, revolutionary air transport)
electronics: the laptop computer

2008-Jul-15, 08:54 PM
So list your most-admired feats in these categories:

Ok - by the numbers, this time:

1. Motorcycle

Kawasaki Ninja 900-R, the first motorcycle to have a completely counter-balanced engine, making it one of the smoothest revving pocket rockets of the late-80's.

2. Airplane

SR-71. Kelly and his boys had to invent not just the engineering of the plane, but of the materials out of which it was made, as well as how to machine those materials, so little was known about titanium at the time. It broke many barriers, some of which were thought to be unbreakable, and some of which were unknown. "Waitaminute - are you telling me the aircraft keeps getting stronger every time it's heated up and cooled?"

3. Spacecraft

Saturn Rocket. It couldn't be done. Leap-frogging past the Russians to build a very successful craft which launched us towards the brass ring. Thanks to Saturn, we did it.

4. Electronics

LED. Every bit on the Internet passes through one or more LEDs on it's way to it's destination. If it weren't for the LED, the Information Superhighway would be known as the Information Reservation System, where you submit reservations for your information and wait a few days until it's finally served up.

2008-Jul-15, 08:59 PM
Digital signal processing. As far ahead of active crossovers as they are ahead of passive ones.

An idea after my own ear... And no phase distortion, either.

Larry Jacks
2008-Jul-15, 09:26 PM
Motorcycle: Not much into motorcycles but my brother Steve used to drag race them professionally. Back in the late 1980s/early 1990s, he had the fastest 2 stroke motorcycle in America. He built it himself (he's a master machinist and welder). It was wicked looking.

Airplane: For modern planes, the SR-71. Still, the more I read about the Wright Brothers, the greater my admiration for what they accomplished. Their 1904/1905 airplane was the one where they really learned to fly outside of Dayton. The Wrights practically invented aeronautical engineering.

Spacecraft: The Viking Orbiters and Landers.

Electronics: The first integrated circuit. That changed everything.

2008-Jul-15, 10:00 PM
[B]Their 1904/1905 airplane was the one where they really learned to fly outside of Dayton. The Wrights practically invented aeronautical engineering.

A bit unfair to Santos-Dumont. The Flyer replicas havenīt flown so well, while the 14-bis ones routinely have -> better engineering.

Larry Jacks
2008-Jul-15, 10:27 PM
Santos-Dumont did some remarkable work but it appears a lot of his stuff was by trial and error. He achieved a lot and is fully deserving of all the praise he gets.

Based on what was learned by the Wright Experience, the Wrights adapted the structural features of Octave Chanute's gliders. However, based on their 1901 glider experiments, they discovered that the airfoil data published by Lilienthal was wrong. Lilienthal's data was considered the gold standard at the time. Once they determined this, they built a wind tunnel and tested a series of airfoils until they found the best one for their purposes. Being cyclists, they were perhaps the first to realise that the airplane had to be fully controllable and they achieved that. When it came time to build their 1903 powered model, they not only had to make their own engine, but they found that there was no good guidelines for building a propellor. They worked hard to determine the proper design for the propellor and that was as important as anything else they accomplished. When tested in a modern wind tunnel, the Wright propellors are only a couple percent less efficient than modern ones. Not too shabby, especially when you consider they were hand made.

The 1903 plane barely got out of ground effect. However, the model they flew from Huffman Prairie (http://www.garypalamara.com/PDFs/Articles%20PDF%20Wright%202%20USAFM.pdf) (I've also seen it spelled "Hoffman") in the next couple years had more power and aerodynamic improvements. They were making circling flights of up to 20 miles by the end of 1905 and sometimes with two people on board, well ahead of anyone else in the world.

2008-Jul-15, 10:48 PM
Hmm, fair enough. ;)

2008-Jul-15, 11:10 PM
1. Motorcycle

Ducati's desmodromic valve system

2. Airplane

Black Widow night fighter

3. Spacecraft

Apollo LEM

4. Electronics

RCA black-plate 6L6 output tubes - killer in early Fender amps.

2008-Jul-15, 11:32 PM
Motorcycle. Hmmm. No clue there.

Airplane. Concorde. Passenger carrier for many years. The things to get it going as a civilian use craft. This has to be a hard one and considering the place in time. But at the back of my mind is one used by Alcock and brown. Mainly for what they achieved.

Spacecraft. Sputnik. OK, for what it started. But I suppose given the political situation it was bound to happen.

Electronics. I loved tubes in the start of my learning but also the transistor. Prior to that in some way, the devices to break enigma.

2008-Jul-16, 12:40 PM
Ducati (super bike variants)

SU30, Gripen


DSP, >32bit Processors.