how about a human-powered dragster?greenspun.com : LUSENET : Junkyard Wars : One Thread
This would have to go as quickly as possible over a short distance (maybe 100 yards) - but without using a motor. The way I'd do it is to have a huge fly wheel. All 4 team members could get the fly wheel spinning like mad (and it would have to be a big fly wheel). Then when the start flag comes down, they would release the clutch and would fire off towards the finish line (it would be brilliant to have gears - but that would be really complex).
Another way to do it would be to have a big weight on a pulley system. Dropping this weight would give really good acceleration (you'd have to make sure that you could release successfully), but maybe you would need pedal power to provide top-up speed.
The boring way to do it would be to have a 4 person bicycle - but hopefully the other solutions would be quicker. Would this make a good challenge?
-- Jakob (email@example.com), September 27, 2000
That's a great idea! We've been wanting to do human powered dragsters for years. Same thing....Fly wheels. We just got done competing in the american series due to show in January 2001. Look for "Team Art Attack". Let's see some human powered stuff on Junkyard!!!! From, Eureka Ca. (Home of Kinetic Sculpture Racing)
-- Duane Flatmo (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 06, 2000.
I'd like to see something on that order, I have competed in Human powered tractor pulling, and won, several times. We weren't allowed to store any energy though. Strictly legs and avoiding the lose of traction, I always managed to go last so the others couldn't copy my technique.
-- Jay McKinney (email@example.com), November 28, 2000.
Instead of a pulling or accelleration contest, how about a land speed run. With suitable bodywork, very high speeds are possible. (the current record is around 70mph). You even get two approaches -- a single rider, with a tiny fairing, making a very small hole in the air vs. a 4 rider machine, that has a lot more horsepower, but has to push a lot more air out of the way. A funtional fairing can be made from recycled political signs in a couple of hours. Same with kludging a couple of bent up bike frames into something to hang the fairing from.
IHPVA rules would be simplest. (no stored energy, land vehicles must have a brake, all vehicles must be operated by someone astride the thing) Determining a winner would take an unused runway (at dawn so there aren't crosswinds to help those with sailing skills), and a radar gun.
-- Jeff - The NERDS (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 29, 2000.