The year: 1977 – Mysterious space signals, Jedi knights, a famous apple and pioneering ergonomics for truck drivers

    1977 saw the introduction of the Volvo F10 and F12 – two completely revolutionary trucks.

    F10 and F12 – Pioneering ergonomics and safety

    During the 1960s and 1970s, Volvo created a working group to develop safety and ergonomics in its trucks. Among other things, the group went through all truck accidents in Sweden in order to find methods for making future vehicles safer. 

    1977 saw the introduction of the Volvo F10 and F12  - two completely revolutionary trucks. The new F trucks’ cabs were fitted with coiled springs, which increased comfort and made the driver’s seat gentler on the driver’s back, while also reducing other long-term health risks. The steering wheel could now be adjusted to suit individual preferences and the truck’s windows were made larger in order to increase visibility and by extension minimise the risk of accidents. 

    Passive safety was improved through padding in the cab and all sharp objects being taken away. Thanks to the F10 and F12, transporters now had a first-class cab that was not only better for health and safety, but also helped the driver to work more efficiently. Since then, the two F trucks have influenced virtually all trucks produced by other manufacturers. Not least Volvo itself, which has remained one of the leading companies for European design ever since.

    Mysterious space signals, Jedi knights, a famous apple and the first ice breaker reaches the North pole

    1977 was the year the radio telescope ’the Big Ear, operated by Ohio State University in the USA, received a radio signal from outer space. Dr Jerry R. Ehman, who detected the signal, was so amazed that he wrote ”Wow!” on the margins of his report. Wow then became the name of this strange phenomenon, which has never been found again, even though astronomers around the world continue to search for it almost 40 years later.

    1977 was also the year that astronomers discovered five of Uranus’ rings. In fact space was very much in focus overall, thanks to the premier of the first Star Wars film, Episode IV – A new hope. For most of the visual effects, filmmaker George Lucas used the Motion Control Photography technique, where small models are combined with slow moving cameras to create the illusion of size. This would prove to be the beginning of a whole new generation of special effects in the film world.

    Momentous events were even taking place out at sea, with the Soviet icebreaker Arktika using its 75,000 horsepower to break through three metres of ice and become the first ship to reach the North Pole.

    And lastly, 1977 was the year that Apple Computer first unveiled its famous rainbow apple logo and launched the Apple II computer. 

    Text John Andersson  Photo NASA, Rama, Volvo Trucks

    Historic models, Safety, Trucks & technology, Other
    Volvo F10, Volvo F12, ergonomics, driver safety, cab design, history, heritage