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Posted by : Ray Wakefield - Date: 06 May 2008 at 11:45

As reported on the News page, 'Motivator' is being modified in order to make it more akin to the machine that Ray Wakefield hopes to drive at Bonneville later in 2008.

They are: -

The most radical of these alterations perhaps is that about 1.25 metres has been cut out of the centre section. This will reduce the wheelbase to around 3.2 metres. This section will however be retained as a 'bolt in' unit that can be replaced without much difficulty in order that 'Motivator' can be once more returned to approximately original length. Thus the useful data obtained in the past will still have some meaning if and when further work is done for either Team Maximum Impulse, or any other team running a 'long' streamliner.

It may also provide some interesting data concerning the merits or otherwise of long versus short wheelbases for two-wheeled streamliners.

Firstly, the front panel was removed, and the whole structure sliced through, just ahead of the fuselage former that carries the footbox. Then the front bulkhead was cut off from the removed section, complete with swingarm, steering etc. Boy, did we make this thing strong and (purposely) heavy originally!


The panel and former were then cleaned up and checked for flatness. Plugs were made to fit in the tubing of the chassis to permit the accurate alignment up the two faces, and the plates drilled to take a series of 8mm high tensile bolts.


A new fuselage former was fabricated, together with a new bulkhead. These, as someone remarked, look like a skinny toilet seat and seat cover. These items were then welded to the ends of the section that had been previously removed after they too had been drilled to allow bolting up. This all sounds quite easy, which it was, but lining everything up using machine levels and gut lines etc was quite a delicate exercise.


Eventually the whole lot was bolted back together with the 'long' (i.e. original) version looking much as it did previously, except without the front panel of the cladding, and the new, chopped version looking, by comparison, rather short.

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