A (rather watery) Weekend at Waterford

This past weekend was the 31st Annual Michigan HPV Rally at the Waterford Hills Sports Car Racing Track in Clarkston, Michigan. And of course, the HPVDT was there, amongst ~35 other new and old faces in the HPV community.

We had a smaller turn out this year than we normally did, but that also means those who came got more time on our vehicles.

This year, we have Bruce, Evan, Sherry, Alan and Calvin:

Bruce, Evan, Sherry, Alan and Calvin at the Waterford tracks. Photo by Prof. Jun Nogami (https://jnyyz.wordpress.com)

Photo by Prof. Jun Nogami (https://jnyyz.wordpress.com)

Packing in the rain on Friday evening:

We got to the Waterford Hills Road Racing Tracks around midnight. We had a lot of interesting looks on the road…

Rider’s meeting, bright and early on Saturday morning.

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Thankfully, it stayed dry for the most part on Saturday.

Calvin gets ready for the first event – the One-Hour Time Trial – in Vortex.

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Here are some of the participants in the One-Hour Time Trial for the Streamliner class:

Our pit crew (you can always trust Bruce to be the goofy one):

Evan and Bruce line up for the One-Hour Time Trial for stock, junior, women and tandem classes:

Some of the other racers:

Don’t underestimate the juniors! They are small but mighty riders!

Alan tries out Vortex for the first time. He’s a natural!

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Admiring some of the other streamliners:

Dinner time! On the menu we have pasta and Calvin’s special treat: baguettes dipped in gourmet olive oil.

Saturday turned out to be quite productive. Every rider got a chance to race and time to practice.

Unfortunately, Sunday turned out to be very rainy. The organizers decided that it was too wet to ride, and cancelled all of Sunday’s events. This is the first time that this has happened in the 31 years this event has been running.

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Photo by Prof. Jun Nogami (https://jnyyz.wordpress.com)

The award ceremony. Calvin got 2nd place in his One-Hour Time Trial in Vortex.

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Photo by Prof. Jun Nogami (https://jnyyz.wordpress.com)

After that, we packed up early and went home.

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Photo by Prof. Jun Nogami (https://jnyyz.wordpress.com)

Despite the smaller than usual turn out and the rain, this was still a fun weekend for those who came. We got some quality practice time in our vehicles, and exposure to the other members of the HPV community. Thank you to all the organizers and the HPVA for hosting. We hope to see you all again soon at the Northbrook/Kenosha Races!

Full size photos: http://hpvdt.skule.ca/waterford.html

HPVA’s website: http://www.recumbents.com/home/

Prof. Nogami’s blog: https://jnyyz.wordpress.com/

PS. Photos from the ASME HPVC are also up: http://hpvdt.skule.ca/asme.html

Disc Wheel Construction

Momin, one of our first-year members, prepares the carbon fabric panels for the disc wheels.

Momin preparing the carbon fabric panels for the disc wheels.

Two of the most demanding structures on Eta Prime are the wheels. Beyond just holding the weight of the rider, the wheels have to withstand impact loading from bumps, pressure loads from the highly-inflated tires, braking and acceleration torques, and immense side loads from the occasional crosswind gust. Add to that list the requirements of a smooth aerodynamic surface and tight tolerances to fit alongside everything else in the vehicle, and you have a very challenging design problem.

Evan lays epoxied carbon fabric panels into the disc face mold.

To meet this challenge, we’re building an advanced composite disc wheel. The discs for the wheels are made with TeXtreme® spread tow fabric to achieve the best strength- and stiffness-to-weight, with local reinforcements of TeXtreme® fabric and unidirectional carbon fibre for improved stiffness and durability. These materials are molded together with a structural foam core to produce a stiff and light disc wheel. It’s a time-consuming process to prep the materials and mold, but this is what it takes to compete with the fastest teams in the world.

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Rohacell® core panels for the disc wheels are shaped on our in-house CNC router to ensure the discs are as flat as possible.

Disc wheel components ready for assembly.

Disc wheel components ready for assembly.

The rims have just arrived from Velocity USA, and our Mechanical Design Group has nearly finished constructing the hubs. Check back soon to see the next steps of our wheel construction process!

Calvin Moes, Team http://sildenafilpharma.com/ Captain

Aerodynamic Fairing Molds

Speedbikes go fast for a variety of reasons, but the most important aspect of a speedbike’s performance is aerodynamic drag. That’s why the fairing is so critical; the air must flow smoothly around the bike to minimize drag. It’s a delicate balance between a variety of competing factors, but – thanks to our partner team AeroVelo – we’ve got the best design there is.

One half of the fairing mold set.

One half of the buying cialis without a prescription Eta fairing mold set.

Todd Reichert and Trefor Evans spent much of 2014 trying to create the best possible aerodynamic shape. They found an optimal balance of vehicle geometry and rider ergonomics that allowed an awesome fairing to exist around the vehicle while still allowing the rider to be comfortable and efficient. Their design is quite literally a work of art. We’re using the same fairing shape for two reasons. First, we don’t have the time and personnel this summer to re-optimize the fairing for a slight improvement. Second, there’s not much to be gained for a team that operates like HPVDT; the fairing fits (or can be readily made to fit) a variety of our riders, and most of what could be improved would detract from this. It’s important to us that everyone on the team eventually has the opportunity to ride the vehicles we produce.

Another advantage of keeping the same shape is that the mold set (also called tooling within the composites industry) for the fairing has already been made. This saves us a huge amount of time, effort, and materials. We’ve just brought in the molds from AeroVelo’s storage facility. Check back soon to see how we’re preparing materials to build the fairing!

Calvin Moes, HPVDT Captain