Jan 16

Jan 16, 2005

Some good ideas:

I have been receiving some very valuable comments from many of you regarding my thoughts about the trans Canada record. Thanks - and don't stop, your comments make me think about things.

Many of you agree with regard to the problems with a three wheeler on the highway and you all seem to agree with the full fairing being difficult to manage in the wind. Some of you do not want to see me abandon the lean-steer trike though, but I just really don't think I can avoid it.

Ben is working on calibrating a CFD (computational flow dynamics) software application to get approximate drag coefficient numbers to determine exactly where the Rocket is inefficient. We have been able to model the Varna Diablo, and a few other 'known' CdA streamliners to verify our results and it's very accurate so far. The result on the Rocket is as follows:

1. Rocket with trike wheels and no canopy bubble: CdA = 1.1 (sq ft)
2. Rocket with trike wheels and canopy bubble: CdA = 0.95 (sq ft)
3. Rocket with no trike wheels and canopy bubble: CdA = 0.43 (sq ft)

This indicates that the trike wheels sticking out the side are worth 45% of the drag of the entire vehicle!!!

The best suggestion so far is from Klass Verzijl from Holland. He suggested that I look at the M5 two wheeled lowracer with a hard nose cone and soft fairing.

According to the M5 web site, this approach is worth about 40 kph on 135 watts of input power and is OK in winds up to 50 kph. That would result in a CdA of between .6 and .7 - very good. Also, it would allow me to remove the soft fairing for windy conditions and would provide me with plenty of storage area if I decided to do the trip solo.

I'm not really crazy about using an M5 because it's very heavy and a rear wheel drive. I would be more interested in a FWD lowracer similar to one of my original prototypes, but with a larger front wheel.

Compared to my M5:

In fact, I should dig up that old FWD prototype, re-assemble it, build a fiberglass nose cone from my fairing plug, add a fabric or neoprene sock and run some tests. Actually, I could add the nose cone to the M5 as well to compare both approaches...


TCR Do LIST:

1. Strut slot sliders - Simplify to a folding cover
2. Canopy Bubble - make a sliding convertible top
3. Front wheel well - Make glass version
4. Wingnuts for fairing mounts
5. Electrical - rechargable battery with a panel with switches for rear strobe and front headlight
6 Add a second front caliper brake
7. Make a portable wind trainer using the (mini-rollers)
8. Look into painting the fairing
9. Find a helmet that fits in the bubble
10. Add second brake

TOTAL distance on TCR1
866 km


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