A 'new' racing concept...the quest for terminal velocity

GspeedR Monday, 7/1/2024

This idea was inspired by BeamNG Drive and the Mythbusters toy car episode. The concept is simple...attain the highest gravity driven speed possible with a 1/64th scale diecast vehicle or "fly" trying. Imagine this: A long, strait, single lane diecast track built on a steep hillside. The drop angle and track length would be extreme with a 65-70 degree drop and a 100-200ft(or longer!) coarse length. The real challenge of the course would be the overall length of the drop, which could be 2/3rds of the total length. The idea here is to allow the vehicle to build up gravity driven speed while negotiating/overcoming aerodynamic forces. Speed measurements could be taken at several predetermined points for comparative data. The Mythbusters demonstration using a leaf blower as an aero-chamber basically showed us how diecast cars are limited by their mass and aerodynamic profiles @ high speeds. Vehicles with square, blunt front ends seemed to hit a brick wall and were actually prone to 'flight' as aero forces increased. Optimally, you would want to maintain higher aerodynamic pressures above the vehicle while keeping the pressure low underneath the chassis. This also presents the design challenge that's very relevant in full sized motorsports...how much downforce do you want built into the vehicle? Lots of downforce would certainly increase your chances of completing the brutal coarse with lower velocity while less downforce would encourage velocity but increase the chance of a flying DNF. 

Obviously, there are some major physical obstacles with building such a track. Judging by what has already been accomplished in Puerto Rico and Indonesia, aluminum would most likely be the material of choice. High sidewalls would be necessary to shield the speeding cars from crosswinds. But perhaps one of the biggest obstacles would be supporting such a structure on an irregular hill surface. The other is the bottom transition which would have to be very gradual since the increased velocity will put more pressure on thin axles. Maintaining and running such a track would certainly not be a one man operation to keep things moving smoothly. We would need one person at the starting gate, one person at the finish gate, at least two mid-course 'spotters' to retrieve DNF cars, and a communication system to link everyone together.

So, whadaya think? Is this feasible??


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alva1370 7/2/24

I’ve wondered about speed also. Gun people can measure a bullet’s speed with a ballistic chronograph. Maybe someone has tried a chronograph with 1/64 cars. 2 seconds to cover 20 feet the speeds would be around 10ft/sec. Do some math and you could get some impressive scale mph numbers. Setting up a track in a flying mile format would be the easy part, I wouldn’t be aiming for terminal velocity, just see who can build a fast track. I wonder if those chronographs can measure 2 or 3 decimal points around the 10-15 ft/sec range. 

Has anyone ever tried this?

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