|Entry #||Driver Name||Car Name||Mass
|8||32||Ray Baker||Lite Ray||202||14||7.25||4.75||7.50||5.76|
Balloon car designer Ray Baker writes:
Used the jet propulsion of the 2 balloons.
None. Very straight forward rubberband and string construction.
Used used-CD's as the wheels to minimize rolling friction. Used styrofoam as the boby for lightness. Was planning to use a helium balloon as the body but its bulkiness and attachment problems caused this aproach to be discarded. Used plastic tubing to form bearings which were lubricated to reduce bearing friction. Used a single CD up front to reduce rolling friction and simplify the steering (to remain on course).
Entered the contest late. Needed a very simple design to complete in time. Only practiced with one ballon. On race day, I did not have a technique to have both balloons fully inflated.
From my entry, I would reduce the exhaust nozzle size, ensure that I could fully inflate the ballons, lastly, ensure that the balloons did NOT contact the wheels.
From the contest, I learned that elastic power is more useful than exhaust power and that the cylinder approach could well be expanded (i.e., the cylinder could be narrower and longer and the axle-to-wheel ratio could be increased).
Unwilling to reveal my next approach since no example of its type was entered this year. Check back next year.
Another entry that I only prototyped and could not finish was an entry for the heaviest vehicle. It involved a change in potential energy (within the vehicle and so may have been disallowed). The idea was to place a heavy object on a platform that was poorly balanced, used the balloons to tip the object onto a lower platform with a string attached to the object and the axle. This worked with a phone book and a handcart. It could be scaled up to whatever weight was needed to win.