Feeds

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

French hot-air jalopy gets Indian backing

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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.

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less
'Some might find this idea offensive' boffin admits
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
Boffins who stare at goats: I do believe they’re SHRINKING
Alpine chamois being squashed by global warming
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.