Bourn Again

Saturday saw our first test run in a couple of months. The team met early at the department to load Endeavour mkII onto the trailer for a day of testing at Bourn airfield, just a few miles down the road.

We were testing a few things: the new battery pack which is now race-ready, a few different tyres, and the the car’s re-wired electrical system. We decided to test without the shell because A: it’s not fitted to the car yet, and B: it’s not ready to be fitted to the car yet.

 

After unloading from the trailer, the team decides what to do next.

Initial results were promising: the battery (or The Kraken as the electrical team have taken to calling it) provided plenty of power whilst the home-made BMS kept things in check. Once George, the first driver, had made the sure the whole thing wasn’t going to fall apart, it was time to put Endeavour mkII through her paces. Gradually building up speed it was clear that it was going to be a good day’s testing. We spent several hours just blasting up and down the runway trying to avoid potholes and give the battery a good hammering. Nothing went wrong, bizarrely.

 

Cornering speeds were impressive, despite the huge bending moments imposed on the rear suspension

Next came the tyre tests. We tried out our new Sava MC2 tyres for the first time and were pleased with their performance. Coast down tests proved their superiority over our other Michelin tyres, with the Savas rolling 25m further than the Michelins from 6m/s.

 

Good job we brought the hammer

Unfortunately we sustained some minor damage. The driver returned from a lap of the runway looking slightly worried, claiming that “something just fell off”. A quick search of the runway for the offending item revealed it was part of the new carbon fibre footplates, which when missing are only a slight inconvenience. More glue required next time…

After a full day of driving and 2.8kWh drawn from the battery, it was time to load up and head back to Cambridge to digest the telemetry data.

 

Without the shell on, we could probably fit two Endeavours on the trailer.

Lucy Fielding

Lucy Fielding

Lucy was part of the team that designed, built and raced Endeavour in 2009. In spite of this, or perhaps because of it, she has remained with CUER and brings with her a great deal of experience in composites, aerodynamics and lab accidents. Although previously an aerodynamicist, she is now studying for a PhD in Materials Science, but can often be found in the Engineering Department helping with the design and build of the car. Her work on Endeavour’s outer shell manufacture has earned her a promotion to Composites Team Leader, and she looks forward to delegating the sanding to other people for a change.
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