With the start of a new summer we’d like to welcome the new crop of students to AeroVelo! You’ve come on board at an exciting time, in the middle of a heated race for one of the biggest prizes in aviation history.
The 2013 AeroVelo Summer Team in our new workshop at the University of Toronto.
This year there was a competitive application process for the summer program, and I’d like to congratulate and introduce (from left to right) Ray, Trefor, Michael, Sherry, Alex, Winta, Marc, Todd, Aidan, Alan, Simon, Aakash and Cameron. I’d also like to congratulate our non-returning team members who have spread out around the world to pursue their passions with summer programs in Switzerland, co-op terms in Belgium and Toronto, and Architectural Studies, Religious Studies and Med School in San Francisco and Ottawa!
Our first goal is to get back in the air with Atlas with our eyes set on the AHS Sikorsky Prize. In addition, the team will be taking on various research and design tasks relating to high-speed streamlined bicycles and other technologies for human-powered vehicles.
The first week we set to repairing Atlas, and with the help of a full team we should be ready for flight as early as next week! The damage to the truss was not as bad as last time, but there were a few other components including the pedal box and some of the spools that needed repair. We’ve also made a few modifications: we’ve chopped off a section of truss to reduce weight (~2.5 lbs) and increase stiffness, which means that the rotors will now slightly intermesh; the rotors’ angle-of-attack have been reduced slightly to correspond to the new optimum after the canards were removed (~ 5% power decrease); and a new set of external bracing lines is being put in to increase the torsional stiffness and reduced the flexing that occurs with abrupt changes in power. Overall Atlas should be lighter, stiffer, and require less power to fly!
Apart from the helicopter, the team is also getting intimately familiar with the design of speedbikes, learning the intricacies of the drive train system, and the unique handling characteristics. This summer the team will be focusing on research in the following areas:
- Camera vision systems and data telemetry
- Shear fluid testing to visualize the boundary layer and the extent of laminar flow
- CFD transition models for prediction the extent of laminar flow
- Sealed wheel wells and low drag ventilation
- Rolling resistance of high performance tires
- Stability and handling characteristics of bicycles
- Lightweight structural panels for bike and aircraft application
- Material testing of high performance composites
It’s an ambitious list, but we’ve got a great team and we’re looking forward to challenge!!