Technical Information

2011-2012 Bluenose

Bluenose was designed by the U of T HPVDT with the involvement and guidance of Aerovelo team members. This vehicle was intended not only to be a strong competitor and jack-of-all-trades at the 2012 ASME competition, but also to be a serious contended for the World human-powered land speed record. Design strategies from previous bikes were refined and re-applied, including higher-performance mechanical drive design, more effective use of composite sandwich structures, and more advanced aerodynamic shaping techniques for extended laminar flow. Furthermore, practical improvements such as convenient drivetrain maintenance access, dual landing gear system, and positive control with a steering-wheel style yoke rather than handlebars have been implemented.

The manufacturing method of Bluenose is potentially its most innovative feature. Layup was done over a CNC machined styrofoam plug with relief features for the precise placement of structural reinforcements, such that all reinforcements and laminations of varying thickness would correctly build up to the desired outer contour of the shell. Furthermore, the plug was assembled around a precise jig/fixture used for location of internal components co-bonded with the shell layup, which would be used later for more precise integration of mechanical systems as-per the CAD model. Most importantly, the shell was laid up as a single cohesive structure, with the styrofoam plug was quickly removed for recycling (completing the “lost-foam” process). Additional experimentation was carried out this year to determine further lightweighting capabilities with structural foam cores, reducing the number of layers (and hence weight) required to build up the desired thickness.