Former Boeing engineers design a tsunami escape pod

Posted on Jul 4 2011 - 3:25pm by Robert

A small aerospace consulting company that was founded in 2005 by ex Boeing engineers is currently designing a tsunami escape pod that could fit and protect up to six people for around £600.

Scott Hill, IDEA Inc.’s director of engineering said that the company’s president, Julian Sharpe, has developed a concept after visiting Cannon Beach in Oregon, where he saw a number of tsunami warning signs.

“We had this idea a couple of years ago and we’ve been sitting on it. After the tsunami in Japan, we decided we had to develop it and get it out there for the masses,” said Hill. “If you can save one life, it would be worth producing it.”

The 7-foot ball, probably made from aluminum, features internal seats and seat belts. It would protect people for a duration of one to two hours, enough time for tsunami waters to recede.

A stronger version of the capsule might offer a stronger defense against large objects, such as boats, building debris and cars, Hill said.

“With a round structure like that it’s inherently strong, because it transfers all the loads around the perimeter,” the director said. “If anything hits it, will be a glancing blow. Even if it got pinned up a building or against a car, it would squirt out of the way.”

He added that the company’s expertise in aerospace certification and stress analysis fit well in designing the structure. He said that IDEA has done work on Airbus, Sikorski Helicopters, Boeing, etc.

Hill said that they hope to build a prototype in a year and a half and seek funding in order for them to enter production and we wish them the best of luck with the project, it sounds like a great idea, don’t you think?

 

via: Coolest Gadgets

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  1. ARizzo July 7, 2011 at 12:34 am - Reply

    Speaking as an emergency manager, this idea is insane. Not in the "wow, what a clever idea!" type of insane, but rather, "gee, I hope their heirs have a good lawyer" type of insane. Because this idea will get people killed. For one thing, the tsunami surges last up to 12 hours, not 1-2, as noted in the article above. The debris load will be huge, as a look at the images of the debris left behind in Sendai will attest. The bubble will be covered with yards and yards and tons of debris, trapping the occupants. And there is a great likelihood of the bubble being ripped from any mooring, taking the bubble out to sea. Think of all the houses, which were firmly attached to foundations that were taken to sea by the Tohoku tsunami.

    The best, only fool-proof way of surviving a tsunami is to get to high ground, which Cannon Beach has in abundance.

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