Coslinger special HPV streamliner recumbent bicycle
The Coslinger Special Project
In the Summer of 1999, Sean Costin and Thom Ollinger, two of the major players in the HPV racing world, teamed up to produce a new streamliner, which was designed specifically to break 200K sprint records. Thom's brother Charlie performed an immense amount of work to design the body using cutting edge custom designed CAD programs running on a  Unigraphics workstation. The design has only small side windows and a front camera with corresponding LCD monitor for navigation. 
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Preliminary concept CAD design

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Charlie Ollinger lives with his wife and daughter in Portland Oregon. Charlie was possibly the best junior racer in Michigan back in the mid 1970's, having beaten the state seniors champ on several occasions. He's been involved with HPVs since the early 1980s,and was an official at the Portland World Championships. While he now works for ESCO Corp, he designed helicopters for Hughes for 5 years and is one of the world's top guys in Unigraphics. He has made many developments in the UG 3D design process. Charlie is a leader in the design of high efficiency, low HP water propellers for use in human power vehicles and has what might be the world's fastest hydrofoil in his garage, designed to break 20 knots. The Coslinger Special was designed around a 3D model Charlie made of Sean, and everything fits like a glove. The bike is designed for laminar flow, with special consideration given near the ground. Charlie, Sean, and Thom have proven to be a powerful team, as this project is nears it's culmination. 
Most of these pictures can be clicked on for a bigger image.
Spring 2000 -
CAD design of the Coslinger Special has been completed. Thom received the paper templates from Charlie, which enables him to cut the 2" foam sheets into the exact shapes needed to form the fairing. The pictures below are of the the foam sections all cut out and glued together, just before Thom started sanding. The vehicle next to the blue foam build up is Thom's tub bike.
Most of the pictures below were taken by Richard Myers.
After Thom sanded the ridges off, you can see the real beauty of this shape. Does Sean really fit in there? The nose and tail of the final CAD drawing have been extended  beyond that of the original CAD drawing above. In the photo below, the Coslinger special is ready for glass.

Summer 2000 - 
Thom and Sean have been hard at work. Thom has finishes the Coslinger shell, while Sean is hard at work on the drivetrain. In this picture,  the first couple of layers of Russian carbon fiber and kevlar tape have been laid up on the side of the bike.
Time passes... Much dust ensues. This picture shows the 9.5 foot long Coslinger Special shell after having been sanded, filled, and painted:
Now it's time to carve the foam out of the inside. The bottom of the fairing was laid up with many layers of carbon fiber and glass to allow it to be very stiff. This is necessary as the bottom of the fairing is also the frame of the bike. The front sub-frame bolts to the fairing, and the dropouts for the rear wheel are bonded directly to the fairing. After cutting the fairing in half, Thom gazes at his handiwork:
Meanwhile, Sean was hard at work constructing the FWD drive system. Sean has had a lot of experience with FWD, and this latest design looks pretty bulletproof. The welding of the 1" x 2" square tubing front sub frame was performed by Bill Murphy:
The BB was narrowed to 2" to give the bike as narrow a Q factor as possible. Note the huge (80 tooth?) chain ring and gearing step up. This bike has gearing to go 70+ MPH!  coslinger-build7.jpg (31877 bytes)
Richard Myers tests out the battery powered backup camera system. He built the one pictured below with off the shelf parts from for around $220. The primary camera system assembled by Sean uses a bigger monitor and more configurable camera and was more expensive. Remember when your mom said that those video games are never going to help you out in the real world? Welcome to the game "HPV racer"...
Fall 2000-
Time to put it all together! Sean and Thom spent a lot of overtime preparing the bike for an October, 2000 invitational speed run Near Battle Mountain NV. After searching a large portion of the western United States, Matt Weaver has located a very long, smooth and straight and flat road that will provide the perfect venue for breaking speed records. In this picture, the nearly completed bike sits in the foreground, while Thom waits for the epoxy to cure.
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From left to right, The builders of the COS 1:

Thom Ollinger, Richard Meyers, Sean Costin and Bill Murphy.


Sean takes a couple of laps at the Northbrook velodrome with the top off before trying it out with the camera and the top on. Sean estimates he was cruising in the mid 30s without the top. Nice lowracer... coslinger-velo1.jpg (11161 bytes)
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Sean takes a couple laps with the top on, steering by looking at a 4" LCD screen, fed by a small camera in the nose of the bike, eliminating the need for a windshield and greatly improving the aerodynamics. This method was most recently used by Matt Weaver on his Virtual Edge streamliner. The side windows will allow Sean to navigate in case of a camera failure. Thom is giving Sean the international "what gives?" sign, because the two way radio stopped working.

On Oct 1st, 2000, at the BAS ride HPV races, Sean tested the Cos 1 on the Milwaukee mile, in preparation for the Nevada speed run, and proved not only that the bike would be stable at high speeds, but that he could maneuver safely just by looking out the side windows. The battery for the camera system died half way around the 1 mile course, and he was able to navigate it into the pit area under his own power just by looking out the side windows.

On Oct 8th - 15th, 2000, Sean raced this bike at the "Worlds Fastest Bicycle" competition, and had an official speed of 62.83MPH. 

9/2002 Update
In 2001 much work was done by Rich Myers to fix the waves and dips in the body and more work was done by Thom Ollinger and Sean Costin to improve the drivetrain. In early 2002 Sean changed the video to use a camera mounted above the bike. Sean raced the COS 1 at the 2002 Tucker 100 HPRA HPV races in July 2002. Though there was some initial concern about operating the camera bike on a velodome, Sean was able to navigate the course without problem, in heavy traffic.

Click on these pictures for a larger image.

Well, until the camera failed anyway. About 3/4 of the way through the 100 lap race, the camera wires started rubbing on the rear tires and eventually wore through. This caused a camera failure in turn 3, causing Sean to shoot through the grandstand ropes, narrowly missing several spectators, and ending with a 30MPH+ crash into a 3" steel pole. Sean escaped with minor injuries. The bike's aluminum frame was broken at all the welds, and a large chuck of the nose was crunched. 

Sean vowed to have it rebuilt for the September 2002 Battle Mountain speed championships.

Sean and Bill rebuilt the frame and Sean was able to do some training on the bike before the WHPSC (Battle Mountain). With the aid of a computer generated template created by Charlie Ollinger, Sean grafted a new nose on the bike. A Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulation that Charlie performed showed that the bike would be faster with a slightly pointier nose, so the new nose is 4" longer. 
Sean spent a lot of time sanding the newly re--nosed bike, and then painted it just in time for the races. It looks beautiful. Sean will install the backup safety camera in the nose of the bike while at the  Battle mountain races.
Sean raced the COS 1 at the 2002 WHPSC. He ran into some difficulties with the video system which caused him to wait 3 days for parts, but was able to get a couple good runs in during the last few days of racing. Though his fastest run failed to get timed in the traps, later analysis of video footage showed that he was going around 70 MPH. That's 8 MPH better than in 2000! Either the new nose helped a bunch, or Sean was in better shape. Probably both... 


Charlie Ollinger has had several Computational Flow Analysis run on various iterations of his CAD models of the Coslinger streamliner. The pressure chart below is of the original Coslinger special. It was through analyzing these pressure charts that he determined that adding a longer nose would help the performance of the Cos.  

Click on the picture for a bigger image.

Sean sheds a tear while hacking a hole in the COS 1 to add a head bubble. This will allow Sean to race the bike in the HPRA HPV races as the video remote viewing system has been outlawed in those races.

Sean Says: "With racing season finally approaching. I stole a few hours for some head bubble surgery. The result is pretty darn good actually. I trimmed the bubble properly after these photos were taken and it fit extremely well. I did some training in the new upright position and it wasn't too bad. I didn't feel really powerful, but that will come in time."

Here's the front view of Sean in the COS 1 after cutting the hole and raising the seat. The bubble, which was vacuum molded by Garrie Hill from a Varna Mold, is just sitting on the bike to test his fit. Results: The fit is "extra snug", but all his body parts fit inside the bike...
Here's the side view. The Varna Bubble looks like it was made for the bike. Visible through the side windows (and trying to push their way through) are Sean's shoulders. 

Sean says: "This week I plan to redo the lip of the bike with a near continuous flange along the edge of the tub and an upper flange that will be offset that will lock into the inside of the lower flange ala Varna. This will make the bike ready to race for the Indiana HPRA races, then it will just be a matter of little details like mirrors a new rear tire and possible some vibration isolation material under the frame mount."

Thom Ollinger keeps tantalizing me with tidbits of the COS 2 project. Charlie has created a new camera bike designed around Frank Geyer, which is said to be "next generation". It will utilize a new type of front suspension and should be very high tech. Thom and Charlie have sponsors lined up to help with the construction of the bike, which they plan to have completed in time for the WHPSC 2003 event. Time to start building now! Thom! Send Pictures!

cool picture here

More later!

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