Blue Yonder Team information

The Blue Yonder Challenge team

This year the Blue Yonder Challenge team, featuring Sydney Olympic Gold Medallist Jason Queally is coming from the UK to take on last years' champion and World Record holder Sam Whittingham and aerodynamicist/athlete Matt Weaver. The Blue Yonder Challenge designer Chris Field of racing bike company Dunlap Hotta is working with the renowned racing car chassis builder Reynard to build an incredible new bike with an aerodynamic shape designed using computational fluid dynamics to slice through the atmosphere at world record speed. 

An artists rendition of the blue yonder streamliner -

Their racer, Jason Queally, is a national hero after winning the Gold Medal in the Sydney Olympics and he is narrowing his focus on this record attempt. The Blue Yonder Challenge will be the focus of a BBC documentary complete with Formula 1 announcer commentary and Helicopter camera coverage. 

 The actual streamliner - Reynard

Vehicle statistics
Size - 3.3m/10.83ft in length, 1.02m/3.3ft high, 58cm/22.83in wide
Weight - 12kg/26.46lbs

August 5th, 2001 - Sean's trip to Reynard
While race organizer Sean Costin was in England for the 2001 World HPV Championships, he had a chance to see the Blue Yonder Challenge in the carbon flesh and meet with it's designer, Chris Field at the Reynard Facility in Brackley, UK. Here is Sean's report on the bike, which he says looks a bit like Rick Wianecke's "Great White" streamliner.

"Chris Field had to work within the requirement that Jason was to have full body clearance around his upper body. No pinching in of shoulders at all. Jason felt that if he was going to generate full power- (an astounding 2200 watts measured shortly after Sydney) he would need this type of freedom. The seat position is fairly upright, simulating an upright position, similar to bikes like the Cheetah designed for upright riders."

"Given these parameters, Chris set out to design the shell around this position. From his 2d drawings the engineers at Reynard created the 3 shell and started CFD testing. After about 11 permutations, they arrived at a final shape. The results surprised Chris somewhat. The nose is much wider the
bottom lower (1") from the ground, and the tail longer than he expected the computers to come up with. The lower bottom even involved adding more frontal area, but the CFD analysis indicated that it would be better. The bike features a head bubble for the rider to see out of. The shape is unlike any
other bike I have seen, but it would appear to be somewhat similar to a Moby but a little taller, wider, higher nosed and with a convex tail section."

"The shell was then CNC'd and a female carbon fiber mold was created, from which the carbon and Kevlar shell was vacuum bagged. The shell has a top that is about 70 percent of the shell and a separate bottom section that will be permanently affixed to the bike."

"The bike design is long wheel base with the front wheel in front of the cranks with some crank overlap. In order to simplify the drive train to get to one chain with no idlers, Chris has had a special wheel built with a larger diameter which will be driven with a 60 tooth front sprocket. The front wheel will be 650 ethro- most likely with front suspension. The frame itself is a very rigid rectangular tube carbon design. with very nice bolt- on component sections for the head tube and crank set."

"The bike is a little heavier than Chris's estimated weight, but I told him that is simply wouldn't matter in Battle Mountain since I added 45 lbs to my bike and it didn't matter."

"Chris, like so many other HPV builders I know, prefers to design based on his own fresh interpretation of a problem rather than consult with others who have experience in the same problems. It is a method that he was very sucessful with in the Hotta bike design and he wanted to apply it here as well."

"Wisely, he has left most of the shape subtleties up to the experts. This will be an interesting test for the efficacy of CFD and CNC milled molds and if they can overcome a large frontal area."

"Frankly I have no idea what this bike will do. I think it will go a minimum of 65 and quite possibly higher, but until it is tested, it is all theory. Chris also expressed uncertainty and was really quite humble about the whole thing-preparing himself for the possibility of disappointment. One thing he
was sure of, It will have the nicest paint job!  It looked like the bike could be rideable in a few weeks. Jason has been riding a recumbent trainer with the same body position, so it will be interesting to see how he adjusts to the real thing."

"The team has access to a nice test track. I told Chris, that whatever he does there, you can add 10mph onto it and that is close to what you will do in Battle Mountain."

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