We took the car out to the Maser Academy last week and showed it to over 100 high school students throughout the day. We discussed the mathematics involved in designing the car and what these students could look forward to if they became engineers. We will upload some photos of our visit there soon. We appreciate the students and the teachers at Maser Academy, especially Ted Gilbert for their help in making this visit a success.
We built a carbon-fiber wing to produce down-force on the rear wheels, and wanted to test its strength. It has two aluminum spars inside a wet-layup carbon fiber shell. We built a test fixture to measure the strength of the wing, (painted yellow). It holds the wing only from one end, simply supporting the spars.
The test fixture was welded up and placed on top of a scale. We zeroed the scale with the wing and the test fixture on it.
We slowly added sand bags to the top of the wing. We thought that the wing would only hold about 300 pounds. It was designed to produce a maximum down force of 100 pounds.
Eventually we added all the sand bags that we had, and the wing didn't even begin to budge. Here is what 440 pounds of sand looks like on the wing:
We started to feel bold and that is when we came up with the idea to put people and sandbags on the wing. Here is Ben after he cautiously lowered himself onto the top of the sand-bag pile:
Ben plus sand bags was not enough weight so we decided to add Jeff to the pile as well. Slowly he lowered his weight onto the wing and a small crack was heard, but that was all. This was 851 pounds on the wing!
This wing was built to see if we could figure out how to create a strong carbon-fiber wing, and we are now confident that we can make the new wings for the streamliner. We have been working on the numbers and now believe that adding a vertical stabilizer will be sufficient to maintain high-speed stability without the added down force of rear wings. That will greatly simplify the car. The vertical stabilizer will be of this carbon-fiber and aluminum construction.
The student SAE organization asked if we would put the Streamliner in the Homecoming Parade with their other cars. It was a pretty good time. I was a bit surprised at the number of spectators. We did get quite a few cheers, though people seemed to be more interested in the electric loveseats crashing our party from behind. No worries, it was a good day and good for publicity.
Recently, well that is a bit loose I suppose, we were working on getting our center of gravity calculations going. In order to do so we needed to put the car on it's side on the scales. Here is a shot of the process. Dax was the brave one (and closest to the weight of JIm Burkdoll) who was willing to sit in the car in this position!
Currently (no electric puns around here!) we are waiting on the data from our CFD analysis so we can decide on modifications. Jeff Baxter is working on a new speedometer. We are also modifying our transporter trailer to hold the car the other direction.
Just for fun here is a picture (sorry for the quality, its a phone camera) of four Streamliner Team Captains:
Mike Baxter, Jeff Baxter, Taylor Newell, Kelly Hales
There were many more in between and Jeff was captain two different periods
We are work in the race shop on Thursday evenings from 5-8PM if you want to come join us or see the progress stop by.