Eureka! (ASC 2014 Day 3)
We are stopped for the night in Eureka, Kansas. We experienced no electrical breakdowns today, except for a blown fuse on the starting line of the stage. We started four minutes behind our starting position in the lineup. We started out fast, going about 50 mph, but ran into about three hours of clouds and had to reduce our target speed significantly coming into a checkpoint at the Wichita Aviation Museum.
However, the weather cleared up significantly once we reached the checkpoint. We pulled in about half an hour behind the University of Michigan, and we got in some good charging. We are also getting lots of rays tonight, as we are charging off of a cloudless sky. We managed to stop for the night in a parking lot across the street from a gas station, the hotel we booked for the night, a pizza hut, and a Sonic, so we were very satisfied with our stopping location! Tomorrow we will continue on to Overland Park, Kansas, for the stage stop. We are hoping for clear skies tomorrow, because the clouds significantly hurt our forward progress and were unexpected based on our source of weather. For the future, we will be diversifying and double-checking our weather prediction sources.
It is hard to quantify how wind will affect Centaurus III. The driver reported some gusts of wind from the side and we had a headwind for part of the time when the weather was overcast. Our fairings were flapping open in the gusts, both natural gusts and gusts produced by passing semi-trucks. Mechanical team completed a short pit-stop to fix the problem. The problem was mostly fixed by moving slower, but now the driver can pull on a rope which will close the fairing doors. This can be communicated over radio whenever the chase vehicle sees them flap open.
We would like to thank our sponsor of the day, Cirrus Aircraft. Cirrus builds personal airplanes and jets, and is located in Duluth, Minnesota. Their airplanes are made of large composite layups, just like our car. We would like to thank Cirrus Aircraft for the use of their mill and the time of their employees in programming it to cut the mold for our shell. It is hard to find a mill that large and Cirrus is a very busy company, so we are immensely grateful that they were able to mill our molds. Our molds were made from high density foam and finished with paint, bondo, lots of sanding, and a final clear coat. Thank you to Cirrus Aircraft!
Everyone is in agreement that our stopping location for the night is ideal.
The Aviation Museum in Wichita was neat, team members wish we could have stayed longer to see all of the displays, but we had to continue on the race!
Arlo also like the checkpoint, because there were about 20 elementary-aged children watching and excited to see the solar cars!
Steph and the rest of electrical team is happy we did not have to pull over for any electrical issues!
Luci Baker and Mason Trang would like to thank the Montreal Solar Car team for $5. Luci and Mason were driving the Truck and Trailer along the truck route and ran into a toll road. Thankfully, the Montreal team was close behind them and lent them the toll. Luci would like to also thank PrISUm Solar Car team because they were on their way to an ATM to get cash after Luci and Mason called for help, and before Montreal was able to get them through the gate!