Feeds

Inventor promises bottle-o-wind car in a year. Again

French hot-air jalopy gets Indian backing

Build a business case: developing custom apps

French inventor Guy Negre, who has promoted his plan for air-powered cars for decades without significant success, says he has finally secured backing from a major motor manufacturer. Negre's small family design firm MDI has announced a partnership agreement with Indian car giant Tata, and excited reports have it that air-driven cars could be on sale within a year.

Negre himself is slightly more circumspect, merely saying that he "is happy to conclude this agreement with Tata Motors and work together... to develop a new and cost-saving technology for various applications for the Indian market..."

Artist's impression of a OneCAT design

MDI OneCAT: blowing hot and cold for years now ...

The Beeb's environmental-issues people, however, tell us that Negre "has promised that within a year he will start selling a car". This would be sales in France direct from MDI; Tata has not gone firm on any production plans.

The current iteration of the air car seems to be a five-seater variant on the OneCAT designs described on MDI's website. The car uses compressed air from carbon-fibre tanks to drive a piston engine. The specs for a six-seater job claim 22 cv power (French cheval-vapeur metric horsepower units, a trifle smaller than brake horsepower). The new OneCAT should weigh 350kg, according to the Beeb, so the power-to-weight ratio comes out only a little less than that of a Fiat Panda.

That said, the OneCAT is less than half as heavy as a Panda, so it will be much more adversely affected by the weight of passengers and baggage. Even so, assuming the power figures are for real, the quoted top speed of 100km/h seems reasonable.

Negre also reckons the car could go 100km on a single charge of air. The Beeb says that such a charge can be delivered by a "compressor" in just a few minutes, which is true - you'd be talking about a big 300kW/400 horsepower job at least, though, an expensive four or five tonne piece of kit. In the video report, the MDI people actually seem to be using an air bank, which would be cheaper and simpler.

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
Brit amateur payload set to complete full circle around PLANET EARTH
Ultralight solar radio tracker in glorious 25,000km almost-space odyssey
Boffins spot weirder quantum capers as neutrons take the high road, spin takes the low
Cheshire cat effect see neutrons and their properties walk different paths
NASA Mars rover FINALLY equals 1973 Soviet benchmark
Yet to surpass ancient Greek one, however
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.