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The Mi-26 was designed as a heavy-lift helicopter intended for military and civil use. It was designed to replace the earlier Mi-6 and Mi-12 heavy lift helicopters, with a design that had twice the cabin space and payload of the Mi-6, then the world's largest and fastest production helicopter. The primary purpose was to move military equipment such as 13 metric ton (29,000 lb) amphibious armored personnel carriers, as well as move mobile ballistic missiles to remote locations after delivery by military transport planes, such as an Antonov An-22 or Ilyushin Il-76. The helicopter was designed by Marat Tishchenko, protégé of Mikhail Mil, founder of the design bureau OKB Mil. The first Mi-26 flew on 14 December 1977, and entered service in the Soviet military in 1983. The Mi-26 was the first helicopter equipped from the factory with an eight-blade rotor. It is capable of single-engine flight in the event of loss of power by one engine (depending on aircraft mission weight) because of an engine load sharing system. While it is only slightly heavier than the Mil Mi-6, it can lift up to 20 metric tons (44,000 lb) - 8 tons more than Mi-6. The Mi-26 is the second largest and heaviest helicopter ever constructed, following the experimental Mi-12. The Mi-26S was a hastily developed version for disaster relief tasks following the Chernobyl nuclear facility accident. This version was used for measuring radiation levels and for precisely dropping insulating components while blocking the damaged No. 4 reactor . It was also equipped with deactivating liquid tank and underbelly spraying apparatus. The Mi-26S helicopter was operated in immediate proximity to a nuclear reactor. The filter system and protective screens mounted in the cabin protected the crew during the delivery of construction materials to the most dangerous zone, the zero point of the catastrophe. In spring 2002 a civilian Mi-26 was leased to recover two U.S. Army MH-47E Chinook helicopters from a mountain in Afghanistan. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]



The Enforcement Droid Series 209, or ED-209, is a fictional robot in the RoboCop franchise. The ED-209 serves as a heavily-armed obstacle and foil for the series' titular character, as well as a source of comic relief due to its lack of intelligence and tendency to malfunction. The ED-209 was designed by Craig Davies, who also built the full size models, and animated by Phil Tippett, a veteran stop-motion animator. Davies and Tippett would go on to collaborate on many more projects. As one of the setpieces of the movie, the ED-209’s look and animated sequences were under the close supervision of director Paul Verhoeven, who sometimes acted out the robot's movements himself. Director Paul Verhoeven made it clear very early on that ED-209 should not look “cute.” He wanted the robot to look hard and mean. For this reason, various common robot features were left out. There are no eyes on the ED-209, for instance, since Craig Davies believed they conveyed too much emotion as well as being clichéd. According to RoboCop writer Ed Neumeier, the ED-209 robot was designed to resemble a bipedal Vietnam War-era Huey helicopter. The rear-facing knee joints make ED-209 a so-called chicken walker. Craig Hayes (then Davies) also incorporated his ideas about modern 1980s American design, especially car design, into the robot. He envisioned futuristic designers making the robot look good in order to make it marketable before they made it work well, “just like an American car.” The crew commentary audio track on the Criterion Collection DVD release confirms the obvious commentary on ridiculous corporate design policies, with such features as an obviously over-designed hydraulic system, over-attention paid to cosmetics and the placement of obviously vulnerable features such as the radiator grill on the very front of the robot. ED-209 is primarily featured in the first film, where it appears three times. The 209 series was an attempt to create a series of law enforcement robots, the brain child of the movie’s main villain, OCP Senior President Dick Jones. During a demonstration of the ED-209's offensive capabilities to the OCP board, it malfunctions and brutally kills an OCP executive, Kinney - even though he had complied with the robot’s orders to “surrender” and put down his gun, ED-209 appears incapable of recognising this fact. (Why this demonstration model is loaded with live ammunition on this occasion is unexplained, and could simply be a plot device). Because of this disastrous malfunction, the RoboCop program is given the green light. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]



The Boeing 727 is a mid-size, narrow-body, three-engine, T-tailed commercial jet airliner. The first Boeing 727 flew in 1963 and for over a decade it was the most produced commercial jet airliner in the world. When production ended in 1984, a total of 1,831 aircraft had been produced. The 727's sales record for the most jet airliners ever sold was broken in the early 1990s by its younger stablemate, the Boeing 737. The 727 was produced following the success of the Boeing 707 quad-jet airliner. Designed for short-haul routes, the 727 became a mainstay of airlines' domestic route networks. A stretched variant, the 727-200, debuted in 1967. In August 2008, there were a total of 81 Boeing 727-100 aircraft and 419 727-200 aircraft in airline service. The 727 design arose as a compromise between United Airlines, American Airlines, and Eastern Air Lines requirements over the configuration of a jet airliner to service smaller cities which often had shorter runways and correspondingly smaller passenger demand.[3] United Airlines wanted a four-engined aircraft for its flights to high-altitude airports, especially its hub at Stapleton International Airport at Denver, Colorado. American, which was operating the four-engined Boeing 707 and 720, wanted a twin-engined aircraft for efficiency reasons. Eastern wanted a third engine for its overwater flights to the Caribbean, since at that time twin-engined commercial flights were limited by regulations to routes with 60-minute maximum flying time to an airport. Eventually, the airlines agreed on a trijet, and thus the 727 was born. In 1971, passenger D. B. Cooper hijacked Northwest Airlines Flight 305 while it was en route from Portland, Oregon to Seattle, Washington. After receiving a payment of $200,000 and 4 parachutes when he was in Seattle, he told the pilots to fly to Mexico, and jumped out of the aircraft from the aft airstairs over Washington or Oregon. Cooper's fate is unknown. On September 25, 1978, Pacific Southwest Airlines Flight 182, a Boeing 727, crashed after colliding with a Cessna 172 aircraft in San Diego, killing 144 people. On May 25, 2003, a 727 registration number N844AA, formerly used by American Airlines, was stolen from Luanda's international airport in Angola. The mechanic who was on the plane, Ben Charles Padilla, has never been heard from again. Faced with higher fuel costs, lower passenger volumes due to the post-9/11 economic climate, increasing restrictions on airport noise, and the extra expenses of maintaining older planes and paying flight engineers' salaries, most major airlines have phased 727s out of their fleets. Delta Air Lines, the last major U.S. carrier to do so, retired its last 727 in March, 2003. However, the 727 is still flying for smaller start-up airlines, cargo airlines, and charter airlines, and it is also sometimes used as a private means of transportation. The official replacement for the 727 in Boeing's lineup was the Boeing 757. However, the smallest 757 variant, the 757-200, is significantly larger than the 727-200, so many airlines replaced their 727s with either the 737-800 or EADS' Airbus A320, both of which are closer in size to the 727-200. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]





Unimog designates a range of multi-purpose four wheel drive medium trucks produced by Mercedes-Benz, a division of Daimler AG. The name Unimog is pronounced in German and is an acronym for the German "UNIversal-MOtor-Gerat", Gerät being the German word for machine or device. Daimler Benz took over manufacture of the Unimog in 1951 and they are currently built in the Mercedes truck plant in Wörth am Rhein in Germany. The first model was designed shortly after World War II to be used in agriculture as a self-propelled machine providing a power take-off to operate saws in forests or harvesting machines on fields. It was designed with permanent 4WD with equal size wheels in order to be driven on roads at higher speeds than standard farm tractors. With their very high ground clearance and a flexible frame that is essentially a part of the suspension, Unimogs are not designed to carry as much load as regular trucks. Due to their off-road capabilities, Unimogs can be found in jungles, mountains and deserts as military vehicles, fire fighters, expedition campers, and even in competitions like truck trials and Dakar Rally rally raids. In Western Europe, they are commonly used as snowploughs, municipal equipment carriers, agricultural implements, construction equipment and road-rail vehicles. Unimogs have won the truck class of the Dakar several times in the 1980s, often by accident as their main purpose is usually to provide support for cars and motorbikes. High-powered factory-sponsored entries of truck companies aiming for the overall win have since taken the laurels, with Unimogs mainly used for service purposes. Occasionally they can be seen pulling much larger trucks out of quick sand. Unimogs have very high ground clearance — greater than the Humvee — made possible by portal gears that allow the axles and transmission to be higher than the tires' centers. Unimogs also feature a flexible frame that allows the tires a wide range of vertical movement to allow the truck to comfortably drive over extremely uneven terrain, even boulders of 1 metre in height. They are equipped with high visibility driving cabs to enable the operator to see the terrain and more easily manipulate mounted tools. The newest Unimog models can be changed from left-hand drive to right-hand drive in the field to permit operators to work on the more convenient side of the truck. The ability to operate on highways enables the Unimog to be returned to a home garage or yard to thwart vandalism. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]



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