Macquarie's speed team head to Nevada to break world record

Macquarie's speed team head to Nevada to break world record

A group of students from the School of Engineering are on a quest to break the land speed record for a human-powered vehicle.

Macquarie's speed team prepare to race.

The MQ Speed team are heading to Battle Mountain, Nevada, United States, to compete in the World Human Powered Speed Challenge 2017. Here they'll meet international competitors in their attempt to break the world record of 144km/h, set in 2016 by Team Aerovelo from the University of Toronto.

This will be the 18th consecutive year of competition at Battle Mountain, home of one of the straightest, flattest and smoothest roads in the world.

The MQ Speed team have spent over 4 years developing their human-powered vehicle, dubbed ‘MQ1’. Their Human Powered Vehicle (HPV) has been designed and built completely by Macquarie Engineering students using state of the art computational modelling, materials testing and physical testing at Macquarie facilities.

Adding to the support from Macquarie University the team have also been able to secure financial support from Hyundai, Bastion Cycles, the NSW Government and other organisations, which have donated their time, expertise and products to helping the team achieve their goals.

The Human Powered Vehicle is enclosed in an aerodynamic capsule, which gives it around 1/50th the drag of a conventional bicycle. This, combined with high-gear ratios, enables the bicycle to reach very high speeds. The external structure is made of carbon fibre, which helps to keep the rider safe and makes the bike incredibly light. MQ1 has no windscreen; the rider sees via mounted cameras and screens within the shell “this feels just like playing a computer game” says rider Charles Easton-Berry.

Macquarie is the first Australian University to send a team to the World Championships at Battle Mountain, they will compete against teams from other universities such as University of Liverpool, University of Toronto, TU Delft and La Salle Mexico.

For more information visit the MQ Speed website, or the International Human Powered Vehicle Association website.

Published on September 11, 2017.

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