Look at the design page for info on the plywood velomobile construction.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

The body

Paulus van Staveren build this
body of a rear steered velomobile.
A body of airplane plywood (1.5 mm) can be made without a mold. This is a big advantage for doing it yourself but a major constraint in the design of the body shape too. A plywood sheet can not be bent into a sphere. In mathematical terms: the shape has to be developable.

The aerodynamic drag of developable shape may not be as low as that of a free formed shape. This is the compromise that I make to simplify the building and reduce the body mass.

I developed the sheets of my first velomobile with both a 1:5 and finally a 1:1 model. I simply wrapped paper sheets around curved panels. But this job can be done with a computer model too (for instance with the 3d surface modeler Rhino). I even developed a computer program in Matlab to do this. There is specialized software for hull design: Pilot3D, Delftship.

1 comment:

  1. Very nice results. he velomobile weights only 23 kg!! Amazing

    Emmanuel M. Favre-Nicolin,
    Vitória Sustentável Blog (portuguese)