Chap. 87: Fine tuning for the 2015 Challenges
Updated April 19, 2015
Alan Smith really wants to win. By January, 2015, we had developed a seatback that allowed the air to flow smoothly past Alan on his Ninja 250 Streamliner.
It was strange looking even to our eyes.
|But it looked promising. Was this worth making? It would take a lot of work. Alan was willing to finish it and then put fiberglass over it, skipping the mold process. That would work but it would end up being heavy and messy.|
Alan went to work generating the shape around one of my original seatbacks
|It began to look pretty good. The finished shape is 2" wider on both sides and more rounded. More frontal area seems wrong. But the tufts are flowing straighter. Arnold Wagner said we needed to do this.|
|We decided to cover the shape with aluminum tape and have a thin mold made over it. I had never done this before but it worked. Ignacio made the mold and a part for Alan to put on his "LowBoy" Ninja Streamliner.|
|We placed the new seatback over my Helix. It was looking better and better.|
We put it on Alan's LowBoy Ninja.
Making a new tail from a seat bulkhead is a relatively easy job. The big question now is how to access what we store in the back. It sure would be nice to have an opening at the side.
Alan and Terry were wondering.
|Assuming that the 17° closing angle would be the best compromise, we made a temporary plywood tray and clipped the back off. We will make the part that continues to a point a separate piece. That way, the pointed section can be optional.|
|Extending the 17° convergence angle to the width of the license plate plus 2" gave us the width of the rear bulkhead. Now we had the bulkheads to wrap our milk carton paper around.|
Alan triimmed the excess milk carton paper to see how it would wrap. Then made an aluminum tray. The Craftsman Laser works well.
|Alan has been thinking about what would happen if he was ever "Rear-ended." It would not be good for the metal tray to be driven into his back. |
Therefore, we split the rear into two pieces, attached with plastic screws. If Alan is rear ended, the plastic screws will shear allowing the extended portion to telescope forward, collapsing into itself.
Think about that when you build your streamliner.
Electric Terry came up with an access hatch:
|This will be good for the groceries for sure. But Terry wanted access to the very back section where he wants to carry lightweight things. Also, he wanted a lockable place to hold his helmet for when he is charging. |
Isn't this the best way to design? We are solving REAL problems as we go along.
End Chapter 87