The team is again making a carbon fiber fairing for the vehicle. After a semester of design and CFD analysis, the results are pretty interesting. This year’s fairing has 33% less drag than last year’s in windless conditions. We also ran a simulation of the fairing in a 9.4mph crosswind and found that, in this scenario, the fairing acts as a sail and actually pushes the vehicle forward.
The fairing this year will feature a large front hatch, which contains the windshield as well as a rear hatch for grocery storage. The front hatch will be asymmetrical to allow the rider to have easy access in and out of the vehicle.
The fairing will also have a reinforced section, which includes the roll bar and safety for the rider’s legs. The design is very close to a monocoque design, which integrates the frame into the fairing to reduce weight and may be the direction the team takes in the future.
The fairing will be fabricated using a fiberglass female mold. The fiberglass will be layed up and shaped around molds made from polyurethane tooling board, which was donated by Coastal Enterprises with the help of the Missouri S&T Human Powered Vehicle Team. The molds were beautifully CNC machined by Sub-Zero Inc, which saved us days’ worth of sanding. Once completed, the fiberglass molds will be used as the female mold for the final carbon fiber layups.
This year we have greatly improved our fabrication techniques, allowing us to better control the final shape, smoothness, and weight of the fairing. Hopefully these improvements will allow the team to reach its goal of a top speed of 50 mph.
Huge thanks to Coastal Enterprises, Sub Zero, and the Missouri S&T Human Powered Vehicle Team!