Machine Design

Looking Back

10 YEARS AGO — July 9, 1998

New cordless phones from Panasonic are the first of their kind to access the 2.4-GHz frequency allocated by the FCC for personal communications. Technology developed by World Wireless Communications Inc. of Salt Lake City, Kyushu Matsushita Electric, and Panasonic gives the cordless GigaRange telephones a maximum range up to 20 times that of typical 43/49-MHz phones and almost eight times that of 900-MHz models. In the past, communications from 2.4-GHz devices could be garbled by microwave ovens, but selective circuitry in the new phones prevents such interference. Separate transmitting and receiving antennas in the base minimize echo and delay characteristic of other digital cordless phones.

30 YEARS AGO — July 6, 1978
Harrier-B prototype getting composite wing: The advanced wing is mounted on a Harrier fuselage as the prototype of the Advanced Harrier AV-8B takes shape at McDonnell Douglas Corp. The new supercritical wing structure, largest aircraft part yet made of composite material, weighs 1,374 lb, including control surfaces not yet mounted. All spars and the upper and lower surfaces are fabricated of graphite epoxy, saving 330 lb over conventional materials. Being built for the U.S. Marine Corps., the AV-8B will have twice the range or payload of the AV-8A.

50 YEARS AGO — July 10, 1958
Big, but nimble, this 52-wheel trackless train is designed to use nuclear or conventional power, according to R. G. LeTourneau Inc. Like all Le- Tourneau trains, it is electric-motor driven — one motor/whe el — and uses a unique steering system that compels all cars to follow the track of the lead car. Eitherend ste er ing provides high maneuverability. Proposed length of the train is 450 ft; width would vary according to user demands. The train uses 4 10-ft tires.

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