Battle Mountain 2013: World Human-Powered Speed Challenge


It’s been an exciting summer, but the fun isn’t over yet! Following the record flight of Atlas on June 13th, the team has been focused on the Human-Powered Speed Championship held each September in Battle Mountain, Nevada. This is where the fastest teams come from around the world shooting for the title of world’s fastest human! The current record is held by Canadian Sam Whittingham at 133.3 km/hr. After a fun packed 35 hour drive the team arrived in Battle Mountain Sunday, ready for the first speed runs Monday morning!

 

The competition runs from Monday, September 9th to Saturday, September 15th, with runs each morning an evening. Results will be posted each day at www.recumbents.com/wisil/whpsc2013/results.htm so you can follow the action! Jun Nogami’s (Faculty advisor of the U of T Human-Powered Vehicle Team) detailed blog posts at jnyyz.wordpress.com/.

Our goal for the second half of the summer was to use Bluenose (our 2012 bike) as a test-bed for several new innovations, while at the same time bringing it up to speed as a contender for human-powered land-speed record. It’s been a busy summer and we haven’t had too much time to report on our progress, but over the next few months we’ll be posting information about our summer research efforts. A few interesting topics include driving purely on video-camera vision (eliminating the draggy canopy), investigation of steering geometry and bicycle handling (Bluenose is now controllable at speed!), shear fluid testing to measure the extent of laminar flow, and rolling resistance testing on ultra low-drag tires. At the end of August we had a rare opportunity to use Ford Michigan Proving Grounds in the spirit of the Ford “Go Further” program, putting the rubber to the road on a massive 5 mile oval to test all of our recent developments.

It’s day three in the competition and both Vortex and Bluenose are feeling pretty fast. We’ve been having issues with the new tires in Bluenose, which are causing some pretty serious instabilities which led to mid-speed crash at 100 km/hr. No injuries and the bike should be repaired and ready to go again by tomorrow. All in all it’s going to be an extremely exciting event, with several teams pushing past 75 and possibly 80 mph!

Comment