The story began here: Part One
When John McCain’s campaign team (working as his Soros/Kerry-financed “Reform Institute”) committed, years in advance, to invent a biodegradable, edible, wind-powered car, it was on simple faith in John McCain. (Specifically, faith in McCain’s ability to provide an ample paycheck, regardless of the practicality of the project, based on the support and largesse of George Soros, Teresa Heinz Kerry and others like them.) But actually producing a wind-powered car was another story and became a major struggle.
In Part One we chronicled the Aerodynamics Team working on a radical new shape for the car and the Structure Team coming up with innovative new construction techniques, including the development of “diet fiberglass” an edible, vitamin-enriched hard candy/cellulose composite material that could be molded into virtually any shape. But the center of the project and the controlling factor was always the “Power Source” and its history was stormy.
The Power Team
The Wind Breaker project went through many Chief Engineers, each one’s failure (and eventual success) depending on how he handled the power source of the car (and, of course how he handled John McCain).
The first two Chiefs wasted fruitless time explaining to McCain the physics and problems of wind-powered travel and how those challenges had been dealt with historically. The first challenge of wind travel is collecting as much wind-energy as possible and the most successful effort historically has been sailing ships. They simply put up expanses of sturdy canvas to catch the wind directly, pulling the boat.
Bill Pace, the first Chief Engineer built a series of sail cars. He ran directly into the second and third challenges of wind travel which are the weight of the vehicle and its friction. Gliding in water a sailing ship’s weight is supported by a relatively low-friction medium. Once in motion, it can “coast,” even if the wind dies, and pick up speed if it doesn’t. But the relative weight and rolling resistance of a land car must be offset by much larger sails.
Pace struggled valiantly with sail design until he ran into the fourth challenge of wind travel: John McCain, who didn’t like the low-tech image of a sail car. He thought they were ugly and didn’t look like a new invention. Pace, on the other hand, was simply following his best scientific leads and simply kept making the sails bigger and the cars smaller until McCain simply fired him, even before he got to attach a cool-looking aerodynamic body shell, and that was that.
The next few Chief Engineers approached the problem with a whimsical naiveté that mirrored the candidate’s proclivities. That helped them bond with the candidate and took the project further from reality, at least initially.
Tom Golding began working with helium-filled bladders to lighten the vehicle. It’s hard to believe looking back, but John McCain actually liked the following design, perhaps because of its militaristic styling.
But the loud “bangs” it produced were not the sound of gunfire, but, rather, the air-bladders exploding when they hit something and when Golding got it light enough that the wind could actually push it, it became impossible to steer and with $147,000 spent on that model, McCain sacked Golding.
Bruce Brasshorse, next up from MIT, realizing the nature of the job, demanded and got a $250,000 guaranteed salary to become Chief Engineer. During his tenure, he spent almost no time at the Wind Breaker headquarters, but designed hot air and helium-lightened vehicles. The first one literally lifted off the ground with the test driver inside, drifted off toward the horizon and burst into flame.
Interestingly, had the driver (turned pilot) actually survived, landed, been beaten up by the local community and spent five years in prison being tortured for his effort, he would have acquired the exact same qualifications as John McCain to be President!
Brasshorse’s second attempt met another kind of disaster. (You might wonder why, given his first attempt and obvious lack of effort, he was even given a second try… But remember the salary guarantee?) In any case, for the second Brasshorse “car,” he installed better safety systems, scaled back significantly on the helium mix, and the car never threatened to float away. But the “balloon” portion of the vehicle had a tendency to “dip” too close to the ground and the women who test-drove it found it inconceivable that anyone would buy such a car. Imagine the following problem in a grocery store parking lot:
Undeterred by failure (remember it wasn’t actually his money) McCain tried to hire famed Italian designer Ettore Guigiuargio. Guigiuargio refused at first, saying, “I am a designer, not an inventor!” But McCain was insistent. This time he wanted a big name. “I just want a concept,” said the Senator, “please, take half a million!” So Ettore became the fifth Wind Breaker engineer. Then he disappeared. To Italy. But McCain was assured he was hard at it every day, working in secret, and completely focused on the project. It was true, and in six months he returned with what turned out to be the best investment the team had made to that point.
Behold! “Wind Angel” by Ettore Guigiuargio:
The design met every single term of Guigiuargio’s contract. It was a concept.
And, in fact, it has now appreciated to an almost $700,000 appraised value… as art.
But McCain could not run on it (or even around it).
Things grew gloomy at the Reform Insittute. After that, the Wind Breaker project went inactive for almost a fiscal quarter.
But it was revived, unexpectedly, by a man named Pablo Gonzalez, who appeared suddenly, without authorization, in McCain’s Senate office in Washington DC. He said he was a University-trained engineer with three degrees. He said he could build a wind-powered car. But what really perked up McCain’s ears was when he said his credentials were undocumented. He could not prove that he went to college or even that he was in the country legally. McCain hired him on the spot. When pressed on his reasons by his staff at the Reform Institute, McCain pointed out that Gonzalez would work much cheaper than the previous engineers. It was true. He offered to be the Chief Engineer of Wind Breaker for $36 an hour. So Pablo took over.
And he worked hard every day.