Reg Rodero HPV fairing projects
Reg Rodaro builds the Cuda-W fairing - Part 1 
Reg Rodaro has the HPV racing bug, and now needs a faster fairing. Reg has had a lot of experience building molds for both boats and for HPVs, and does some beautiful and innovative work. He and Warren Beauchamp have come to an agreement to have Reg build the mold for the Cuda-W speedbike fairing. From this mold Reg will build a fairing for himself, under the condition that he makes one for Warren too.  Warren designed the fairing and provided the dimensions to Reg. Reg has now built the molds and is well on the way toward making the fairings. See more of Reg's projects at his web site.
Mold and Preparation Fairing Construction Tub Bike Construction Canopy & fairings

The pictures and text below detail Reg's building of the molds, choice of materials, and some interesting digressions.  

Reg writes: "The numbers from Warren's drawing were plotted onto a piece of cardboard at full size. There were lots of numbers so it went well. First, the side of the fairing as viewed from the top was done. When the batten was bent in this area the side grew about 1/4 of an inch so some of the awls in the 9.7 in widest part were removed. That was essentially a straight line on the original drawing. One point in the center was left and the curve was allowed to fall in till the it was fair and sweet. Everywhere else the points were less than 1/8 from the batten."

"Next the tail section. This area has a concave portion near the back. When the batten ran off the drawing it left about 1/2 inch between it and the center line. On the finished fairing this will be a slightly less than 1 inch flat tail. It was agreed to round this off after the shaping is finished with a 1/2 inch radius."
"Next, the nose and tail of the side view were plotted on the same center line. The nose is quite sharp here and it will be left that way to allow precise measurements to be made in establishing the  symmetrical sections for top and bottom. When all the shaping is complete and symmetrical it will be rounded off and will lose the center line."
A rough drawing of the pedal box was done. It is obvious that 170 cranks are too big and that the very narrow BB will be necessary. A review of the  Q factor page showed that the 155 cranks bring things inside the box. 
A paper man was stuck in the full size drawing to locate the BB position. This was used to confirm the BB location provided by Warren would allow proper foot clearance.

The two side shapes in this photo were used to form a tub for pouring the foam plug. Both sides of the streamliner are identical, so only half a plug is required to build the whole fairing.
Reg writes: "Next 2 part foam was poured into the tub form. A little messy but great fun. Once the foam had cooled and set it was leveled out. Next the top and bottom elevations were drawn onto the foam."
"Once the back of the plug was level it was glassed over to give it some strength for the shaping ordeal." 
"Next, the side shape was cut. Now the shape has both the side and the top and bottom basic dimensions."
"The shape raised a little on the ends so a strong back (boat term) was built to hold it rigid. This produced a stiff but still fairly light piece."
"Finally, some shaping tools were made. One for the Pedal box, (note the curve in that area), one
for the middle section about hip area, and one for the aft shoulder area. These can be slipped over the plug to monitor the progress while shaping the plug." 
"Out of curiosity I placed the new fine entry shape with my long wheelbase lowracer on it for sizing,  next to my 13 year old Velo shape."

"The next phase will be less eventful and take the longest. Making putty and then sanding it into dust. Again and again and again. In this picture you can see that my wife has the new plug on her wagon and is evicting me to the old barn away from the house and shop. She knows what comes next."

"The boat in the picture is an Alberg 30 bare hull. Yet to be built. Wouldn't want to run out of projects"
Reg writes: "I have been sanding almost every day now for about 4 hours. The foam plug is completely formed and I am truing and checking with the templates to get it ready for glassing. The foam plug has to be a little smaller to make room for several layers of glass and then the fairing putty. The fairing putty will be covered with a gelcoat and microballons and will probably take the longest to finish. Following that it will be gelcoated and brought to a high gloss. The mold should go quickly from there"

"In this drawing, the nose section inner line is what was produced from the loftings. On the actual plug it was left it a little fuller ( the outer line) in order to
produce the radius. The actual diameter on the curve is 2 1/2 inches (same as a can of spray paint)."
"The tail section was taken to a 1/2 inch radius. This results in a 1 inch wide tail. "
"The plug is now covered in foam and micro balloon gelcoat bog at this point and can easily be altered. I will be bogging and sanding for many days and am in no rush to complete these areas."
Reg uses plywood templates to ensure that the now almost complete fairing plug matches the original design.
Here, Reg checks the sides of the fairing against the template. 

Wow, it's beautiful!

Reg double checks the top and bottom of the fairing. Since this one pattern will be used to create both the left and right sides of the fairing shell, the top and bottom have to match perfectly for it to all line up properly.
The nose profile is checked for proper width
...and proper height. This will be a pointy speedbike! 
The tail is checked for proper concavity.
Well, now you can see the shape. Reg thinks he will be able to glass and gelcoat this week. It's looking pretty smooth!
Reg says: "After I was satisfied with the plug shape and finish it was coated with Orange tooling gelcoat
The gelcoat was sanded and polished , the middle picture. Most of it landed on the floor but there was a coat of resin rich veil under the gelcoat (a gelcoat substitute) so a nice gloss was achieved.The flange mold strips were installed and 4 coats of mold release wax were applied.Each coat was given several hours to dry. The first layer of the mold was black tooling gelcoat followed by 5 layers of fiberglass mat. After each layer of mat the mold was allowed to cool in an attempt to control distortion."


"This part always gets me...

The mold and plug are turned over and the flange part of the mold unscrewed." 

"Small wooden wedges were driven between the mold and plug around the circumference and water poured in the cracks. After several gallons of water and continued whacks on the wedges the plug floated free."
"Ah! The mold was buffed with rubbing compound and waxed. The plug was placed back in the mold and is ready to go."
Reg completed this work on the plug and then completed the female molds about a month ago. He is now working on an additional top half mold to minimize the part lines. We have decided that even though the molds are in a right and left half format, it will work best to have the fairing split into top and bottom sections. The bottom will be a tub or monocoque style assembly for use with a front and rear subframe. This will allow the rider to sit in the bottom of the fairing and maximize the use of the interior space. We are considering creating two separate tops, one completely enclosed for racing, and the other more open for use on the road. We are now hammering out the details of how to open and close the shell, what materials to use, and other details. Garrie Hill has completed the Varna style bubble canopies. Reg says he'll send pictures as soon as he gets a nice gelcoated part pulled from the mold.
 "I used 4 inch strips of 3mm core on each side followed by 2 inch strips on top of the 4 inch strips.. The hoop over the tailbox opening is 4 inches and the windshield framing is 1 inch. The floor 12 inches of core and runs from the back of the seat to in front of the pedal box. I have pictures still in the camera. Later. The most important part of making this whole thing rigid are the bulkheads at the front and back of the tub. They are very light and thin but do what they do in a boat to stop twisting. I have sectioned of part of my shop to work in and have a stove which makes working comfortable. By preheating the resin and heating the mold I can get reliable curing. Based on the Velo body I may have done more that was necessary. A ride down a bumpy hill will make things clearer."
1/6/04 -
Reg is planning two tops for the bike, one a full racing top and the other a training "practical" top .
Reg laid up a fiberglass shell half in the 'Cuda mold, and laid it on top of the plug to get an idea of what this thing will look like. Here's the first shot of  the top view. Very narrow.
Here's the side view of the shell, with flashing still attached. You can see in each photo that the shape increases in surface area continuously until reaching a point about 3/4 of the way back. This should allow the boundary layer to stay attached for the maximum amount of time.

Reg used gelcoat on the outer surface to give it that pre-finished super smooth and shiny appearance. All of the time Reg spent removing the imperfections really shows up in these photos, as the fairing looks smooth as silk.


Reg has made up some composite sandwich test parts which he is sending to me to verify the materials we will use in the  new 'Cuda tub bike. Why bother with exotic materials if they are overkill?


At the Waterford HPV races Reg and I met and discussed the layup requirements. I gave Reg a roll of carbon Fiber to be used in the new 'liner, and we discussed the methodology of core materials for strengthening the tub. We also checked out Kevin Berls' beautiful new Varna clone tub bike to get an idea of how much material was needed to keep a tub bike stiff. Garrie Hill built the body (tub) of the Varna clone and Kevin finished it with the chassis, seat, etc. We came to an agreement to use something like:

Layer of 1.5 oz fiberglass on the outside (for nice finish and sandability)
Layer of 10oz carbon fiber (for strength)
Core material in high load areas (for high strength)
Carbon Kevlar weave in center section (for strength and crash protection)
Layer 10 oz fiberglass (for strength)

The areas that are not high stress like the nose and areas in the top of the shell will use no core and fewer layers of material to save weight and costs. 

Reg sent some pictures and info about the various core materials that he will be using. The woven material sticking out from the sides of the core material in these pictures appears to be a cloth backing material to which the core material is bonded. Reg writes:

"This is a photo of Divinicell which is 5 mm thick and 10 mm square. This will be used in the nose and tail as the small squares should conform to the shape once the scrim backing is wet out and it is placed under vacuum."

"The Balsa core has the most compression strength of all the cores and I chose it for the structural side members which will have 4 layers of material on each side. I went with 3/8 thick as your fairing is larger than the Varna and I noticed a little flexing on my velo in the mid drive area. It had 1/4 inch also.
The Balsa is cut in 1 inch by 2 inch squares (rectangles) so should conform well in the side flatter areas when under vacuum. A 4 inch strip up each side should be fine and the same in the belly of the tub."
"The corecell (yellow stuff, bottom layer) is a hard rigid foam with no cuts in it. I chose it for the bulkheads which will have one layer of CF on each side and be vacuum formed on a piece of waxed
aluminum sheet"
"Here is a shot of the curing oven. It was 8 feet long so I added a metal box attachment this week so it will take the longer Cuda mold."

On to Part 2 - Fairing Construction !


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