Tesla Pierce Arrow – Nikola Tesla’s Electric Car

Tesla Pierce Arrow - Nikola Tesla's Electric CarDuring the summer of 1931, Dr. Nikola Tesla made road tests of a Pierce Arrow sedan upscale powered by an AC electric motor rotating at 1800 t / m, powered by a receptor energy drawn from the omnipresent ether.

For a week of winter 1931, the city of Buffalo, in upstate New York, United States, witnessed an extraordinary event. The economic recession, which had slowed business and industry, had not decreased the activity of the teeming city. One day, among the thousands of vehicles plying the streets, a luxury car stopped at the curb before the traffic lights at a crossroads.

A pedestrian noticed this brand new Pierce Arrow sedan whose cups headlights, a style typical of the brand, melted nicely in the front fender. The observer is surprised that, for a chilly morning, no steam seemed to spring from the exhaust, he approached the driver and, through the open window, he remarked upon. The latter bowed to the compliment, and gave the explanation that the car “had no engine.”

Nikola Tesla’s Tesla Pierce Arrow

During the summer of 1931, Dr. Nikola Tesla made road tests of a Pierce Arrow sedan upscale powered by an AC electric motor rotating at 1800 t / m, powered by a receptor energy drawn from the omnipresent ether.

For a week of winter 1931, the city of Buffalo, in upstate New York, United States, witnessed an extraordinary event. The economic recession, which had slowed business and industry, had not decreased the activity of the teeming city.

One day, among the thousands of vehicles plying the streets, a luxury car stopped at the curb before the traffic lights at a crossroads. A pedestrian noticed this brand new Pierce Arrow sedan whose cups headlights, a style typical of the brand, melted nicely in the front fender. The observer is surprised that, for a chilly morning, no steam seemed to spring from the exhaust, he approached the driver and, through the open window, he remarked upon. The latter bowed to the compliment, and gave the explanation that the car “had no engine.”

This response was not as absurd or mischievous than it appeared, it contained some truth. The Pierce Arrow was, indeed, no combustion engine, but an electric motor. If the driver had been more forthcoming, it would have added that this engine was running without batteries, no “fuel” of any kind. The driver’s name was Petar Savo, and although he was driving the car, it was not the inventor of its amazing features. These were due to the only passenger, Petar Savo designated him as his “uncle”, and who was none other than the genius of electricity: Dr. Nikola Tesla (1856-1943).

Around 1890, Nikola Tesla revolutionized the world with his inventions in electricity applied, giving us the electric induction motor, alternating current (AC), radio-telegraphy, radio control, fluorescent lamps and other scientific wonders. This was the multiphase current (AC) Tesla, not the direct current (DC) by Thomas Edison, who initiated the era of modern technology.

Far from resting on its laurels, Tesla continued to make fundamental discoveries in the fields of energy and matter. Millikan decades before he discovered cosmic rays and was among the first researchers on the X-rays, cathode ray tubes and other vacuum.

But the most potentially significant discovery of Nikola Tesla was that electrical energy could be propagated through the Earth and around it in an atmospheric zone called the Schumann cavity, between the surface of the planet and theionosphere, at about 80 km altitude. Electromagnetic waves of very low frequencies around 8 Hz (the Schumann resonance, or pulsation of the Earth’s magnetic field), spread with virtually no loss to any point on the planet. The distribution system of power of Tesla and his interest in the free energy involved as anyone in the world could draw from, as long as they fit the electrical device suitable, well-tuned to the transmission of energy.

It was an intolerable threat to the interests of powerful distributors and sellers of electricity. The discovery led to the elimination of funding, ostracized by the scientific establishment and the phasing of the name of Tesla history books. In 1895, Tesla was a superstar of science in 1917 there was virtually nothing and had to settle for small experiments in near-total isolation. With its ethical figure in his overcoat open style of ’14 before he announced his findings and the status of its research to journalists at press conferences annual data on the occasion of his birthday. It was a mixture of ego and frustrated genius. In 1931, Nikola Tesla was seventy-five years. Time magazine made him, in a rare outpouring of media tribute and honor of a portrait to front and a biographical article. The engineer scientific age, whose thinness did not imply he was ill, had black hair shining and the faraway look of a visionary.

Electric Cars Are Dying

In the early 20th century, the future looked bright for electric cars. Visionaries such as Jules Verne foresaw vehicles with batteries, mechanically simple, silent, odorless, easy to drive and less aggressive than cars powered by gasoline engines.

To start them, it was necessary to manually preset the Food and spark advance, accelerator pump and crank the engine to crank. In an electric vehicle, it was enough to turn the key and press the accelerator.

At a time when the repair shops were rare, electricians could easily troubleshoot a simple DC motor. There was no oil to change, to fill the radiator, fuel pumps and water to clean the carburetor problems, rusted exhaust pipe to replace the clutch and transmission to adjust, no pollution!

Consumption of oil and grease levels were limited to the electric motor and some chassis bearings and joints. Department stores were using electric delivery trucks. The doctors began to make their home visits “electric”, easier to maintain than a horse and buggy. The ladies took up the electric car for its ease of operation. As the batteries limited autonomy and speed of these vehicles, they aroused the interest for urban use.

Outside the cities, the roads of America were so rudimentary that they became the preserve of internal combustion engines, more autonomous, faster and the quality of which grew rapidly. Thus a sort of golden age of electric cars lasted in America, when they fell into oblivion in the world. Among the horde of manufacturers of electric vehicles, the most famous were Detroit Electric, Columbia, Baker, Rauch & Lang, and Woods. They prospered in their respective niche markets, with a range of models, often elegant and tasteful style, sedans.

But the Achilles heel of electric cars was the low capacity of lead acid type batteries, and heavy volume which was acquired at the expense of storing luggage. The weight was affecting the handling and performance, even by the standards of the time. Electric cars could not exceed 70 to 80 km / h and such batteries promptly unloaded velocities; could not maintain peak 57 km / h only short periods and travel was usually at 24 to 32 km / h . It was necessary to recharge the batteries every night and range rarely exceeded 160 km. No manufacturer had installed a DC generator, which would have brought some recharging during deceleration, slightly increasing autonomy. At the time of the glory of Edison, promises to herald a breakthrough in the field of innovative batteries were launched, but went unheeded. While qu’augmentait reliability and speed of petrol cars, the electric lost public favor and became the preserve known gentlemen pensioners and little old ladies. The electric starter for gasoline cars was the last nail in the coffin of their electric counterparts.

Along Comes Nikola Tesla

During the 1960s, an aeronautical engineer, Derek Ahlers, met Petar Savo and befriended him. Over the ten years of their relationship, Savo spoke of his illustrious “Uncle” Nikola Tesla and his exploits in the 1930s. (Although it was not his nephew, Savo designated him his “uncle” as younger than him). In 1930, Tesla invited his “nephew” to join him in New York. Savo, who was born in Yugoslavia in 1899 and was therefore 43 years younger than Tesla, was an experienced pilot in the Austrian army, enthusiastically accepted the opportunity offered him to leave his native country, also that of Tesla. And he went to America and settled in New York. It was in 1966 that Mr. Savo told, during a series of interviews, his role in the case of the electric car from Tesla.

During the summer of 1931, Tesla invited Savo in Buffalo, NY, to try and help them discover a new type of car that Tesla had developed on his own money. Buffalo is a town near Niagara Falls, where the AC hydroelectric plant was designed by Tesla became operational in 1895; event that marked the height of his fame in the scientific academic. Westinghouse Electric and Pierce Arrow Motor Car Company had jointly developed the experimental electric car under the guidance of Dr. Tesla. (In the early 20th century, George Westinghouse purchased the patents of Tesla’s AC).

Society Pierce Arrow had been purchased by the Studebaker Corporation, making funds available for innovation. Between 1928 and 1933, the company launched its new eight-cylinder engines and twelve-cylinder V-model futuristic demonstration Silver Arrow, a renewed design of its product range and many technical improvements. Customer rushed and Pierce Arrow gained significant share in the market for luxury cars, however, knew that a downturn in 1930. This trust was conducive to the development of ambitious projects such as the Tesla electric car. Everything seemed possible in the atmosphere that is both arrogant and naive that reigned within the company. Eight and a Pierce Arrow in 1931 was chosen for testing on the ground of the factory in Buffalo. Its internal combustion engine had been removed, leaving only the clutch, the gear box and transmission to the rear wheels. The standard battery of 12 volts was preserved and a 80 hp electric motor was installed.

Usually, electric cars operated with DC motors to use the current delivered by the battery. It would have been possible to transform the DC into AC (alternating current) through a converter, but at the time the equipment was too large to be installed in an automobile. Electric cars had already spent their twilight, but the Pierce Arrow was not equipped with a DC motor but an AC electric motor that turned at 1,800 t / m. The engine itself measured 102 cm long by 76 cm in diameter, was devoid of brush and with a cooling air fan front, and had a double power cable that led under the dashboard, but without connections . Tesla would not reveal who had built the engine but we think it had to be one of the workshops Westinghouse. A rod antenna 183 cm was attached to the rear of the car.

“We Have the Power!”

Petar Savo joined, as agreed, his famous uncle and they took the train to New York City to the north of the state of the same name. During the trip, the inventor remained secret as to the nature of his experience. Arrived in Buffalo, they went in a small garage where waiting for the new Pierce Arrow. Dr. Tesla opened the hood and proceeded a few adjustments to the engine. They then joined a hotel room to prepare material for the electrician engineering. In one case, Tesla had brought 12 vacuum tubes that Savo described as “a strange bill,” although at least three of them have since been identified as beam tubes corrective 70L7-GT. They were driven into a device contained in a box measuring 61 x 30.5 x 15 cm. This was not larger than a shortwave radio station and contained 12 vacuum tubes, resistors and wiring. Two bars of 0.6 cm diameter and 7.6 cm long were obviously be connected to cables connected to the engine.

Returning to the car, they placed the box in a housing provided for that purpose under the dashboard on the passenger side. Tesla connected the two bars and watched a voltmeter.

“We have the power” he announced, showing the ignition key to his nephew. The dashboard lights which contained other Tesla would not explain the rationale.

Savo started the engine at the request of Tesla, who said: “engine running”, although Savo heard nothing. However, the learned electrician sitting next to him, Savo latched speed, pressed the accelerator and the car went out of the garage.

Long time that day, Savo drove this car without fuel, traveling 80 km through Buffalo and into the countryside. The Pierce Arrow had a speedometer calibrated up to 192 km / h she was pushed up to 145 km / h, always in an equal silence.

As they roamed the countryside, Dr. Tesla gained confidence in his invention and began to explain to his nephew. The system was able to provide unlimited energy to the car, but more than that: it was likely to meet in excess quantity, the needs of an entire house. Previously reluctant to explain the principle, Dr. Tesla admitted however that his device was none other than a receiver of a “mysterious radiation coming from the ether” and “was available in unlimited quantities”; ”humanity,” added he “would be grateful for its existence”.

During the next eight days, and Savo tried the Tesla Pierce Arrow in town and country, at all speeds from a creep speed to 145 km / h. The performances were equivalent to those of any car at the time, multi-cylinder, including the Pierce Arrow Heights six-liter engine developing 125 hp. Tesla predicted that his Savo energy receiver would soon be used to power trains, ships and aircraft, as well as automobiles. Finally, the inventor and his assistant drove the car to a designated location and secret: an old barn, near a farm in a good thirty miles from Buffalo.They left him there, Tesla taking with it the ignition key and the receiving device.

The spy story continued. Petar Savo heard rumors that a secretary had been fired for speaking out about secret trials. This may explain how a tangled story appeared in several newspapers. Tesla was asked whence came the energy “of the ether all around us,” he answered half-heartedly. Some were heard that Tesla was mad and somehow in bed with occult forces. Bruised, Tesla retired to his laboratory in New York with his mysterious box. So ended his brief foray into applications for automotive propulsion.

The history of information leakage is perhaps not entirely accurate, because Tesla was not allergic to some publicity to promote his ideas and inventions, although he had every reason to be cautious because its systems threatened the status quo prevailing industrial. In 1930, the Pierce Arrow company had reached the height of his fame, in 1931 it was in decline and in 1932 it lost $ 3 million US. In 1933, housed in the same boat, the parent company Studebaker oscillated at the brink of bankruptcy. Attention shifted from innovation to survival, and this is where our story ends of the Pierce Arrow.

The Mystery

About a month after the incident advertising, Petar Savo received a call from Lee DeForest, Tesla’s friend and pioneer in the field of vacuum tubes. He asked if the tests Savo had pleased him. Savo expressed his enthusiasm and paid homage to Tesla DeForest, calling greatest inventor known to the world.

Later, Savo inquired of his uncle the progress of its energy receptor and its applications. Dr. Tesla said he was negotiating with a major shipyard for equipping a ship with a device similar to that of the electric car. He refrained, however, to provide details because he was particularly careful about the protection of intellectual property of his invention. With reason, because powerful interests sought to prevent their technologies under and had previously hindered.April 2, 1934, the New York Daily News published an article entitled “The dream of wireless power Tesla is close to becoming a reality,” describing “the test provided an automobile using a wireless transmission of electrical energy ”. This article was later tested and made no mention of energy “free”, a term later.

When the time came to expose openly the car, the Westinghouse Corporation, chaired by FA Merrick, Tesla moved at its own expense, at the Hotel New Yorker, the most modern and most luxurious of the city. The scientific age lived there for free for the rest of his days. Tesla was also employed by Westinghouse for an unspecified research in the field of radio and he ended his public statements about cosmic rays. Westinghouse did he buy the silence of Tesla undecided about his discoveries about free energy? Or it was it paid for continuing secret projects, so speculative that they had not posed a threat to the industry up until the foreseeable future? The curtain falls on this question

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