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Recently a friend of the HeliBars family approached us about machining some custom parts for a school project.  Now, this was not your typical baking soda and vinegar volcano or soda bottle rocket.  Our friend Russ is an engineering student at Villanova University.  His project: a race car to compete in the Formula SAE Collegiate Design Series.  Russ and his teammates designed and built a whole new car from scratch for this years competition, and they did well.  See the car and team on their Facebook page: Villanova FSAE Facebook.

For those that are not familiar with this competition here is a little background from the FSAE website:

The concept behind Formula SAE is that a fictional manufacturing company has contracted a design team to develop a small Formula-style race car. The prototype race car is to be evaluated for its potential as a production item. The target marketing group for the race car is the non-professional weekend autocross racer. Each student team designs, builds and tests a prototype based on a series of rules whose purpose is both to ensure onsite event operations and promote clever problem solving.

Formula SAE promotes careers and excellence in engineering as it encompasses all aspects of the automotive industry including research, design, manufacturing, testing, developing, marketing, management and finances. Formula SAE takes students out of the classroom and allows them to apply textbook theories to real work experiences.

The teams are judged on a design and cost report as well as performance in acceleration, autocross, skidpad and endurance categories.  As students with little to no real world experience it can be difficult to generate a winning design on a tight budget.  This team received a top 30 finish out of 123, with a budget about 3% (that’s three percent) of that of the top level teams, not bad at all.

To the VIllanova team: Congratulations on a great year and good luck in your future endeavors!

Villanova University FSAE Team

Oh, and almost forgot our contribution to the car.  Front and rear suspension uprights, the part that connects the wheels to the suspension. Here are some pics:

Rear Upright

Rear Upright on car

Rear uprights on car

– Helibars Engineering