Rick Wianecki builds the frank-n-liner recumbent hpv streamliner bicycle
Rick Wianecki builds 
the Frank-n-liner

By Rick Wianecki

 1-Design and mold    2-Fairing      3-Subframe     4-Tub    5-Drivetrain    6-Attach Top   7-Bodywork   8-PreRace
I have been thinking of building a new streamliner for some time now, and have been trading ideas and drawings with Warren and Sean since the beginning of the year (2006). I was talking to Sean and Warren at the HPRA Race Directors meeting in February 2006 about the design and we were commenting on and discussing the shell Dave B had their made from the Momentum molds. 

Sean said that I should consider building a vehicle Frank Geyer could pilot. That planted the seed for this project. On the drive back from Indiana I thought about what Sean had said and e-mailed Frank several drawings of what I was thinking about and asked him if he was interested in the project. 

Frank said he was very interested and could provide parts and support. Frank said he would like to take the vehicle to Homestead in Florida next February for the planned HPRA races and possibly Battle Mountain but mainly he was interested in a vehicle to compete in the HPRA series and be able to do several of the 100 mile events like Black Bear.

I asked Frank to provide some dimensions so I could construct a scale figure to use in the designs.

Once I had the scale model of Frank in my computer I quickly found out that all of the concepts that I had been working on needed to be increased in size for Frank to fit and modified so he could start and stop on his own. Frank also wanted a long wheelbase vehicle for high-speed stability. Several designs were considered including a design with a periscope or camera. 
The bike will be a LWB, RWD speed bike, with a carbon fiber composite tub frame, using a super narrow 2" Phil Wood BB. For now the project will be called Frank-n-Liner 
 The top will slide forward for starting and stopping, and tilt up for ingress/egress.
Several 3D CAD drawing of the designs were created to aid in the bike's construction. Cross sections were developed every 8 along the length of the vehicle
Before starting construction of the bike we wanted to verify that Frank would indeed fit in the vehicle. 6 cross sections were plotted, 3 from the pedal box area and 3 from the shoulder area. 
Once the cross sections were plotted they were glued on to some hard board and the centers were cut out. The pieces were mounted to several 10 long 2x4s with the cranks and seat positioned in their relative positions. 
Frank could sit in the mock-up and spin the cranks and we could check for interference and clearance issues.
I have been a fan of Burt Rutan and his moldless construction technique so I thought if would be interesting to build this vehicle without building any plugs or molds. This should also save some time. 
The Plan is to build an inner skeleton of foam and skim it with foam that will end up being the composite core and structural tub and body. The material I chose for this part of the project is pink building insulation, 4 sheets of and 3 sheets of . The plastic coating on both sides of the sheets needs to be removed before the sheets can be used.
Once the interferences were found the cross sections were modified to increase clearances. 6 34x 96 plots were created of each full sized cross section. These plots were spray glued to the foam sheets 
After the drawings are glued down, they are cut out with a saber saw and a utility knife
Here is a picture of all the pieces cut out and ready to be assembled. There are 16 cross sections, three longitudinal sections and one vertical section. Since the vehicle is longer the 8 the longitudinal and vertical sections each were made in 2 pieces
The parts were slipped together and then hot glued to form the inner skeleton of the liner. 
It is important to keep a constant check on the alignment of the vehicle. It is easy for things to get out of wack. 
Now that the inner grid is complete it is time to cut the foam into 1 wide strips to cover the outside of the inner form. I used a table saw to cut the strips. This was not as easy as it sounds and created a lot of foam dust. 
Here is a pile of cut strips. If I was to do this again I think I would build a hot wire to cut the foam to cut down on the foam dust.
Since I want to use the foam as the core in the final vehicle, I wanted to get it as solid as possible and not have any voids between pieces. I set up 2 router tables, one with a cove and the other with bead to form the edges of the strips. 
The edges of strips were sprayed with glue before each strip was hot glued to the foam skeleton. In areas where the vehicle has a slight curvature like the sides I butted the flat side of the strips together. I also staggered the but joints.
When placing the strips I used clamps to hold everything in place until the hot glue cooled. It is important to keep the hot glue away from the surface of the foam because the outside will be sanded to get a smooth shape. 
This picture shows the transition from straight sides to the cove and bead. 
At areas where it was not possible to stager the joints, small pieces of foam were glued to the inside for support.
At times I used some heavy pieces if fixture angle to hold some of the strips down while the glue cooled. 
Almost finished with attaching the foam strips.
Here is the almost completed body, just a little bit more to go before I can start to sand the outside.

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