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Old 02-05-2012, 11:18 AM   #1 (permalink)
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The Windmobiles of Mr. Amick

I recall seeing on the local TV news channel (in the metro Detroit area) during the mid-1970's a wind powered car going 60 mph. Until today I was unable to find information on this vehicle.

Most of us fight, not invite cross winds into our automotive concepts. Wind is the enemy, the villain to our perfectly conceived imaginary world of automotive aerodynamics.

The question: Was James L. Amick on to something, or was he chasing rainbows and unicorns?

Homepage
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The craft below is the one I first discovered today while doing a Google image search on the term "A2" (for a logo design).

Maker Faire Detroit 2010: Amick A2 wind-assisted electric vehicle

Quote:
One of the makers we encountered setting up for the Maker Faire Detroit on Friday afternoon was Douglas Amick. Amick was unloading the A2, a three-wheeled, battery-powered, wind-assisted tandem-two-seater. The A2 was originally built by Amick's late father, James, who devised the aerodynamic arch on the rear of the vehicle. That element is claimed to help propel the vehicle forward in crosswinds.

Apparently, airflow coming in at an angle to the vehicle will swirl around as it passes through the arch, actually applying force to the A2's rear, giving it some boost. We'll have to check with some contacts with aerodynamic expertise on the veracity of this claim. Regardless, the Amick A2 is kind of cool-looking. Apparently, it originally had aluminum air batteries installed but they're no longer functional.

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Old 02-05-2012, 09:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Amazing stuff. Sort of reminds me of this
more recent device:



A wind-powered car that goes faster than the wind pushing it...

Though Amick's cars are obviously more road-ready...
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Old 02-06-2012, 07:27 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Unless those turn into the wind somehow, i'm very skeptical.
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Old 02-06-2012, 08:37 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Both of those vehicles do work, the horse shoe shaped wing works the same as a sail on a sail boat, taking a cross wind and using it to go forward, around 3 times the forward speed of the cross wind, I have the Popular Mechanics magazine some where that talked about the design, it's also in the book by Michael Hackleman, The New Electric Vehicles.
Apparently after the creator of that car died (old age and health problems) his design got tied up in his estate, or so I hear.

If anyone would like to read more about the pushed by the wind faster then the wind car, there is at least one other thread that was started a few years back that does a wonderful job explaining how it works with links to videos showing that it does work, I was skeptical at first as well.
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Old 02-06-2012, 08:03 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Amick's sail-car actually does turn into the wind. In the links given, there's a description of how it had two steering wheels. One wheel was able to turn the entire car slightly to the side while the wheels would still point in the direction of travel, to change the angle of the sail against the wind.

Very interesting design. Sad that no one's doing anything like this today.
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Old 02-06-2012, 08:47 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Old 02-06-2012, 09:15 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Hahaha... on the road, I mean.

But 126 mph? Insane.
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Old 02-06-2012, 09:17 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I have my doubts about the second, silver Amick's "sail" being big enough to be effective.
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Old 02-07-2012, 03:24 PM   #9 (permalink)
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If I remember correctly Mr Amick's car had an electric motor/generator and storage batteries. In theory running under wind power you could recharge the batteries to some degree. I wouldn't consider this car purely wind powered. I would consider it more of an electric car with wind range extension.

I would also move that this is some what a viable technology and it doesn't belong in the Unicorn Corral.

EDIT: Popular science article : http://books.google.com/books?id=GgE...%20car&f=false
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Old 02-07-2012, 09:19 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ConnClark View Post
EDIT: Popular science article : Popular Science - Google Books
Great link, it made the cover of the magazine too.

I place this thread in the Unicorn Corral as an invitation to dispute the validity of the technology. So far, everyone agrees that it has merit, which is what I thought all along.

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