It would be hard to beat the excitement of last year’s World Human-Powered Speed Challenge, but 2016 held its own, with the team overcoming a terrible speed wobble early in the week, cracking the world record twice, and coming unbelievably close to 90 mph!
On September 19th, 2015, the Eta speedbike blasted down highway SR305 outside of Battle Mountain, Nevada, reaching a top speed of 139.45 km/hr (86.65 mph) and setting a new world record for the third time that week. The effort represents the culmination of a massive amount of work from an incredibly bright and dedicated team of young engineers. For many of the team members it is the fulfillment of a dream that we have been pursuing since early 2009.
AeroVelo is excited to announce a new sponsorship with GMC. GMC generously offered us access to GM’s Milford Proving Ground in Michigan for testing and further development of Eta. It is an amazing facility that covers over 4000 acres and has a seemingly endless variety of tracks, road conditions and specialty surfaces. As engineers, being able to visit and test in facilities like this is a great privilege.
On June 4th, 215 AeroVelo was awarded the Belt of Orion Award for Excellence from Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame. On June 4th, 2015, the 42nd annual gala dinner and ceremony that celebrates achievements in Canadian aviation took place at Toronto's Pearson Airport, and was attended by 375 industry professionals, honoured guests, and aviation enthusiasts from across Canada, including astronaut Chris Hadfield. It was an honour to be recognized along side such noteworthy Canadians, and an incredible experience to be able to share with team members and family.
At last year’s World Human-Powered Speed Challenge in Battle Mountain we proved that our bike Eta is as efficient as we predicted. We finished third overall and reached speeds of 126.3 km/hr, making Todd the 7th fastest human being in the world. We could have done even better had a series of mechanical issues, including broken spokes, blown tires, and a tight squeeze inside the bike-shell, prevented Eta from reaching full potential.
It was a great thrill for us to have Atlas - half of it at least - find a permanent home at the Ontario Science Centre. The Atlas helicopter is far to big for any museum in North America to house it all, so we're still looking for a home for the other half. Read more about the story behind this one of a kind exhibit. After concluding the Atlas project in 2013, we started looking for a permanent home for the helicopter. Early on we found that the Ontario Science Centre has been following our work for several years: they had been interested in acquiring the Snowbird (which was ultimately committed to the Canada Aviation and Space Museum in Ottawa), and were equally-excited about the Atlas. However, after some initial discussion and layouts it seemed impossible to accommodate the entire helicopter in the OSC, and any installation concept would include only half the aircraft. Given that the most breathtaking aspect of Atlas is its size, we had hoped to display the entire helicopter in one piece. Unsurprisingly, after a survey of nearly every aerospace and science museum in North America, it became clear this would not be possible. The OSC is nonetheless an incredible home for the helicopter, given its proximity to Toronto and the staggering number of annual visitors, more than 1 million each year.
We return this week from the World Human-Powered Speed Challenge in Battle Mountain, exhausted, but excited. A series of mechanical issues throughout the week, such as broken spokes, blown tires, and rubbing knees, held us back from showing the true potential of the Eta, but I wouldn’t go anywhere near calling it a failure.
Its that time of the year again. Teams from around the world flock to a small town in Nevada (near the salt flats) to try their vehicle in a challenge to set the human-powered speed record. This is the final test for the vehicle we have built this summer. Upon arriving, the vehicle was nearly complete. Saturday and Sunday, we have been testing out the stability of the vehicle to make sure it is rideable (with only 4 degrees of steering, this was questionable). Sure enough, our design was sound and Todd, Calvin and Trefor quickly got the hang of the tiny amount of steering.
A glimpse into Todd's training program
After years of dreaming about the ultimate bicycle, AeroVelo is excited to finally present Eta: a two wheeled-speed demon designed to significantly surpass highway speed limits on less than one horse power and to break the current land-speed record of 133.8 km/hr. Eta builds off of last year’s Bluenose design (which reached 125.0 km/hr) with several similarities and many key differences.
Welcome to Q&A with me - Victor Ragusila. I am the captain and mechanical lead for the Eta team. We get a lot of questions about our speed bikes, so below are four videos answers to our four most commonly asked questions.
A lot of what it takes to go break the world record at Battle Mountain is the efficiency of the external aerodynamic shape. A huge amount of work had been done to design and optimize the shape of Eta prior to the start of summer to ensure we get the least drag on the vehicle. In this post we will outline the steps we went through in the design process.
Ever had a question you wanted to ask the guys who built the Atlas Human-Powered Helicopter and Snowbird Human-Powered Helicopter? Head over to Reddit on Wednesday (tomorrow) at 7:30 pm and post away! Todd and Cameron will be doing an AMA (Ask Me Anything) where they will be answering your questions about the Atlas, Snowbird, our new project Eta, and other interesting stuff.