How it all started
Nearly twenty years ago, I was reading about the Quasar motorcycle, which had an enclosed bodywork to protect the rider. This bodywork also made the motorbike on which it was based much better at cutting through the air and increased its top speed.
At the time I had not passed my bike license so I wondered how fast you could go if you used a mini front sub frame with the suspension, brakes and steering, bolted to an A-frame with a motorcycle engine, gearbox and swing arm at the back. You could then enclose this three-wheeler in a teardrop shaped bodywork like the Quasar.
After many sketches, I realised that I needed a shaft drive motorcycle donor to make things neater and so settled on the 600cc Honda NTV.
The NTV is unusual in that it has a single sided one-piece swing arm and the wheel kind of looks like a propeller.
It was while looking at what I had sketched, that it occurred to me that the driven rear wheel of my Landshark could be used to pump water like a turbine pump. All that was required was to add an intake guide on one side and a pressure collector mounted on the swing arm on the other. Just like an old style hairdryer.
Copyright: David Baker 2015
Landshark Project history
The project has been going for some time, but like a lot of projects it ground to a halt through lack of funding.
A brief synopsis is as follows:
DERA (Defence Evaluation Research Agency) joined the project late 1997.
First concept drawings produced by Simon Grand and Miles Nurnburger, end of 1997.
Jim Bowers, who at that time worked for Psygnosis Ltd, produced the computer animation mid 1998.
Schneider Page who specialise in business and company law, became company secretary to the newly incorporated Land Shark Ltd, 19th August 1998.
Lotus Engineering Ltd, agree to become consultants to the project late 1998.
Simon Grand completes redesign work in preparation for meeting with Lotus Engineering early 1999.
Lotus Engineering Ltd decides to become fully involved and offer complete design and build service for the first speed prototype.
Sept 2000, Lotus start work on 1/3rd scale model for the London Motorshow.
April 2001, Integral Plastics PLC become Technology Partners and offer assistance with prototyping work.
Some of the modelling work done by Lotus Engineering was really cool.
Nearly all of the design work since then has used this as a starting point.
As of February 2015, the Landshark project is being re-started. This means that all of the project partners from sixteen years ago will probably have moved on, so it will involve a lot of re-establishing who is going to do what and when.
This does have the benefit of being able to use new technology that was not available when I first started this project as well as a more open funding being in place for start-up projects. There was always a genuine willingness to help with the project, just because everyone involved wanted to see just how well this idea could be made to work. It was not a matter of gaining financially.
The first stage project will only produce the proof of concept vehicle, it is not going to make any profit and is purely an R + D exercise to enable us to proceed on to the next stage of building the full sized Landshark which is what everybody wants to see.