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Brusio Spiral Viaduct in Switzerland

The Brusio spiral viaduct is a single track nine-arched stone spiral railway viaduct located in Brusio, in the Canton of Graub√ľnden, Switzerland. Like most spiral tracks, the Brusio spiral viaduct was built to allow trains to gain elevation in a relatively short distance. The spiral viaduct is 110 meters long, has a horizontal radius of curvature of 70 meters, a longitudinal slope of 7%, and is made up of nine spans, each 10 meters in length. The viaduct lifts the train by 20 meters.
The Brusio spiral viaduct forms part of the Bernina Railway section between Brusio and Campascio, and is approximately 55 kilometres from St. Moritz. The stone-built viaduct was opened on 1 July 1908, upon the opening of the Tirano–Poschiavo section of the Bernina Railway. In 1943, the whole of that railway company was taken over by the Rhaetian Railway, which still owns and uses the spiral viaduct today.

The World’s Largest Working Water Wheel

The most important factor for engineers is to be cost-effective and to come up with solutions which are feasible yet not expensive. This isn’t something new; it always has been this way! What you see in the picture is known as The Laxey Wheel and it is located at the village of Laxey in the Isle of Man. This small island is located in the Irish Sea surrounded by islands of Ireland and Great Britain. The wheel is quite huge; 22.2 meters in diameter with a width of 1.83 meters and enjoys being the only largest survivor of its kind in the world.
The wheel was constructed to pump water from mine shafts which kept filling up with water. It was constructed in 1854 by Robert Casement, a Victorian engineer. The wheel was named after the wife of governor of Island, ‘Lady Isabella’. The infrastructure soon became quite popular and has remained so even after 159 years. Laxey was loaded with lead, zinc and other metals back in the day but the logging of water in the mine shafts prevented the mining from taking place. The industrial age was at its peak but unfortunately there was no coal at the island to power up coal-fired engine and the cost of importing coal was not feasible enough.
This is where the engineer came in, and you’d be surprised to know that he was self-taught. What Casement did was to makes use of the water which was readily available and came up with a system of channels which helped in diverting hillside streams’ water into a cistern. A carrier pipe was then used to bring this diverted water up into a tower which reached above the gigantic wheel and fell into the buckets that had been installed into the rim. The weight of water turned the wheel and a crankshaft helped transfer the energy to a pumping station which is 600 ft away. Although the wheel only managed 3 revolutions per minute, it was enough to carry out water from depths of 1,500 ft and did so at an amazing rate of 250 gallons per minute.
The wheel still turns (no water to lift though) and helps the tourists to have a view of the Glen Mooar Valley from the top.

Inside The World’s Biggest Indoor Rainforest Resort

What should one do with an airship hangar whose designated airship never got built? The answer is quite simple; you turn it into an indoor Tropical Island Resort. Located approximately 60 km south of Berlin we have the world’s largest dome that houses an artificial tropical resort. The structure itself is 360 meters long, 210 meters wide, 107 meters high and makes use of 14,000 tons of steel to remain erected. To give our readers a little perspective here; it can house 8 soccer fields and the Statue of Liberty can be easily placed inside it. The building has a volume of 5.5 million cubic meters. There are no supporting pillars inside the hall. This structure was designed and built back in 2000 for the CL160 which was never completed and eventually the company went bankrupt in 2002 and two years later emerged the Tropical Island Resort.
Once you enter the dome, you’ll be stepping into the world’s largest artificial rainforest. There are around 30,000 tress, groundcover and bushes. One can very well find some carnivorous plants, coffee bushes, banana trees, jungle creepers and many other exotic plants. There is a one km long path that goes through the forest and then we have a bridge right above the mangrove swamp which gives quite a view to its users. The dome makes use of real sunlight to provide nourishment to 500 species of plants that are planted within it.All the visitors are welcome to enjoy the 200 meters long artificial beach where they can even go for a swim in the artificial sea and enjoy 26 degrees Celsius all the time. The sea has been outlined with sandy beaches and has some small tropical islands which have been decorated by employing grass hunts. You’ll also find many re-creations of some of the very famous architectural work from Asia; Angkor Wat, the Balinese Temple Gate etc. You can find Buddha statues in abundance and there are ponds and canals running through the site.
This facility is open 24/7 all year long and has a lot of activities to keep attracting visitors. For instance; a swimming pool with a capacity of 8,000 persons at a time, 25 meters high water slide, restaurants, mini-golf course and many other highlights. Let’s not forget the overnight camping on Paradise beach.
The dome enjoys some really cool environment friendly features as well. The recycled water from the pools is used to water the plants. Owing to the humidity inside,  every now and then water condensation gathers and then falls resulting in spontaneous rain showers which are really cool!
So if you’re planning to visit Germany, do take a trip to this wonderful place.

Travel Like A Superman With Aeromobil Flying Car

The first flight for the Aeromobil Version 2.5, has been announced by it’s designer, Stefan Klein. The designer, who is from the Slovak Republic, has spent 20 years working on the design of his flying car. What makes the Aeromobil different from other flying cars is its practicality in the real world. It runs on regular gasoline just like any other car (unlike other flying cars which run on jet fuel) and can fit into any standard parking space or garage.
The 100-hp engine powers both the rear propeller and the front wheels of the car. The rear wheels do not receive any power from the engine and simply carry the rear fins and keep the car stable. The vehicle is light and weighs only 450 kg without fuel and passengers. There is minimal structure which consists of a steel tube frame and a carbon composite shell (used mostly in high end performance cars). As a car the Aeromobil is easy to operate and operates like any normal car. If the user wishes to fly the car, all they have to do is put the car into gear which transfers the power of the engine to the rear propeller and opens the wings. There are two steering wheels, one inside the other. The outer wheel is for driving purposes while the inner wheel is used for flight. The wingspan of the Aeromobil is 8.2 meters and it has a top speed of 200 kph with a range of 700 km in airplane mode.
The prototype is meant to attract investors to allow the Aeromobil to be produced commercially and make it available to the average consumer. With degrees in both mechanical engineering and fine arts, Klein is a very talented man who claims his design is “the intersection of technology and art.”. He also comes from a family of pilots and has served as the chief test pilot for the development of the Aeromobil. All that remains for Klein is to introduce his creation to the mass market and with the practicality and amazing design of the Aeromobil, his 20 years of hard work may just pay off.

New Mercedes Arrow 460 Yacht Is An Eye Popping And Bank Breaking Luxury

It would appear that many Mercedes’ users wanted to sail the seas as well and Mercedes took their wishes into consideration when it came up with the idea of a yacht and has now introduced it with cooperation of Silver Arrow Marine. The yacht is being called the Mercedes Arrow 460 yacht. It is 45 ft in length and comes with a variety of features thanks to advances in Science.
Moving on now, let’s show you the party area of Arrow 460. Welcome to the cockpit like greenhouse which is surrounded by glass panels that adjust to ambient light levels and helps provide the users a splendid view from their yacht while protecting their skin from the scorching sun. The front panel of this cockpit can be opened up if you’re in the mood for a cool breeze. The Arrow 460 has a $1.7 million price tag and comes with an optional onboard wine cellar for those who want it.
Arrow 460 comes with two Yanmar diesel engines each with a horsepower of 480 and this can help propel the yacht through water at speeds higher than 40 knots. For those of you who find this speed slow; well this is a luxury yacht after all and therefore it has not been designed for speed.
This new Yacht shows that Mercedes is taking interest in the sea market as well and Arrow 460 might just be a pilot project before Mercedes decides to go to sea, perhaps they are foreseeing the melting of ice caps and people shifting to sea rides. All jokes apart, a decent invention by Mercedes (if you take into consideration their cigarette boat) and a nice attempt at entering the Yacht market. For now, lets keep our fingers crossed and see how far Mercedes is actually willing to go for the sea lovers.

Australian Company Starts World’s First Delivery By Drone Service

With the traditional method of delivering goods to consumers by road, companies face many problems in term of fuel costs, traffic and time consumption. In today’s age where every second is valuable as gold, a textbook rental company has implemented a way to save time, money and hassle. Zookal, a Sydney-based company owned by Ahmed Haider, has started using drones to deliver books to customers. This approach has not only cut down the delivery time from days to minutes but has reduced costs to a tenth of what they normally were.
The company owns two unmanned aerial vehicles at the moment. A demo video released shows how their prototype, Flirtey, performs the delivery service.
The drones are big enough to carry the weight of a textbook and fly to the predetermined delivery location which is outdoors and at a place accessible to the customer. The drones have no cameras, but have sensors to prevent them from colliding with birds and trees. The customer can keep track of the drone’s progress via a mobile app which allows them to trace the location and status of their delivery.

Chinese Robots Play Ping Pong

Robotics sure has come a long way. What was only possible in science fiction novels and movies is now actually quite realistically possible. Not just that, we are continuously making progress in this domain. Today’s article is about robots which can play table tennis.
Bored and want to play? Can’t find a partner to play table tennis with? Worry no more, these Chinese robots will play table tennis with you. Or you can have a pair of them and watch them play table tennis with each other.
So, how long do you think it’s going to take before the movie ‘real steel’ turns into a reality as well?

The World’s Longest Bus Is Here

If you have not seen it before, have your first look at the grand Autotram Extra Grand, the longest bus in the world.
We know that one common problem with the modern world is population explosion. Engineers worldwide, are trying to find the most efficient means of mass transportation that will take hundreds of thousands of extra vehicles off the roads. German engineering is famous for its brilliance, all over the world. The Autotram Extra Grand is one spectacular display of this brilliance. The 30 meters long bus is built in an effort to reduce private vehicles on the roads. Here are some interesting details on the world’s longest bus.
The bus runs on a fuel efficient hybrid engine. Fully charged engine battery can take the bus as far as eight kilometers. And if you are thinking what kind of skill may be needed to drive this machine, let me tell you there is absolutely no driver licence nessecary as the bus has an in-built steering system. This state-of-the-art steering system allows the bus to manoeuver just like a 12 meter long bus and can also steer the huge thing backward or forward with ease.
The steering system is ultimately a marvel of transportation and system engineering. Manufacturing team noted that a complex algorithm runs the steering system. The project has cost Germans 10 million dollars.
What needs to be seen now is how this 30 meter long Grand Bus affects city traffic. Engineers are positive, it will not halt or hinder traffic routine on the roads and will likely reduce private vehicles on the road. The engine is environment friendly and prevents release of harmful GHGs. The engine runs on electric power. So, what we are expecting is something similar to a mini subway roaming the streets. It was debuted in Dresden, Germany where it successfully transported 258 passengers around the city. The bendy bus does a great job at combining a train’s length and a bus’s manoeuverabilty. The main innovation lies in its 101 ft length. Beijing and Shanghai city administrations have already ordered the bus.
The world is awaiting the arrival of this gigantic vehicle. German teams are running pilot tests and giving final touches to their project. Here are some more pictures of the sleek long engineered creature slithering through the streets of Germany.

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