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vacuum-enhanced car

speeds up your existing car by lowering the density of the air ahead
 
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By placing 1 or more vacuum cleaner nozzles just in front of your car, you could effectively suck the air that would otherwise cause wind resistance, out of the way of the travelling vehicle, and position it safely away from the car (e.g.behind or to the side). Therefore you would be able to travel faster.
slancaster, May 16 2001

(?) McLaren's new technology centre http://www.mclaren-paragon.com/
If they're not doing it, it's probably not worth doing. [angel, May 16 2001, last modified Oct 04 2004]

[link]






       But then there would surely be a staggering increase in accidents in which the victim was first sucked into a car before being shredded? This would coat the following car with unholy gore, and mess up the fan mechanism to boot.
Nadir, May 16 2001
  

       There's more than one way to reduce air density though. Helium blowers! Pricy but think of the funny squeaky voices you'd hear in tunnels and multi-storey car parks. Or heat the air with an array of lasers?
Nadir, May 16 2001
  

       Fluid dynamics isn't my strong suit. Would a shark skin covering on a car reduce drag in air the same way it does in water? If not, why, and if so, why hasn't anyone done it? Think of the money we'd save on fuel!
Nadir, May 16 2001
  

       No... no, this is bad aerodynamics.
egnor, May 16 2001
  

       Bout conveniently, down will always be wherever you want to go.   

       This idea seems not too far removed from a jet-powered car, or a fan boat, or something like that.
wiml, May 17 2001
  

       I saw something similar to this in a wind tunnel once. Instead of sucking air in the front, though, the air was being blown out of nozzles along the length of the car to keep the air flow smooth over protrusions (e.g. wing mirrors). Has anyone seen this in production?
st3f, May 17 2001
  

       Wasn't there some big hype about new missles that blow exhaust out of the tip? Presumably, the exhaust's interaction with the air immediately in front of the missle allows for less drag? I can't clearly recall. Anyway, if it is so, do the same thing for cars. Instead of sucking air in through the grill, reorient the engine and everything to blow air out of the front, to reduce drag... and then if you let air flow back into the rear... oh, no. It's a vertical version of the flying torus, but this time it's on wheels... *wishes he could shake the vision*
absterge, May 17 2001
  

       The missle you heard about was probably the Russian Skval torpedo. It works through supercavitation (which is basically what slancaster is talking about) except in water. They think that one of them exploding may have caused the Kursk incident.
salmon, May 18 2001
  

       <sigh> you get days when you can't take any more debrise
po, Nov 04 2001
  

       How often would you have to change the bag? Create enough vacuum and you can hurl almost anything in the road surface at the tailgater behind you. This would be great if you were in a high-speed chase running from the law.
MadMax's Brother, Aug 16 2002
  

       I liked this idea better when it was called the turbofan engine.
rapid transit, May 19 2003
  

       Spinning the car in opposite directions should do the trick.
jans, Oct 02 2003
  

       and there would be no more dust bunnies on the road!
Toyman, Nov 19 2003
  

       Would you have to keep pulling over to change the attachments and untangle the bits of thread?
dobtabulous, Nov 20 2003
  

       The first vacuum car was built by Jim Hall and raced in the SCCA Can-Am series. The vacuum was created underneath the car so it would stick to the road better during cornering. It was awesome! It was also used occasionally to clean debris off the track.   

       A ban on moveable aerodynamic surfaces removed the car from competition.
mackinaw, Feb 17 2004
  

       The original vacuum car patent was applied for and granted in the 1920s. When Jim Hall's race car ran off the track it launched all kinds of debris in the air.   

       Does anybody remember those plastic "vortex generators" we glued to the hood (bonnet) of the car to reduce drag?
whlanteigne, Nov 05 2004
  
      
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