Takeoff Group by Carlos Rubin

One of the best parts of running this blog is finding the images to put in my posts.  However, as I search for applicable images I often find pictures that are beautiful, interesting, or thought-provoking, but are off topic.  I have decided to introduce a weekly feature of great transportation images to utilize that surplus.

To lead off the feature I have chosen the title-appropriate “Takeoff Group” by photographer Carlos Rubin.

Hot air balloons are not likely to be featured often in this blog, as their transit relevance seems dated to Jules Verne.  However, they are a striking sight to see (and I would imagine quite a thrill to ride in).

My readers have many-times-before provided me with great resources.  If you have any suggestions of where to find great images of transportation, please let me know in the comments.

air pod

My friend and fellow transit lover David Seitz sent me the cartoon on screw-hot-air-balloonsthe right side.  It is too funny not to publish, but too irrelevant to fuel an entire post.  After all, I cannot claim with a straight face that hot air balloons are the future of travel.  We’re not living in the time of Jules Verne!  However, we are living in the time of Guy Negre, the founder and CEO of Motor Development International (MDI), which is marketing an air propelled automobile.

MDI has been mentioned before on this blog.  The company is creating engines that run on compressed air.  The company has also developed dual-energy engines that have some alternative fuel source in addition and have greater range.  The designs are fun (see above) and are incredibly eco-friendly.  Seeing them makes me think of great, efficient urban travel.  Currently, when I see smart cars, they make me smile.  They’re tiny, fuel-efficient, fit into just about any parking space, and still manage to haul the groceries.  The Air Pod could work the same way, except without fossil fuels!  While MDI is at the forefront of the air engine movement, there are a few other companies as well, such as Engine Air in Australia.

I am not claiming that air pods are a total solution, but there is no reason they cannot be part of one.  The Air Pod which runs on compressed air only is expected to travel about 220 km with the following features.

With small size, a tiny price, zero pollution, fun and futuristic design, AIRPod mark a turning point in the range of urban vehicles while renewing the idea of the automobile and transportation. You can drive with a joystick, it only costs one euro per 200 km and leaves no one indifferent in crept in traffic.

The dual power Air Flow has a 900 km range and extremely low emissions.  It has the following features

  • Two minutes refill
  • Mono-energy compressed-air in city, dual-energy on road
  • Zero Pollution with mono-energy, 30g of CO2 with dual-energy
  • 900Km road range with dual-energy, 100Km with mono-energy
  • Car body monoblock made in fiberglass and external chassis for safety

I personally hope MDI succeeds and we end up seeing air cars on the road.  They are a great idea, better than hot air balloons (though perhaps not quite as much fun).  For all those people already thinking about getting around urban areas on mopeds or in Smart Cars or other similar vehicles, this is an even more eco-friendly solution.

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