Contributing Monkie Sarah Backhouse
Published on May 22, 2008
It may not have the horsepower of a Harley or the sex appeal of a Vespa, but Jim Stansfield’s Puch moped has an important distinction: it runs on air. Stansfield, a University of Bristol aeronautics graduate, says his moped can actually reduce pollution. “It actually fires out cleaner air,” says the 37-year-old.
The moped has a range of 7 miles and a top speed of 18 mph — which is plenty far and fast enough for getting around urban centers. As to its revolutionary power source, the Puch is pimped out with a pair of carbon-fiber air cylinders, the type “used by fire fighters as breathing apparatus in burning buildings”. These cylinders power two rotary air engines which drive the rear wheel. Unlike electric scooters which can take sometime to recharge, the air moped can be refilled from a larger cylinder in a matter of seconds.
Stansfield, a TV host, built the scooter in his garage for the National Geographic channel documentary, Planet Mechanics (and certainly setting the bar extremely high for other TV hosts).
How about a hairdryer that sucks in carbon and blows out oxygen? Less pollution, better hair. We could call it the airhead? No? Okay, back to the drawing board.