What is the Human Powered Vehicle Land Speed Record? This is the greatest speed that can be achieved using a vehicle that is solely powered by a person. This involves sitting our cyclists in a recumbent bike surrounded by carbon fibre fairings designed to minimise wind resistance. The current record stands at 139.45km/h and is held by Todd Reichert, who rode for Aerovelo (CAN).
How will we break the record? Breaking the land speed record will require a lot of hard work from all the team members. The application of computational analysis tools (such as CFD and FEA) in combination with the use of our wind tunnel will allow us to refine our vehicle design to ensure that our shell is as aerodynamically efficient as possible. Our simulator will be used to help train our rider and give us an indication of the speeds our vehicle can reach. A team of dedicated engineering students are working on the design of the mechanical components of the bike, which will enable our rider to reach his maximum potential.
When and where is the competition? The World Human Powered Speed Challenge is held at Battle Mountain, Nevada. A six mile stretch of straight level road running through the desert is closed to the public for a week allowing competitors to push their vehicles to the limit. The course has been specially selected due to its minimal gradient ensuring that the speeds achieved are only a result of the athlete and vehicle performance. The competition is held annually and we aim to enter for the first time in September 2016.
Who are we competing against for the record? Numerous prestigious universities from around the world as well as private teams are competing to beat the existing record. These include Delft University of Technology, VU University Amsterdam, Portland State University and the University of Toronto. We hope to be the first university team from Australia to compete at Battle Mountain.