Sept 13

September 13, 2005

Introducing CriticalPower1.

The name CP1 has been floating around in my head for a while, so for lack of anything more inspired, that's what she's called for now. Critical Power is a term that describes your maximum power output in watts for an exact time period. So, for example, "CP30" would be your maximum average watts produced for 30 minutes.

I pulled the second fiberglass work fairing out of the mold the other day, and it came out quite nice - very surprised at how smooth this fairing can look without any glossy paint. If you look closely at the photos, you can see slight shading differences indicating the glue lines from the mold. This is why I am going to make a plug from the mold, and re-surface the plug, then make new molds.

For now, this work fairing is a very good idea. I can cut holes in it for possible window locations, experiment with my camera and periscope for vision, experiment with ducting for cooling and fresh air intake, do some watts testing and gain some experience riding it without worrying too much about damaging the shell.

I found that it was very difficult to work with the vehicle once the fairings were on - there's just nowhere to hold onto it! So I built a stand that doubles as a training stand. Shown in the photo below the steel stand, is the very slick SportsCrafter MiniRollers for trikes that Michael Hoenig of Hoenig Enterprises gave me. It works GREAT - you simply slide the unit back until the front roller touches the front tire, and you've got a wind trainer!

The bike frame slides down onto two forks on the stand. It suspends the bike above the ground so that the wheels can be removed, and to allow the rider to sit down and get bolted back in. The only problem is, once I get in and the other fairing shell gets fastened to the frame, it has to be lifted up off the stand and set down on the ground. This definitely requires two people.

I really want to try to find a way of getting me going in this with fewer helpers. I suppose retractable landing gear trike wheels is the answer, but I really am trying as hard as I can to keep this SIMPLE. I have so much left to work on still, that adding anything that will not contribute directly to speed and efficiency just has to take a back seat.

The fairing shells are just being held in place with my hand - the reason for the visible seam down the middle. The small window hole in the nose is for the camera. Since I have no other way of viewing outside, I needed something that would work now to get these speed tests completed, and the camera/monitor works good enough to get me around a circular track for testing purposes. Then I will work on some other viewing alternatives. The small window at the side is to help me balance when starting out. The lag in the video system makes slow speed balancing very difficult. Once you get up to a decent speed, the video monitor can be used to see where you are going.

I finally was able to talk to someone at Race City Speedway - the local race track here in Calgary. It seems that they are fully booked up for the month of September, so I can't count on getting out to the track to practice or do much speed testing. They had an opening on Friday, so I'll be heading out to the track first thing Friday morning to see how fast this baby is.

ANY LOCAL HELP ON FRIDAY WOULD BE APPRECIATED!!! If you have Friday off and would like to help out - please give me a shout.

Aside from Fridays testing at Race City, I really need somewhere I can go to just ride CP around to get some specific training time in. I am looking into getting use of the Glenmore Velodrome - an outside, concrete velodrome here in Calgary. Because of the velodromes banked corners, I can't really do any aerodynamic testing, but it would be a great place to get some actual time on CP1.

Here are some additional photos and details:

1. I layed-up the fiberglass shell a bit differently this time, and I think it worked out quite well.

Rather than spend hours wetting the cloth with epoxy as you spread it down into the mold, I layed all of the fiberglass cloth into the mold BEFORE soaking it with epoxy.

To get it to stay in place, a light coat of spray contact cement works very well.

2. This shows all 3 layers of fiberglass cloth placed into position using only a light coat of spray adhesive to hold it all in place.

I chose 3 layers of 5 oz cloth rather than the 4 layers that went into previous fairing shell because I felt the other shell was thicker and heavier than it needed to be.

There are 4 layers at the nose, and the weave on middle layer is at 45 degrees.

3. Ben came over to help with this layup.

The mold was treated with 2 coats of Dupont Teflon rub-on car wax, then 2 coats of sprayed on PVA.

This time, I made sure to spray and coat the mold top edges also.

Wetting the triple layer of cloth took quite a bit of time and loads of epoxy, but it was still faster and cleaner than wetting each layer out as it gets pushed and pulled into position.

I had more trouble with that stupid vacuum bag again!!! Argh!! There has GOT to be a better way!

The problem with female molds like this is your vacuum bag has to fit down into the cavity - which means you need to pleat the bag - which means you get leaks. What a pain.

I ordered some 'Stretchelon" bag material that is supposed to stretch into the cavity - we'll see if that makes the process any easier.

4. I pulled the fairing shell out of the mold with one finger! If I could have tipped the 4000 lb mold over, the fairing would have fallen out!
5. This is a close up of the stand being used with the roller trainers. To better secure the frame into the stand, I insert a short quick release axle through a hole in the frame and fork and the stand.
6. Since the wheel turning wants to pull the roller INTO the wheel, nothing else is required to hold the roller in place. You can even turn the wheel as you peddle.
7. A view from the cockpit
8. One size fits me. Only. Greg B tries to fit into the CP1 frame.


Still to do:

1. Add a rear caliper brake
2. Trace the real perimeter outline using an actual fairing half shell (when I get one!), and cut out the perimeter
3. Edge laminate the perimeter
4. Thicken the frame to avoid using the spacers on the brackets
5. Bond in the bottom brackets
6. Make new remote steering out of carbon and UHMW
7. Bond on the right hand rear wheel dome.

8. Bond fasteners to frame for the left hand wheel dome
9. Add a thin coat of epoxy to the left hand wheel disc because it is not air tight (and fill holes in the dome)
10. New carbon fork?
11. Carbon wheel disc and wheel dome for front wheel
12. TEMP FAIRING (right)
13. TEMP FAIRING (left)
13. Wheel fairing
14. Seat (wait until you know exactly where you want it)
15. Vision system ???
16. Mid drive spider lightening holes
17. Make new plug for body work and new fairing shells.
18. One-man launch / entry-exit system for training????


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