Even though I'd been reading science fiction since the early 60s at the time I first heard about composites/hybrids, I tended to avoid the hardware-oriented stuff. So if it was mentioned anywhere before the mid-80s, it had passed me by. Interesting to hear from someone who was there at the beginning.
The UARS satelite was designed and build in the 80's. At what was then GE Aerospace, there was a lot of research going on. The spacecraft plant actually made their own composites from raw materials. So, to some extent to call it science fiction is not really far off. It was pretty close.
naperlou, when I answered I was thinking of mil/erospace apps back in the mid-80s, which is when I first heard of the concept of a hybrid that combined plastic and metal in some way. I remember my first response being "Huh? How is that possible?" It sounded like science fiction at the time.
Ann, this is just a guess, but I expect you are correct. When I worked on spacecraft, the carbon fiber tubes were attached to metal components at the junctions. The UARS satelite (the one that just fell to earth recently) was like that.
Actually, this looks a lot like a Lotus 7. If you are not familiar witht that car, it was (is?) a kit car. They are lots of fun to drive and to build. They certianly an acquired taste, thogh.
As for the safety aspect, the Lotus 7 was open with minimal doors. This is much like pre-war (WWII) cars. That is one of the reasons it was a kit car. To pass safety tests that are now required would require much more structure.
@Ann- ....not just carbon fiber, but specifically it said "hybrid carbon-fiber tubular-steel" which I don't clearly understand but would like to.Do you know-? To me, Carbon-Fiber meant polymers while Tubular-Steel meant metal extrusions.A quick Google check did not yield much clarity; I found only one reference from the Oil & Gas Journal (Petroleum Engineering) using the same term applied to drilling apparatus, but no real explanation as what the material actually is.I'd like to know more.
Architect I raise my glass to both this and your preceeding comment. I, personally, find use of Retro Design regressive, especially this one. I have attached links to yester years Cords and Auburns in support of this my point. Both car makers contributed to the Pure AND Tecnnical advancement of Automotive Design and Engineering advances.
I found it humorous when the article talked about the vehicle size and the safety of the passengers. But with those huge open wheel front tires, I'd hate to be a pedestrian with that thing coming at me. Those tires would have an easy time pulling me under the wheels, even at very low speeds. IMO, open wheels like that should only be used on the track and never on the street.
And I thought the Pontiac Aztek was ugly, but this makes it look downright attractive. For some people, "taste" is all in their mouth.
Afficionados of "The Prisoner" will recall that the lead character, Number 6, played by the late Patrick McGoohan, drove a Lotus 7, which had a tendency to overheat in traffic. There was also a great book, about a decade ago, written by a guy inspired by the show to build his own Lotus 7 from scratch. (I think it was available as a kit car.) The book seems to be OP (out of print) though; couldn't find it on Amazon.