Carbon, Nomex, and Gaffer tape. World Solar Challenge
Been looking around the Pits at Hidden Valley, for a bit this morning - mostly cos their starting the race rather early tomorrow.
Its a proper job the world solar challenge 3000km of outback to Adelaide. On the open road, a largely unfenced road with cows, roos and road trains.
Flipped by the First Road Train going the other way?
I was chatting with one of the Aussie Arrow team about what happens when a ultra light carbon fiber car with a huge flat solar panel shape reacts to the draft of a 3 trailer road train passing at a closing speed of 200kmh I figured the solars'd be flipped like a leaf in a cyclone.
Apparently however its the cars that are the issue, the road trains slow down. When you've 18 gears and no syncromesh that's very generous.
He did admit that they have stability issues at speed. They're car does kind of look like a wing. Must generate a fair bit of lift. Given like most competitors its build out of carbon covered nomex, held together with gaffer tape, and where necessary straps and string, its kind of scary.
It does appear to be a young person's game the vast majority appear to be universities. A very small number of local (judging by the beards) and me where the oldest people there, and there were precious few of us looking around. This is Darwin, they'll be fishing or in the pubs.
The place was a hive of activity, people with multi meters, people misting (I'm informed by 2 years backs coverage by the register that keeping the panels clean is vital).
On thing I noticed was an absence of big corporate, well anything,some sponsors but no little sign of big money. But no big names were obvious - universities from all over the world.
What raised my attention was 2 years ago, swimming in Berry Springs, I ran into some guy's invovled with the last race. Their hire car was modified, more "geek my ride" than "pinp my ride." Wood cables, guy ropes screens and a weather station strapped to the roof with ratchet straps through the doors.
More Pics here