Sunday, 12 February 2012

El Diablo de la Carretera

The following information is classified and has been leaked from a government insider....


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Currently in use with a black budget task force on the late night highways of the US and Mexico; it's existence is denied by the US Government, it's mission, classified beyond top secret. Never normally seen during daylight, the dark hunched form seen speeding around the border areas has become known as "The Devil of the Highway" and is associated with many burned out car wrecks (which appear to have been pummelled by high powered explosive tipped rounds) and mysterious deaths found in areas where the vehicle is sighted. 


Based on the XMT-168 advanced APC prototype this vehicle is modified for use at high speed on paved roads: It features 6 wheel drive and 6 wheel steering, powered by twin turbo-shaft engines outputting a combined 2000 shaft horsepower. Aerodynamically arranged armour and double rear wheels help keep it on the road, along with a vacuum system (inspired by outlawed Chaparral race cars) that create low pressure areas under the hull around the front and side skirts allowing manuvering that belies its mass - which is minimal through use of composites and high tech materials. The turret has a faceted lenticular shape - similar to an AWACS radar that allows the turret to rotate and cause minimal wind deflection at high speeds. 


To tackle rougher terrain, the vehicle can raise up on its double wishbone suspension and / or detach skirt sections for added clearance, it is also able to fit inside a C-130 transport and compact enough to be practical on a modern road network. The side effect of this is reduced carrying capacity for troops or cargo of its own. Effective Crew is a minimum of 2, typically 3 and provision for carrying a small number of passengers. 

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The model itself is built to be 3D printable and while it's also a scifi concept model its also an experimental test bed for very real world technologies that allow the printing of miniaturised working suspension components, or of course any type of working mechanism.