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Old 01-26-2008, 04:37 PM   #1 (permalink)
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1906 Stanley Rocket, the first automobile aerodynamics testing

Here is an interesting article describing the first time that aerodynamics was taken into consideration when designing an automobile. The resulting car had a streamlined front end, boattail, smooth underbody paneling, and went much faster on much less horsepower than any of its contemporaries. It wasn't until 1924 that another car was built (the Rumpler Tropfenwagen) that was anywhere near as streamlined as the Rocket, but it went the next logical step in aero design by enclosing and streamlining the cockpit.

http://www.steamcar.net/stanley/fastest.pdf

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Old 01-26-2008, 07:27 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hmmmm...

An inverted canoe over a Honda Gold Wing. Fair in the bottom and leave two holes for the riders feet at stop signs.
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Old 02-09-2008, 01:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Canoes are still hard to beat!

Quote:
Originally Posted by basjoos View Post
Here is an interesting article describing the first time that aerodynamics was taken into consideration when designing an automobile. The resulting car had a streamlined front end, boattail, smooth underbody paneling, and went much faster on much less horsepower than any of its contemporaries. It wasn't until 1924 that another car was built (the Rumpler Tropfenwagen) that was anywhere near as streamlined as the Rocket, but it went the next logical step in aero design by enclosing and streamlining the cockpit.

http://www.steamcar.net/stanley/fastest.pdf
basjoos,great article! I have only a small image of the ROCKETand your article has some great shots.I display both a canoe and kayak with the exhibits I do.Along with fish,marine mammals,birds,drop-tanks,and Bonneville record cars,etc.,people start to get the idea about shape and performance.Especially when viewed from above,some of these forms could switch identity and no one would be the wiser.My plan for a single-wheel,bicycle trailer,with photovoltaics,is basically half a canoe,inverted as with the ROCKET,with moveable gap-fillers,between bike(recumbant trike)and trailer.Thanks for sharing that.Wish you the best on your continued progress on the CIVIC,Phil.
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Old 02-09-2008, 03:48 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I liked the simple way the Stanley brothers did their drag testing. Load a canoe on a trailer connected to the tow vehicle by a spring scale, then drive as fast as you can while noting the amount of force shown on the spring scale.
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Old 02-09-2008, 05:58 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I liked the simple way the Stanley brothers did their drag testing. Load a canoe on a trailer connected to the tow vehicle by a spring scale, then drive as fast as you can while noting the amount of force shown on the spring scale.
We did drag testing on an HPV a few weeks ago like that

It's scary getting towed behind a truck with a long piece of rope connected to a fish scale
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Old 02-11-2008, 02:45 AM   #6 (permalink)
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remember the Stanley wrecked.. as with almost all pre mid 1960 cars it took off. streamlined cars had a bad rep in road racing. if you look at them from the side they looked something like wings. look at the vw bug and what it did at speed in a cross wind. after racing lightweight drag racers kept taking off at 120 they tested it. it wanted to lift off. and if a small crosswind hit it , it would. no mater what they did. Americans in the early to mid 60's found out about lift and tuned it into downforce. a American racer and car builder noted, like many others, his new more streamlined car's steering got lighter the faster he drove. unlike all the others he drilled a hole in the body and hooked a rod to the front suspension. that prover that the front was lifting with speed.. he put a wall under the front and found that keeping the air from going under the car was important. it cut lift, drag and gave him more speed. changing it to a snowplow made more drag and slowed him. but it made downforce and helped him corner faster. so many 60's tests have shown that keeping the air out of the under side of the car is a main part of cutting drag on real street cars. there were many write ups and real world testing in sports car magazine in the mid 60's.
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Old 02-11-2008, 06:32 AM   #7 (permalink)
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The Stanley wrecked because it hit a bump in the sand that wouldn't have mattered at 100mph, but certainly did at 150mph. The faster you go, the more sensitive your car is to bumps on the road. A bump that is practically unnoticable at 50mph produces a strong jolt if you hit it at 100mph, and could bounce a lightweight car airborne if hit at 150mph. In 1906, people had never traveled at such a high speed and so weren't aware of how the physics changes as the speed rises.
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Old 02-11-2008, 09:55 AM   #8 (permalink)
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That article is amazing.

The only thing is that it makes me a little sad what people did a hundred years ago that we aren't still doing today!

Some people say that the Model T was a great car, and we have just lost fuel economy since then.

My Dad is building a cedar strip canoe in the back of his cabinet shop right now. It would be funny to sneak over there with 4 wheels and a copy of this article!
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Old 02-12-2008, 02:51 AM   #9 (permalink)
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i have been a fan of the Stanleys for many years. but the rockets speed was a guess. and it was reported that the bump did not just bump it. i think it was lift but how to know for sure?? make a model and test it. never happen unless some one needs a project! i had a long look at a Stanley neat. a local plant kept a Stanley motor that ran on air for fine hosting work up to its closing.

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