The project will focus on the development of the monocoque rear frame/fairing for our human powered vehicle. The project deliverables are the completed rear monocoque, and its viable connection to the front sub-frame.
What is does monocoque mean?
Monocoque (French for "single shell") can be thought of as an external skin, which takes the place of an internal frame, and supports all shear loads. A good example of a monocoque shell occurring in nature is a chicken egg. There is no internal frame, but still supports its body and contents with its exterior shell.
This technique of construction was first widely used in aircrafts in the 1930's. The advantage of creating a monocoque structure vs. an internally framed structure is the loss of unnecessary weight. When constructed properly, a monocoque design can be just as strong as the same design using an internal frame, but considerably lighter.
What is a recumbent bike?
A recumbent bike is a bicycle oriented so that the rider is in a reclined position, as oppose to an upright bike, where the rider is sitting upright.
A typical recumbent bicycle.
"So you mean to tell me that you are going to put a recumbent bike inside an eggshell"?
Well, yes and no. Our goal is to design and build an aerodynamic monocoque fairing (represented by the "egg"), inside which we will attach a custom designed and built recumbent bicycle, all the while minimizing any internal tubing/framing or structure which would otherwise be necessary without the monocoque fairing.
Varna Orphues Human Powered Vehicle. This is similar to the design that we are building.
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