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Old 06-04-2008, 05:25 PM   #1
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Inflatable electric car

http://www.physorg.com/news131804347.html

I am a sceptical as to how practical this is for a number of reasons, but it is food for thought.

I have worked with PVC fabric for boats and believe it would not be impossible for the experimenter to build a body using it over an aluminum and wood frame. The hard part would be making one that was not ugly.
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Old 06-04-2008, 05:44 PM   #2
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Old 06-04-2008, 06:55 PM   #3
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Might be a good alternative if we can get the big SUVs off the road.
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Old 06-04-2008, 09:15 PM   #4
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Oh, yeah. I forgot about those SUVs... and the semis. A semi can blow a good sized car off the road.
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Old 06-05-2008, 07:29 AM   #5
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Can I have it inflated with nitrogen allowing me to have green air fill caps on each of the multiple chambers?
Or helium to reduce the load and tire deflection?

The practice is used for RIB, rigid inflatable boats, having a hard keel and transom for structure and propulsion support. A similar blending with a more traditional chassis but an inflatable skin might be the intent. I doubt it would be lighter than a more traditional steel panel body. Steel can be quite thin and hold a shape. An inflatable has to have two surfaces (to provide an interior volume) and enough thickness to resist most punctures. These constraints will likely make the inflatable body heavier than a steel one.
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Old 06-05-2008, 08:07 AM   #6
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I'll reserve judgement until I see how the concept is executed, looks a bit like vaporware at the moment. The materials tech should be in shape, hovercraft skirts take some punishment for example.
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Old 06-05-2008, 08:19 AM   #7
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Not to make this into a boat forum, but I did build a 12' prototype that was across between model airplane construction and the Chrysler Airflow frame (plywood bulkheads and PVC pipe) that weighed 22 pounds when completed.
http://dosbeowulf.tripod.com/Calico/me_and_frame.jpg

However, it was Dacron skinned and not inflatable. In another thread someone was musing about a slip over body to help with aerodynamics. Anyhow, it is just a thought.
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Old 06-05-2008, 08:33 AM   #8
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Just thinking that the ideal "aftermarket" for this type of thing might be an aero scooter/motorcycle canopy.... I could see doing it with 4 inflatable tubular ribs with high transparency sheet fill coated with rain-x or similar....

Might be able to do a boat tail like that, with a single tubular rib hoop.
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Old 07-01-2008, 10:39 PM   #9
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I would buy this car so that I could fill it with helium and then drive off a mountain.
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Old 07-02-2008, 10:49 PM   #10
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Hmmm...can you then deflate the car and fold it into a suitcase like George Jetson's car?
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