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View Full Version : OT & Not OT: Air Bags and Torpedoes



Kaleun1961
10-20-2005, 06:51 PM
Ok, I know what you are thinking, "What is the connection between air bags and torpedoes?" Bear with me and you will soon know.

I watched an episode of Nova tonight on public television, about the development of automotive safety technology. Gotta love the Germans. They invented an automatic pop-up roll bar which deploys when the car rolls over. They showed how it saved a guy's life on the Autobahn. He came around a curve doing 150 mph and rolled it. It flipped onto its roof and skidded down the road; the driver got out and walked away!

More directly relevant to submarines, is the story of the air bag. An American fellow was driving his car, this is in the 1950's. His car goes into the ditch, and as it does so both he and his wife put their arm out to shield their daughter. This gives him the idea of a device which would pop out and shield the passenger. At his dining room table he draws an inflatable balloon type of sack which should inflate. Later, I can't remember if it was him or someone else, a fellow is working on a torpedo in a navy yard. A cloth is on the torpedo body. He accidentally triggers the compressed air flask, which blasts the cloth straight up into the air. This gives him the idea of the inflatable air bag for the automobile.

Interesting, isn't it, how so many great inventions are accidentally inspired?

Kaleun1961
10-20-2005, 06:51 PM
Ok, I know what you are thinking, "What is the connection between air bags and torpedoes?" Bear with me and you will soon know.

I watched an episode of Nova tonight on public television, about the development of automotive safety technology. Gotta love the Germans. They invented an automatic pop-up roll bar which deploys when the car rolls over. They showed how it saved a guy's life on the Autobahn. He came around a curve doing 150 mph and rolled it. It flipped onto its roof and skidded down the road; the driver got out and walked away!

More directly relevant to submarines, is the story of the air bag. An American fellow was driving his car, this is in the 1950's. His car goes into the ditch, and as it does so both he and his wife put their arm out to shield their daughter. This gives him the idea of a device which would pop out and shield the passenger. At his dining room table he draws an inflatable balloon type of sack which should inflate. Later, I can't remember if it was him or someone else, a fellow is working on a torpedo in a navy yard. A cloth is on the torpedo body. He accidentally triggers the compressed air flask, which blasts the cloth straight up into the air. This gives him the idea of the inflatable air bag for the automobile.

Interesting, isn't it, how so many great inventions are accidentally inspired?

HokumJeebs
10-20-2005, 07:32 PM
Ping: Charles Goodyear

Gunnersman
10-21-2005, 12:45 PM
Ha!
Interesting.
Yea, it has always fascinated me how some ideas are conceived.