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August 13, 2007
Have started on building Aurora # 6. It should be done in a few weeks. It will have an electric assist and be a forest green colour. Some of the improvements made are: suspension spring and how it is mounted, the lights now all mounted through the shell rather than surface mounted and a bunch of templates that make building it easier.
Will be starting on Aurora # 8 soon. Aurora # 7 is an experimental model using, lower cost glass/polyester hybrid material, glass material and kevlar. It will be a all yellow Aurora. I'll post some pictures of it once it is far enough along. We have another Aurora on order # 9 which should be done in October. The next available on will be in November.
Just tried out the new LED emitter headlights. It was a short test in the parking lot but I am impressed with the amount of light and the run time. The beam is quite narrow so one light is aimed at the ground a bit in front of the velomobile while the other one is aimed a bit higher to light up objects further away. One should have at least 2 hours of run time with both headlights and the turn signals/running lights on. On our first run test with a charged battery we ran for over 2.25 hours before the LED running lights started to dim. To turn the lights on now you need to press a button on the headlight to select the mode so we need to make it possible to turn them on while seated in the velomobile. We will add the logic that is in the headlight to our control module and run a second set of control wires from the lights to the module.
August 29, 2007
Have finally gotten the new velomobile, "Borealis"on the road. It is still very much a prototype which will change a bit it goes it production. I started on this in January had the top and bottom moulded a couple of months ago but never had the time to mount it on the ICE QNT it was designed to fit on. I choose the QNT after trying some other tadpoles. What I particularly like about the QNT is the rear suspension and the indirect steering. I have riden it a few times now and still need to evaluate it some more before deciding if just making a shell for the QNT is a really viable option for a velomobile. While the shell is nice and quite on a smooth surface it is a bit nosiy on a really rough surfaces as vibrations from the road get transmitted to the shell. Suspension on all three wheels would make for a quiter ride on poor surfaces. One big difference from the Aurora is that it feels faster as you are closer to the ground. It is a bit faster on the flat having less frontal area. Its about the same speed going uphill as they both weight about the same.
Door open, to climb in you step over the side onto the ground through the footwells and then sit down. While not as convenient as the Aurora it is still fairly easy to do. Getting up can be more challenging than sitting down as the seat is quite low and the shell is not strong enough to use for support.
View inside the shell with the QNT visible. I have made up full coverge fenders. They seem effective at keeping the water out but have not yet been properly tested. The shell is mounted to the trike at the crossmember and the the pivot point for the rear suspension. It should only take about 10 minutes to attach or remove the shell from the trike.