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
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)
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.