With the Human Powered Vehicle Challenge West competition coming up mid-April, last year’s champions at the Missouri University of Science and Technology are hard at work building this year’s HPV.
Fortunately for us, keeping in touch with Lead Fairing Engineer Jon Sanders means we have early access to pictures of the 2013 HPV coming together. You may remember Jon from last years blog: How Fast Can A Human Powered Vehicle Go?.
According to Jon, because of an improved SolidWorks design of the body, the 2013 “Colossus” HPV will be much more aerodynamic than last year’s “Kronos.” SolidWorks 3D CAD and Analysis software allowed the team to design the HPV and analyze airflow before the physical model was built.
This year, the mold was built using Precision Board Plus PBLT-10 and was CNC machined by Advanced Pattern Works.
After they received the machined Precision Board mold, the team members coated it with 5 coats of a Minwax fast-drying polyester sealer. A Duratec high gloss sealer, followed by an Orange Tooling Gelcoat application finalized the molds. After the molds were ready, the fairings were layed-up using a wet layup and vacuum bag method. Once curing was complete, two picture-perfect Carbon Fiber body halves were ready to be seamed together prior to mounting onto the frame.
Currently, there is much fine tuning being done before the April 12th unveiling of “Colossus” at the NASA Ames Research Center’s Moffett Field. Landing gear (which automatically deploys at the finish of each race), headlights, turn signals and more must be added before the HPV is complete. Check out the Missouri S & T’s Facebook page for more info and updates as the race date inches closer.
Also, be sure to check back here for our after-race update!