Heliocentric II – Mechanical Specifications

The body of the car is constructed out of several types of composite materials: unidirectional carbon fiber, weave carbon fiber, and honeycomb core. These different materials each contribute to the structure of the car in different ways. Unidirectional is the strongest form of carbon fiber in all directions and is used in the strongest parts of the car. Weave carbon fiber is a common structural component and the most common type of carbon fiber on the car.  The last material, called honeycomb core is used in the outer shell and is extremely strong in one direction but is also used as a functional crush zone when force is applied laterally. The carbon fiber was donated and constructed into the pieces for the frame at Lancair, a kit plane manufacturer located in Redmond, Oregon. They have generously helped us create several types of carbon fiber parts to incorporate into the car and have also donated numerous amounts of material.

Lancair also donated their facilities for the construction of the main body of the car. The molds for this part were also donated by the Phoenix Solar Racing Team. The carbon fiber structure of the car seems brittle but is able to withstand more force than that of many types of metaland is incredibly light. The swing arm constructed for the car is built out of chromoly steel and a motorcycle shock. The driving wheel is mounted into the swing arm.

Our current motor is a “Cromotor”, a special in-hub motor designed to be installed into an electric bike. Our mechanical system, being so light, allows for a motor such as this to work optimally .