Buckeyes, Venturi VBB-3 Set Records on the Salt Flats

Dean Sigler Batteries, Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Take a venturesome electric car developer like Venturi, a Monaco-based firm, and put them together with an enthusiastic group of Ohio State University engineering students.  Exciting things happen. The Buckeyes have tried their hands at racing in many venues.  Their first outing in the 2013 Isle of Man Tourist Trophy Zero gained them a third place finish – followed by another third place outing in 2014, and their tour of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb this year took a mere 11 minutes and 16 seconds, good enough for third place.  They also race in the Formula SAE competition, putting their open-wheel, high-performance cars up against those from 110 other colleges and universities. Turning their eyes from the curves of …

Buckeye Electric Racing Teams Push Several Envelopes

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Despite weather conditions that made hoped-for speeds impossible, the Ohio State University Venturi Buckeye Bullet team set a so-far unofficial one-mile record of 240.320 mile per hour (386.757 kilometers per hour) in their Venturi VBB-3 streamliner.  The aptly named Bullet suffered damage from the rough track because of recent rains on the 12-mile stretch.  Normally, the Bonneville Salt Flats are smooth enough to allow re-use of the vehicle. The Columbus Dispatch reported on the home team.  “’We went faster than we have ever gone with this vehicle, but it was a very difficult week on a very bumpy track and we have done some damage to the vehicle from extreme vibrations,’ said David Cooke, a mechanical engineering graduate student at …

Three Races Going Electric – or at Least Hybrid

Dean Sigler Diesel Powerplants, Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Three major automobile and motorcycle races are adapting electric or hybrid power, and seeing winners in all categories.   The three take place in the month of June every year, making the month a showtime for innovation and a demonstration of incredible driving skills. Isle of Man Perhaps the most dangerous of all events, the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy motorcycle race covers 37 miles on public roads running through countryside and villages.  Over 200 riders have been killed on the course since the first race in 1910.  This doesn’t discourage over 100 riders from qualifying every year and hitting top speeds near 200 mph.  The winning gasoline-powered superbike this year averaged 128.749 during its six laps around the island. By …

Pikes Peak 2014

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Despite only three electric motorcycle entries this year (Zero alone fielded six production bikes last year) of 65 total, and seven automobiles in production and modified categories of 70 total entrants, upsets ensued on both two wheels and four at the 2014 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. The three electric motorcycles all finished and did well. The Brutus V2 is not the most powerful electric motorcycle to ever make it up the Peak.  Chip Yates’ 2011 ride had a 258-horsepower UQM motor and was probably more brutal than Brutus.  But this year’s results, even with far less power, show that weight, balance and handling probably count in the mix, too. Yates managed a motorcycle record of 12.50 minutes in 2011, …

Formula Student Winners Show New Direction

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

First, recall the recent 24 Hours of Le Mans.  The first five finishers out of 56 starters in the race were hybrid vehicles.  Then think of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb this year.  For the first time, an electric motorcycle outpaced all other bikes and one manufacturer, Zero Motorcycles, entered six bikes, three of which broke the existing record for electric motorcycles on the mountain. Now consider an event that is not as well known in the U. S., but which shows the direction that young engineers are taking in Europe.  Formula Student, a competition bringing together the work of 2,000 students from around the world, saw the first two places taken handily by electric vehicles for the first …

Pikes Peak Bikers Are No Pikers

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

100-percent paved for the first time in the 91 year history of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb last weekend,  maybe the road’s lack of flying gravel contributed to the extremely quick times. Chip Yates, who had set a world record for his electric motorcycle assault on the course, did not race this year, probably involved with his Flight of the Century program. This year, Carlin Dunne performed the honor of riding the fastest on an electric motorcycle – a Lightning with an IPM liquid cooled, 125kw+, 10,000 rpm motor, as used, according to Lightning’s CEO, in the Chevrolet Tahoe.   Telling Motorcycle.com, “If it can push a 6,000-plus pound truck, think of its performance in a 500-pound motorcycle.” CEO Hatfield …