A shrunken speedster revs up
Posted 07.06.2009 at 10:58 am
Three More High-Speed R/C Racers
Built for Speed: Jack Cecil modified this R/C car, a Traxxas 4-Tec, to get it up to 111 mph Courtesy Jack Cecil
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.
X5: Courtesy Nick Maslowski
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."
Problem Child: Courtesy Mike Ogle
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.