After a motorcycle crash, Nic Case found a safer, but still thrilling, hobby: building radio-controlled cars. At 161 mph, his latest just smashed the world record.
The 46-year-old eked out extra mph any way he could, including adding an 11-horsepower R/C motor and a 12-cell battery pack normally used in hobby airplanes. He made sure his handcrafted carbon-fiber chassis would generate enough aerodynamic downforce to keep the vehicle on the track, and he designed an all-wheel-drive system to further increase traction. He also used a high-frequency receiver to ensure that he never loses control of the car.
So far, Case has raced it only twice, and he thinks he has a good shot at his ultimate goal: 200 mph. "The car's got more," he says. "I left a lot on the table."
How It Works
Time: 6 months
Handling: The car has no brakes, so Case dials back the power to the motors to decelerate. To prevent flipping, he added a gyroscope-based steering-correction system normally used in remote-control helicopters.
Tires: Case designed oversized tires to improve the airflow beneath the vehicle. Instead of relying on glue, he had the rubber vulcanized to the aluminum rims, "It's one less thing to fail," he says.
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Three More High-Speed R/C Racers
Rather than start from scratch, Jack Cecil decided to rebuild an off-the-shelf R/C car. He upgraded the batteries on a one-tenth-scale racecar and fitted it with foam tires. After changing the angle at which the body sits on the chassis, lowering the rear to reduce drag, Cecil tightened the suspension. He also adjusted the angle of the front tires, which increased speed but hindered stability, so he added fins at the rear to keep it steady. The result: He's squeezed 111 mph out of a car designed to do half that.
Nick Maslowski's background in aerospace engineering is apparent in his flagship car. In the back, tail fins reminiscent of a jet's vertical stabilizers prevent fishtailing. He gave the car front-wheel drive for better control, but there was too little aerodynamic downforce at the front. Above 80 mph, the nose would lift and the tires would blow out. After tweaking the translucent plastic body to boost downforce, Maslowski hopes his tires will hold up past the vaunted 100mph mark. "I'm right there,"he says. "The car's got enough power."
Gary O'Connor's gas-burner has four engines that drive two transmissions and turn a single center shaft. To create the body, O'Connor taught himself how to vacuum-form carbon fiber by watching instructional YouTube videos. The result is not perfect, he says, but it's lightweight and strong, and it helped the car surpass 93 mph.
I would like to know what is the fastest electric car without all the money and gadgets added. I'm talking about an RC car using the hop ups maybe and making ones own tweaks to add to the performance. Anyone can take $5000 and make a RC fly. Not to say I'm not impressed with the 167 record it would be nice to know who holds the record of an out of box RC. I have a rustler that does 10 over the 70 mph from tweaking the chassis and gearing but if I put $5000 into a $300.00 car I'm sure I could add some speed to it.
Very impressive. It would be cooler if he added a small radio camera so you could see what it looks like moving that fast at only 1 inch off the ground.
if he added a radio camera it could knock it off balance and slow it down plus it could wipe out the battery
that is cool, i might try to make it.
very very very cool 161 mph! thats just crazy fast thats faster than a lot of cars thats cool how the world is making stuff never thought possiblea couple of years ago go america yah
That is indeed pretty cool.What is the world record for a "nitro" (glow fuel) powered R.C. car? Maybe I could take three or four jet engines,put them in a full size streamliner,hook radio controls to IT and put the record so far out of reach no one would ever break it.Surely that wouldn't be considered cheating,would it?
out of the box RC cars are not designed to go that fast , the point is he had to solve all the problems associated with going that fast with a minature RC car . Its sweet
great point, steve, and right on the mark.this is probably worked up on nothing more sophisticated than my Unix based pc, and the data is just as relevant as the bigs. wonder if he has tried to interest anyone in his data, like Team N.A.E. is doing. great work, Nic, and great point, steve28.
That looks like a nasty car! I'd love to get my hands on the RC of that one...
Check out more RC Cars at www.Rc-Models.info
As far as expense you don't just double or triple cost to double or triple speed, even with real cars. 120 mph is very easy to attain with today's automobiles, but to go 240 you need a lot of money to get serious hp and you need good aerodynamics to be safe. To go 360 it gets crazy. Cost is not linear but an increasingly sharp curve upward as you increase in speed (assuming the same factor of safety and reliability). Hotrods big and small are expensive projects, especially when you go big.
Im using this article as a report and I was wondering what the range on these cars are. Thanks :)
Although a very cool gadget, the price tag of 4,000.00 is not in realms of the average remote control car that "Dad" and the kids play with on Sundays. This is a serious remote control and not what I would term "gadget". I would be interested to know how much range this little gem gets per hour; how long the tires last and what is the overall life span and replacement costs for parts, including the battery?
Wow this is amazing and to think the humble remote controlled car now travels at a speed equal to the road cars. I am assuming, as I don't know much about the quality and cost, that this is top range and for the serious user.