(this is a slightly abbreviated version of update letters sent out earlier this year to the sponsors of our fundraising efforts for the next trip to the salt flats) Thanks for reading!
Now we have to get serious about the bodywork. Making the bucks and filling in the blanks was the starting point to more effectively improving the aero package and making an improvement over the 212.95 mph run more likely, combined with the extra ballast weight described earlier.
Doug Robinson who worked in the Boeing Shadow Projects area, made suggestions for which airfoil to use and we realized a similarity to the shape of Bill Warner’s bike and the success he has realized was our inspiration to follow his lead. Bill has seen 311 as a peak and 280 regularly with that bike, and while we are way lower in horsepower I’m not certain 280mph is my cup of tea.
Jacki began the profiling and scaling of the airfoil design and as you can see, quite a few steps are involved in the making of the positive shape from which we will pull a mold and then make the actual piece to be bonded to the existing fairing. Making certain we were in out of the wind and still conforming to the rules has been a big part of the process.
Basically we’re using the profile that we want and creating a structure that defines that in three dimensions, first with perpendicular ribs and then we used wire to visualize the curve even more. The materials we are using may be slightly unorthodox (paper mâché and plaster cloth for stiffness before we apply body filler to smooth the rest of it out) but you use what you have to get the job done! Rest assured, it will soon look more like a streamlined motorcycle and less like a dehydrated watermelon.
We are testing the dragbike again on August 3-4 at Byron Dragway in Byron Il.