The Centauro is a family of Italian military vehicles originating from a wheeled tank destroyer for light to medium territorial defense and tactical reconnaissance. It was developed by a consortium of the Società Consortile Iveco Fiat - Oto Melara. Iveco Fiat was tasked with developing the hull and propulsion systems while Oto Melara was responsible for developing the turrets and weapon systems. Over the years, the Centauro platform has been developed into multiple variants to fulfill other combat roles, such as infantry fighting vehicle or self-propelled howitzer; the vehicle was developed in response to an Italian Army requirement for a tank destroyer with the firepower of the old Leopard 1 main battle tank in service with the Italian Army, but with greater strategic mobility. The main mission of the Centauro is to protect other, elements of the cavalry, using its good power-to-weight ratio, excellent range and cross country ability and computerized fire control system to accomplish this mission.
Centauro entered production in 1991 and deliveries were complete by 2006. The main armament consists of the Oto Melara 105 mm/52 caliber gyro-stabilized high-pressure, low-recoil gun equipped with a thermal sleeve and an integrated fume extractor, with 14 ready rounds in the turret and another 26 rounds in the hull; the gun can fire standard NATO ammunition, including APFSDS rounds. Secondary weapons are a 7.62 mm coaxial machine gun, another 7.62 mm anti-aircraft machine gun with 4,000 rounds of ammunition. Aiming is provided by a Galileo Avionica TURMS fire control system and is equipped with a muzzle referencing system and a digital ballistic computer; the gunner's sight is stabilized and comes equipped with a thermal imager and laser rangefinder. The commander's station is equipped with a panoramic stabilized sight, an image intensifying night sight and a monitor displaying the image from the gunner's thermal sight; this allows Centauro to engage stationary or moving targets while stationary or on the move, in day or night.
The Centauro hull is an all-welded steel armoured hull, which in the baseline configuration is designed to withstand 14.5 mm bullets and shell fragments with protection against 25 mm munition on the frontal section. The addition of bolt-on appliqué armour increases protection against 30 mm rounds; the Centauro is equipped with an CBRN warfare protection system, integrated with the vehicle's air conditioning system. The vehicle is equipped with a four-barreled smoke grenade launcher mounted on each side of the turret and a laser warning receiver. Centauro is powered by an Iveco V6 turbo-charged after-cooled diesel engine delivering 520 hp; this drives a ZF-designed automatic transmission, manufactured under license by Iveco Fiat. The transmission system has two reverse gears; this drives eight wheels, which are each equipped with an independent suspension system, furthermore, equipped with run-flat inserts and a Central Tyre Inflation System. Braking is provided by eight disc brakes. Steering is provided on the first and second axles and at slow speed with the fourth axle.
Together, this allows Centauro to achieve road speeds in excess of 100 km/h, negotiate gradients up to 60%, ford water up to a depth of 1.5m without preparation, have a turning radius of 9m. In July 2018, the Italian Army signed a €159 million contract to acquire 10 Centauro II vehicles, the first tranche of a planned 136-vehicle order; the 30-ton Centauro II features a larger 120 mm main gun, digital communications system, a 720 hp engine delivering 24 hp/ton, wheels extending farther out from the hull for greater stability and better protection against mine blasts. It is deployed as part of UNIFIL forces in Lebanon. Centauro was deployed in the former Somalia, where the design proved successful. Centauro was employed to escort motor convoys, for wide area control and for road patrols. Centauros were deployed during operation Antica Babilonia, the Italian involvement in the Iraq War. During this operation, a Centauro troop took part in the battle for the bridges of Nassiriya, destroying a building where snipers were hiding.
In 2003, Spain deployed six Centauro 105/52mm to Iraq "for the self-defense" of their troops. Centauro 105mmThe baseline and original version called Centauro Reconnaissance Anti-Tank. Centauro 120mmUpgraded Centauro with a low recoil 120/45 cannon in a newly designed turret and with new composite armour that can resist up to 40mm APFSDS rounds on the front and 14.5mm on the rest of the body. VBM "Freccia" The Veicolo Blindato Medio "Freccia" is a reconfigured Centauro to act as a wheeled infantry fighting vehicle with multiple variants, such as command & control or mortar carrier, offering increased armour and NBC protection, it can transport up to eight infantrymen plus three crew. Centauro 155/39LWAdded to the Centauro range on late 2013 to fill the role of a self-propelled howitzer, being able to fire up to 8 rounds/minute to a distance exceeding 60km for guided ammunition, it mounts an ultralight 155/39mm main gun, based on the latest material breakthroughs, a secondary 7.62 or 12.7mm MG.
The 155/39 provides full NBC and ballistic protection. Centauro VBM RecoveryServes both as an engineer vehicle and for recovery and repair of damaged armoured vehicles on the battlefield. DracoThe Centauro Draco is a SPAAG prototype to test the Draco weapon system on the Centauro 8x8 platform; the Draco weapon syste
Henry VIII of England
Henry VIII was King of England from 1509 until his death in 1547. Henry was the second Tudor monarch, succeeding his father, Henry VII. Henry is best known for his six marriages, in particular his efforts to have his first marriage, to Catherine of Aragon, annulled, his disagreement with the Pope on the question of such an annulment led Henry to initiate the English Reformation, separating the Church of England from papal authority. He appointed himself the Supreme Head of the Church of England and dissolved convents and monasteries, for which he was excommunicated. Henry is known as "the father of the Royal Navy". Domestically, Henry is known for his radical changes to the English Constitution, ushering into England the theory of the divine right of kings. Besides asserting the sovereign's supremacy over the Church of England, he expanded royal power during his reign. Charges of treason and heresy were used to quell dissent, those accused were executed without a formal trial, by means of bills of attainder.
He achieved many of his political aims through the work of his chief ministers, some of whom were banished or executed when they fell out of his favour. Thomas Wolsey, Thomas More, Thomas Cromwell, Richard Rich, Thomas Cranmer all figured prominently in Henry's administration, he was an extravagant spender and used the proceeds from the Dissolution of the Monasteries and acts of the Reformation Parliament to convert into royal revenue the money, paid to Rome. Despite the influx of money from these sources, Henry was continually on the verge of financial ruin due to his personal extravagance as well as his numerous costly and unsuccessful continental wars with King Francis I of France and the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. At home, he oversaw the legal union of England and Wales with the Laws in Wales Acts 1535 and 1542 and following the Crown of Ireland Act 1542 he was the first English monarch to rule as King of Ireland, his contemporaries considered Henry in his prime to be an attractive and accomplished king.
He has been described as "one of the most charismatic rulers to sit on the English throne". He was an composer; as he aged, Henry became obese and his health suffered, contributing to his death in 1547. He is characterised in his life as a lustful, egotistical and insecure king, he was succeeded by the issue of his third marriage to Jane Seymour. Born 28 June 1491 at the Palace of Placentia in Greenwich, Henry Tudor was the third child and second son of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York. Of the young Henry's six siblings, only three – Arthur, Prince of Wales, he was baptised by Richard Fox, the Bishop of Exeter, at a church of the Observant Franciscans close to the palace. In 1493, at the age of two, Henry was appointed Constable of Dover Castle and Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, he was subsequently appointed Earl Marshal of England and Lord Lieutenant of Ireland at age three, was inducted into the Order of the Bath soon after. The day after the ceremony he was created Duke of York and a month or so made Warden of the Scottish Marches.
In May 1495, he was appointed to the Order of the Garter. The reason for all the appointments to a small child was so his father could keep personal control of lucrative positions and not share them with established families. Henry was given a first-rate education from leading tutors, becoming fluent in Latin and French, learning at least some Italian. Not much is known about his early life – save for his appointments – because he was not expected to become king. In November 1501, Henry played a considerable part in the ceremonies surrounding his brother's marriage to Catherine of Aragon, the youngest surviving child of King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Isabella I of Castile; as Duke of York, Henry used the arms of his father as king, differenced by a label of three points ermine. He was further honoured, on 9 February 1506, by Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I who made him a Knight of the Golden Fleece. In 1502, Arthur died at the age of 15 of sweating sickness, just 20 weeks after his marriage to Catherine.
Arthur's death thrust all his duties upon the 10-year-old Henry. After a little debate, Henry became the new Duke of Cornwall in October 1502, the new Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester in February 1503. Henry VII gave the boy few tasks. Young Henry was supervised and did not appear in public; as a result, he ascended the throne "untrained in the exacting art of kingship". Henry VII renewed his efforts to seal a marital alliance between England and Spain, by offering his second son in marriage to Arthur's widow Catherine. Both Isabella and Henry VII were keen on the idea, which had arisen shortly after Arthur's death. On 23 June 1503, a treaty was signed for their marriage, they were betrothed two days later. A papal dispensation was only needed for the "impediment of public honesty" if the marriage had not been consummated as Catherine and her duenna claimed, but Henry VII and the Spanish ambassador set out instead to obtain a dispensation for "affinity", which took account of the possibility of consummation.
Cohabitation was not possible. Isabella's death in 1504, the ensuing problems of succession in Castile, complicated matters, her father preferred her to stay in England, but Henry VII's relations with Ferdinand had deteriorated. Catherine was therefore left in limbo for some time, culminating in Prince Henry's rejection of the marriage as soon he was able, at the age of 14. Ferdinand's solution was to make his daugh
The BTR-40 is a Soviet non-amphibious, wheeled armoured personnel carrier and reconnaissance vehicle. It is referred to as the Sorokovka in Soviet service, it is the first mass-produced Soviet APC. It was replaced in the APC role by the BTR-152 and in the scout car role by the BRDM-1; the BTR-40's development began in early 1947 at the design bureau of the Gorkovsky Avtomobilny Zavod under the leadership of V. A. Dedkov; the concept was a successor to the BA-64B armoured car which went out of production in 1946. The design team included L. W. Kostikin and P. I. Muziukin. Two prototypes designated BTR-141 were completed in 1947; the first was armed with two coaxial 14.5 mm KPVT heavy machine guns on a rotatable mount, protected by armour plate at the front and sides. The second had no fixed armament. Neither one was accepted for service. In 1950 two new prototypes were produced; those had a different shape of armour including an upright rear armour. Again one prototype had no fixed armament and the second was armed with two coaxial 14.5 mm KPVT heavy machine guns.
These were accepted into service as BTR-40A respectively. The vehicle's drawbacks, such as its poor cross-country performance and problems with crossing water obstacles, compelled the design team to produce, in late 1954, what was planned to be an amphibious variant of the BTR-40, it received the designation BTR-40P. During the design process, the vehicle moved away from the APC concept and became an amphibious armoured scout car, it received a new designation, BRDM. The BTR-40's design was based on the GAZ-63 four wheel drive truck which went into production in 1946; the design featured a self-bearing body, a new feature in Soviet vehicles. The hull has two side doors for a back door; the vehicle can transport up to eight equipped soldiers or 1 tonne of cargo. The BTR-40's armour is from 6 mm to 8 mm thick which gives it protection from small arms fire and the shell splinters of its time, but does not protect it against modern artillery fragments and.50-calibre machine gun fire. The BTR-40-series tyres are not protected by armour.
They are vulnerable to puncture from fire of all kinds. The vehicle has no roof and is covered with a tarpaulin to protect the crew, transported cargo or troops from rain and snow; however this makes it unable to mount any of the SGMB machine guns. The APC variant has no permanent armament but it has pintle mounts for three 7.62 mm SGMB medium machine guns, one at the front of the troop compartment and the other two at the sides. The vehicle has two firing ports on both sides of the hull which allow up to four soldiers to use their weapons while being protected by the APC's armour. Like the GAZ-63 truck on which it is based on, the BTR-40 has a four-wheel drive; the chassis, however, is shorter compared to the GAZ-63. The only other thing that distinguishes the chassis of the BTR-40 from that of the GAZ-63 are additional shock absorbers; the BTR-40 has a more powerful engine. The turning angle is 7.5 m. The vehicle has the 10RT-12 receiving and airing radio which has a range of 20–25 km and a winch at the front, with a maximum capacity of 4.5 tonnes and 70 m of cable.
It has no protection against nuclear and chemical weapons. It has no night vision equipment; the BTR-40 was produced at the Gorkovsky Avtomobilny Zavod from 1950 to 1960. It was first shown publicly at the military parade in Moscow in 1950, it was issued to the Red Army in 1950 and was used in the APC, reconnaissance and command post roles. After several years of service, it became apparent, it was replaced by the BTR-152. The BTR-40 began to enter service with two other Warsaw Pact members in late 1949, namely East Germany and Poland, where it was used as a standard APC until more advanced vehicles like the BTR-152 were available; the last BTR-40s were withdrawn from Warsaw Pact countries in the early 1970s. The vehicle was sold to many Arab and African nations in the late 1950s and early 1960s; the People's Republic of China, had developed a copy of the BTR-40 called the Type 55. It is unknown how many of these vehicles entered service with the PLA; the vehicle was exported to North Korea as part of a military assistance programme during the Korean War, where it saw combat for the first time.
It was used by the North Vietnamese Army during the Vietnam War. BTR-40 saw combat service during the North Yemen Civil War during which at least one was captured from the Egyptians by the royalist guerrillas. 1956 – Hungarian Revolution of 1956 1955–1975 – Vietnam War 1962-1970 – North Yemen Civil War 1966–1991 – South African Border War 1967 – Six-Day War 1968 – Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia 1969 – Sino-Soviet border conflict 1970–1975 Cambodian Civil War 1973 – Yom Kippur War 1974–1991 – Ethiopian Civil War 1961–1991 – Eritrean War for Independence 1975–1990 – Lebanese Civil War 1975–1991 – Western Sahara War 1975–2002 – Angolan Civil War 1977–1978 – Ogaden War 1978–1987 – Chadian–Libyan conflict 1979–1988 – Soviet–Afghan War 1982 – 1982 Ethiopian–Somali Border War BTR-141 – The original prototype with a faceted rear hull had two variants. The first was armed with twin ZPTU-2 14.5 mm KPV heavy machine guns placed in a rotary platform with armour protection at the front and sides. The second version had no permanent armament but became
Armoured fighting vehicle
An armoured fighting vehicle is an armed combat vehicle protected by armour combining operational mobility with offensive and defensive capabilities. AFVs can be tracked. Main battle tanks, armoured cars, armoured self-propelled guns, armoured personnel carriers are all examples of AFVs. Armoured fighting vehicles are classified according to their intended role on the battlefield and characteristics; the classifications are not absolute. For example lightly armed armoured personnel carriers were superseded by infantry fighting vehicles with much heavier armament in a similar role. Successful designs are adapted to a wide variety of applications. For example, the MOWAG Piranha designed as an APC, has been adapted to fill numerous roles such as a mortar carrier, infantry fighting vehicle, assault gun; the concept of a mobile and protected fighting unit has been around for centuries. Armoured fighting vehicles were not possible until internal combustion engines of sufficient power became available at the start of the 20th century.
Modern armoured fighting vehicles represent the realization of an ancient concept - that of providing troops with mobile protection and firepower. Armies have deployed war cavalries with rudimentary armour in battle for millennia. Use of these animals and engineering designs sought to achieve a balance between the conflicting paradoxical needs of mobility and protection. Siege engines, such as battering rams and siege towers, would be armoured in order to protect their crews from enemy action. Polyidus of Thessaly developed a large movable siege tower, the helepolis, as early as 340 BC, Greek forces used such structures in the Siege of Rhodes; the idea of a protected fighting vehicle has been known since antiquity. Cited is Leonardo da Vinci's 15th-century sketch of a mobile, protected gun-platform; the machine was to be mounted on four wheels which would be turned by the crew through a system of hand cranks and cage gears. Leonardo claimed: "I will build armored wagons which will be invulnerable to enemy attacks.
There will be no obstacle which it cannot overcome." Modern replicas have demonstrated that the human crew would have been able to move it over only short distances. Hussite forces in Bohemia developed war wagons - medieval weapon-platforms - around 1420 during the Hussite Wars; these heavy wagons were given protective sides with firing slits. Heavy arquebuses mounted on wagons were called arquebus à croc; these carried a ball of about 3.5 ounces. The first modern AFVs were armed cars, dating back to the invention of the motor car; the British inventor F. R. Simms designed and built the Motor Scout in 1898, it was the first armed, petrol-engine powered vehicle built. It consisted of a De Dion-Bouton quadricycle with a Maxim machine gun mounted on the front bar. An iron shield offered some protection for the driver from the front, but it lacked all-around protective armour; the armoured car was the first modern armoured fighting vehicle. The first of these was the Simms' Motor War Car, designed by Simms and built by Vickers, Sons & Maxim in 1899.
The vehicle had Vickers armour 6 mm thick and was powered by a four-cylinder 3.3-litre 16 hp Cannstatt Daimler engine giving it a maximum speed of around 9 miles per hour. The armament, consisting of two Maxim guns, was carried in two turrets with 360° traverse. Another early armoured car of the period was the French Charron, Girardot et Voigt 1902, presented at the Salon de l'Automobile et du cycle in Brussels, on 8 March 1902; the vehicle was equipped with a Hotchkiss machine gun, with 7 mm armour for the gunner. Armoured cars were first used in large numbers on both sides during World War I as scouting vehicles. In 1903, H. G. Wells published the short story "The Land Ironclads," positing indomitable war machines that would bring a new age of land warfare, the way steam-powered ironclad warships had ended the age of sail. Wells' literary vision was realized in 1916, amidst the pyrrhic standstill of the Great War, the British Landships Committee, deployed revolutionary armoured vehicles to break the stalemate.
The tank was envisioned as an armoured machine that could cross ground under fire from machine guns and reply with its own mounted machine guns and cannons. These first British heavy tanks of World War I moved on caterpillar tracks that had lower ground pressure than wheeled vehicles, enabling them to pass the muddy, pocked terrain and slit trenches of the Battle of the Somme; the tank proved successful and, as technology improved. It became a weapon that could cross large distances at much higher speeds than supporting infantry and artillery; the need to provide the units that would fight alongside the tank led to the development of a wide range of specialised AFVs during the Second World War. The Armoured personnel carrier, designed to transport infantry troops to the frontline, emerged towards the end of World War I. During the first actions with tanks, it had become clear that close contact with infantry was essential in order to secure ground won by the tanks. Troops on foot were vulnerable to enemy fire, but they could not be transported
Vickers was a famous name in British engineering that existed through many companies from 1828 until 1999. Vickers was formed in Sheffield as a steel foundry by the miller Edward Vickers and his father-in-law George Naylor in 1828. Naylor was a partner in the foundry Naylor & Sanderson and Vickers' brother William owned a steel rolling operation. Edward's investments in the railway industry allowed him to gain control of the company, based at Millsands and known as Naylor Vickers and Company, it began life making steel castings and became famous for casting church bells. In 1854 Vickers' sons Thomas and Albert joined the business and their considerable talents – Tom Vickers as a metallurgist and Albert as a team-builder and salesman – were key to its subsequent rapid development. "Its great architects," the historian Clive Trebilcock writes, "Colonel T. E. and Albert Vickers... provided both inspired technical leadership... and astute commercial direction. Both men were autocrats by temperament.
The company went public in 1867 as Vickers, Sons & Company and acquired more businesses, branching out into various sectors. In 1868 Vickers began to manufacture marine shafts, in 1872 they began casting marine propellers and in 1882 they set up a forging press. Vickers produced their first armour plate in 1888 and their first artillery piece in 1890. Vickers bought out the Barrow-in-Furness shipbuilder The Barrow Shipbuilding Company in 1897, acquiring its subsidiary the Maxim Nordenfelt Guns and Ammunition Company. At the same time, to become Sons & Maxim. Ordnance and ammunition made during this period, including World War I, was stamped V. S. M; the yard at Barrow became the "Naval Construction Yard". With these acquisitions, Vickers could now produce a complete selection of products, from ships and marine fittings to armour plate and a whole suite of ordnance. In 1901 the Royal Navy's first submarine, Holland 1, was launched at the Naval Construction Yard. In 1902 Vickers took a half share in the famous Clyde shipyard John Company.
Further diversification occurred in 1901 with the acquisition of a proposed business, incorporated as The Wolseley Tool and Motor Car Company and in 1905 the goodwill and patent rights of the Siddeley car. In 1911 a controlling interest was acquired in the torpedo manufacturers. In 1911 the company name was changed to Vickers Ltd and expanded its operations into aircraft manufacture by the formation of Vickers Ltd and a Vickers School of Flying was opened at Brooklands, Surrey on 20 January 1912. In 1919, the British Westinghouse electrical company was taken over as the Metropolitan Vickers Electrical Company. At the same time they came into Metropolitan's railway interests. A reorganisation during 1926 led to the retention of the rolling stock group: Metropolitan Carriage wagon and Finance Company and The Metropolitan -Vickers Company and the disposal of: Vickers-Petters Limited, British Lighting and Ignition Company, the Plywood department at Crayford Creek, Canadian Vickers, William Beardmore and Co, Wolseley Motors.
In 1927, Vickers merged with the Tyneside based engineering company Armstrong Whitworth, founded by W. G. Armstrong, to become Vickers-Armstrongs, Ltd. Armstrong Whitworth had developed along similar lines to Vickers, expanding into various military sectors and was notable for their artillery manufacture at Elswick and shipbuilding at a yard at High Walker on the River Tyne. Armstrongs shipbuilding interests became the "Naval Yard", those of Vickers on the west coast the "Naval Construction Yard". Armstrong Whitworth Aircraft was not absorbed by the new company. In 1928 the Aviation Department became Vickers Ltd and soon after acquired Supermarine, which became the "Supermarine Aviation Works Ltd". In 1938, both companies were re-organised as Vickers-Armstrongs Ltd, although the former Supermarine and Vickers works continued to brand their products under their former names. 1929 saw the merger of the acquired railway business with those of Cammell Laird to form Metropolitan Cammell Carriage and Wagon.
In 1960 the aircraft interests were merged with those of the Bristol, English Electric Company and Hunting Aircraft to form the British Aircraft Corporation. This was owned by English Electric and Bristol. BAC in turn owned 70% of Hunting; the Supermarine operation was closed in 1963 and the Vickers name for aircraft was dropped in 1965. Under the terms of the Aircraft and Shipbuilding Industries Act BAC was nationalised in 1977 to become part of the British Aerospace group, which exists today in the guise of BAE Systems; the Aircraft and Shipbuilding Industries Act led to the nationalisation of Vickers' shipbuilding division as part of British Shipbuilders. These had been renamed Vickers Armstrong Shipbuilders in 1955, changing again to Vickers Limited Shipbuilding Group in 1968; this division was privatised as Vickers Shipbuilding and Engineering Ltd in 1986 part of GEC's Marconi Marine. It remains in operation to this day as BAE Systems Submarine Solutions. With their steelworking operations nationalised into British Steel Corporation the remnants of Vickers became Vickers plc.
In 1986, Vickers acquired the armaments manufacturer Royal Ordnance Factory, which became Vickers Defence Systems. Other acquisitions included automotive engineers Cosworth in 1990, waterjet manufacturer Kamewa in 1986 and
A quadracycle is a four-wheeled human-powered land vehicle. It is referred to as a quadricycle, pedal car or four-wheeled bicycle amongst other terms. Human-powered quadracyles have been in use since 1853 and have grown into several families of vehicles for a variety of purposes, including tourist rentals, pedal taxis, private touring and industrial use. There is no consensus amongst manufacturers of four-wheeled, human-powered vehicles as to what this class of vehicles should be called, although quadracycle is the most used term. Manufacturers who do refer to their products by class of vehicle call them: Quadracycle - 11 manufacturers Four-wheel bicycle - 7 manufacturers Quadricycle - 5 manufacturers Quadcycle - 3 manufacturers Pedal car - 2 manufacturers Quad - 2 manufacturersIn addition there are single manufacturers who call them Go-kart, Car-Bike, Ecological car, Human Powered Vehicle, Pedal Kart, Quattrocycle and Twin bike; the earliest recorded pedal-powered quadracycle was exhibited in 1853 at the Exhibition of the Industry of All Nations World's Fair held in New York City.
This was about the same time. Quadracycles were one solution to the problem of low-speed stability in early cycles and were multi-seat models. Both tandem and sociable seating configurations were used. One early design, predating 1869 was the Andrews Quadracycle, built by Andrews of Ireland, it was made from one inch-square iron and was propelled with foot levers that moved in a long horizontal ellipse. The Sawyer Quadricycle was introduced in 1855 and featured lighter construction, wooden wheels, iron tires and front-wheel steering via a tiller. Like the Andrews Quadracycle it was moved by foot levers driving the rear axle. Starley's Coventry Rotary Quadracycle was introduced in 1885 and used conventional bicycle-style rotary pedals instead of foot levers for drive, it was developed from Starley's Coventry Rotary Tricycle design and featured tandem seating for two. The Rudge Quadracycle of 1888 is described as the first modern practical four-wheeler, it had much lighter construction than earlier models, seated three riders in tandem and was steered by levers from the front seat.
Early in the twentieth century Massey-Harris in Canada developed the Canadian Royal Mail Quadracycle. This was used for mail delivery in Toronto as early as 1901; the Gendron Wheel Company created children's toy replica pedal cars up until World War II. Quadracycle use diminished in the late 19th century as a result of improvements in bicycle technology that made their four-wheel cousins obsolete, although small numbers were manufactured through the 1950s for rental use in tourist areas. A resurgence of 20th century quadracycle use occurred in France where Charles Mochet introduced his Velocar pedal powered two-seat quadracycle in 1924; the various models of the Velocar featured wooden aerodynamic bodies and a three speed transmission. Production of final pedal-powered Mochet Velocar Model H ended in 1938, but Mochet went on to become a manufacturer of automobiles; the Velocar proved quite popular during World War II when the French population was under German occupation and gasoline was unavailable for civil use.
Restored Mochet Velocars are still found in France. During the 1970s and 1980s, there was a resurgence of interest in quadracycles as personal transportation, driven by the 1973 oil crisis, environmental concerns about air pollution from automobiles and the search for emission-free alternatives. Modern quadracycles can be placed in six categories: Quadracycles can be found at tourist attractions where they are available to rent by the hour or day. Modern tourist quadracycles feature open seating for two or more riders in a sociable configuration, they are designed to look like early 20th century automobiles with a bench seat, rack-and-pinion steering, a canopy top. They are called "surreys", due to their resemblance to horse-drawn wagons of similar appearance and the same name. Examples of this type include: International Surrey Company Surrey Quadricycle International Quad-3 Rhoades Car 4W4P Sirenetta Similar to the surrey are pedal taxis or pedicabs; these tend to be four or six seaters and are used as taxis, pedaled by professional drivers.
Like the rental surreys, they are found at tourist attractions and in the downtown areas of tourist destination cities. Like the rental surreys, pedal taxis are constructed to resemble early 20th century cars and feature awning coverings for protection from the sun. Examples of this type include: International Surrey Limousine Momentum Quadracycles MQ4 Cabbie Quadracycle Inc QuadraCab Delphino Touring quadracycles are constructed for the personal ownership market and are built to be lighter and faster than rental surreys, they seat one person or two people in side-by-side seating and feature independent pedaling and gear selection. They can have up to 192 gears, giving them remarkable hill-climbing capabilities, they are used for long distance travel as well as local use. Compared to touring or hybrid bicycles, touring quadracycles are more comfortable to ride, can navigate steeper hills more deal with crosswinds better, can carry a much heavier load than a bicycle, they have disadvantages compared to bicycles including that they are heavier, require more storage space have slower cruise speeds, are more complex to maintain, have a larger turning circle.
Unlike bicycles they are vulnerable to being rolled over on fast corners, a low centre of gravity and/or weight transfer by the riders to the insid
London is the capital and largest city of both England and the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans; the City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of the London Assembly. London is considered to be one of the world's most important global cities and has been termed the world's most powerful, most desirable, most influential, most visited, most expensive, sustainable, most investment friendly, most popular for work, the most vegetarian friendly city in the world. London exerts a considerable impact upon the arts, education, fashion, healthcare, professional services and development, tourism and transportation.
London ranks 26 out of 300 major cities for economic performance. It is one of the largest financial centres and has either the fifth or sixth largest metropolitan area GDP, it is the most-visited city as measured by international arrivals and has the busiest city airport system as measured by passenger traffic. It is the leading investment destination, hosting more international retailers and ultra high-net-worth individuals than any other city. London's universities form the largest concentration of higher education institutes in Europe. In 2012, London became the first city to have hosted three modern Summer Olympic Games. London has a diverse range of people and cultures, more than 300 languages are spoken in the region, its estimated mid-2016 municipal population was 8,787,892, the most populous of any city in the European Union and accounting for 13.4% of the UK population. London's urban area is the second most populous in the EU, after Paris, with 9,787,426 inhabitants at the 2011 census.
The population within the London commuter belt is the most populous in the EU with 14,040,163 inhabitants in 2016. London was the world's most populous city from c. 1831 to 1925. London contains four World Heritage Sites: the Tower of London. Other landmarks include Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, Piccadilly Circus, St Paul's Cathedral, Tower Bridge, Trafalgar Square and The Shard. London has numerous museums, galleries and sporting events; these include the British Museum, National Gallery, Natural History Museum, Tate Modern, British Library and West End theatres. The London Underground is the oldest underground railway network in the world. "London" is an ancient name, attested in the first century AD in the Latinised form Londinium. Over the years, the name has attracted many mythicising explanations; the earliest attested appears in Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae, written around 1136. This had it that the name originated from a supposed King Lud, who had taken over the city and named it Kaerlud.
Modern scientific analyses of the name must account for the origins of the different forms found in early sources Latin, Old English, Welsh, with reference to the known developments over time of sounds in those different languages. It is agreed; this was adapted into Latin as Londinium and borrowed into Old English, the ancestor-language of English. The toponymy of the Common Brythonic form is much debated. A prominent explanation was Richard Coates's 1998 argument that the name derived from pre-Celtic Old European *lowonida, meaning "river too wide to ford". Coates suggested that this was a name given to the part of the River Thames which flows through London. However, most work has accepted a Celtic origin for the name, recent studies have favoured an explanation along the lines of a Celtic derivative of a proto-Indo-European root *lendh-, combined with the Celtic suffix *-injo- or *-onjo-. Peter Schrijver has suggested, on these grounds, that the name meant'place that floods'; until 1889, the name "London" applied to the City of London, but since it has referred to the County of London and Greater London.
"London" is sometimes written informally as "LDN". In 1993, the remains of a Bronze Age bridge were found on the south foreshore, upstream of Vauxhall Bridge; this bridge either reached a now lost island in it. Two of those timbers were radiocarbon dated to between 1750 BC and 1285 BC. In 2010 the foundations of a large timber structure, dated to between 4800 BC and 4500 BC, were found on the Thames's south foreshore, downstream of Vauxhall Bridge; the function of the mesolithic structure is not known. Both structures are on the south bank. Although there is evidence of scattered Brythonic settlements in the area, the first major settlement was founded by the Romans about four years after the invasion