Working on aerodynamics – part one

I have completed the initial testing of the V2 tilting mechanism and the results are really satisfactory.

It is now time to move the next phase: adding a fairing to the Low Racer tilting trike.

  • The main reason is to try to improve the efficiency of the bike to be able to improve the overall performances of the complete “solar solution”.

Compared to the previous 2019 bike the Low Racer is already supposed to be more aerodynamic but the real advantage should come from the fairing.

  • Another reason for this is that I have always looked at various temptatives to build a Tilting velomobile during the last few years.

The best example was the “Velotilt” (created in 2014) a fantastic machine that was very innovative and revolutionary: unfortunately last year the project was stopped.

So I have decided to leverage all the experience obtained with my Tilting mechanism to try to come up with a solution including also a fairing added to the basic ‘Tilting Trike’.

Here below I am going to share the following:

– building the preliminary structure on the bike (part one)

– adding the fairing     (part two)

Building the preliminary structure on the bike (part one)

Once the rear structure is sufficiently advanced, the first important control is :

  • to check the “wheels clearance”. 

To do that I have raised the left wheel to the maximum allowed by the tilting unit. 

The right wheel in this case is at the lowest level. 

So we can see here that the support structure should be positioned to leave the necessary clearance. 

Check wheels excursion

Here we see that the left wheel is  almost touching the main aluminium structure behind the seat.

To be on the safe side I have decided to position the suspension arm few millimeters farther. 

This is achieved by tightening the suspension bolt that we can see below the tilting mechanism

Check wheels clearance

Here we see how I have positioned an aluminium flat bar around the left wheel.

This will separate on the external side the left wheel from the fairing.

Notice also the position of the wheel: it is raised to simulate the maximum leaning angle on the left. 

first support left wheel

Here we see the completed left side of the support frame.

There are 2 aluminium flat bar around the left wheel.

Here I am testing the positioning of carbon plates to see how it could be otpimized the rear part behind the seat for charging some bags.

This is also key to isolate the tilting mechanism from external items that could interfere with it.

Another very important criteria for improving the centre of gravity  is:

– “where” to position the lithium battery.

I have decided to use a bigger battery this time: a 52V x 28Ah.

Before placing the order, I wanted to make sure that I could fit a much bigger battery (31cm x 12cm x 18cm) in the ideal position under the seat.

Here I have used a carton box with same size of the battery to verify exact position.

Another important decision is:

  • how to build the structure around the seat.

I have used the holes already existing in the frame to fix the seat.

I have then inserted 2 long (50mm) threaded axles and from there I have attached the aluminium bars around the seat.

Here we see:

– the view from the front where the axles below the seat are clearly visible.

. the view from behind with the support structure for the fairing and for loading some bags.

Another requirement is to have a support behind the helmet for the fairing.

By the way I have already planned to install also a vertical bar (just behind…) that will be the central support for the solar panels.

Here we see that my helmet slightly interferes with this aluminium arch.

Therefore I had to raise it by few centimeters.

 

This is the front section of the support for the new fairing.

Notice:

– two aluminium arches (positioned just above my knees)

– the front ‘nose’: it’s a windwrap from Terra Trike that will be used to support the front fairing. 

Here I am very keen to test the best position for:

  • the front nose
  • the aluminium arches

I had to do it several times….

Here for exemple my knees are too close to the aluminium arches.

Therefore I had to raise them few centimeters more.

 

In the next post I will add the activities concerning 

the actual preparation and installation of the fairing.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Hi Cliff,
    thanks a lot for your appreciation!
    I am glad that you feel better by now and I hope you can have full recovery very soon.
    Here we are still in full lock down and this will last at least till end of May.
    Luckily I have work in this period that I can carry over from home.
    The biggest issue at the moment is about some suppliers from China who are late for obvious reasons: this means that my new AeroTilt project is behind schedule.
    Let me know when you are ready: you can drop me an email so we can discuss about the unit you are interested on.
    Kind regards

  2. Tremendous work! I had inquired some time back about the tilting mechanism (likely V2 at the time), then life and a medical issue took my attention. I have been following your videos and continue to be wowed by what you’re creating.
    I likely have several months at least of essentially quarantine as I had heart surgery in Feb. As we get closer to the end of the plague, I would be very interested in purchasing a V5/6 unit if you will be producing them for sale!
    In any case, keep up the great work – you are bringing to life the dream of every trike rider!

    Cliff Green

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