Just a Quiet Afternoon in the Country

The City of Rolla lets S&T design teams use the Rolla National Airport tarmac for vehicle testing, and Solar Car, Formula SAE Racing, and now the Formula Electric teams have all taken advantage of the wide-open space.

Originally a WWII Army Air Corps training facility, the airport has a long history of hosting general aviation aircraft, business jets and even warbirds. It’s been a take-off spot for the U.S. Army’s Golden Knight Parachute Team on a local jump.
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WWII-era hangars, still in use today, dominate the landscape. A restored Air Force C-47 cargo plane, owned by an S&T alum, sits proudly next to a modern aircraft maintenance facility.
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Sunday afternoon the S&T Formula Electric team ‘took the field’ to introduce incoming freshmen to the joys of silent speed and recruit them to the team. The newbies learned the basics of laying out an autocross track lined by hundreds of SUN_0132orange cones, and got excited about being a part of a real racing team (it’s really a design team, but don’t tell them that). Barring any tied-down Cessnas, Piper Cubs or crop dusters, the aircraft parking areas are the ideal place to test, test, and test some more. Just one rule; arriving/departing aircraft have the right of way. No worries, not a plane to be seen.

Which brings us to the questions…

Do you realize a big private jet can be pretty quiet on landing approach? That if your head is under the hood of your race car, or you’re busy analyzing data on your laptop that you might not notice approaching traffic?
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Nah, that’d never happen!

What a Thrilling Finish to Formula Sun Grand Prix 2015!

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There are no photo finishes in a solar car race. Be it a three-day track race or week-long road tour the winner usually emerges from the pack well before the checkered flag is dropped, so the real scramble is for the runners up. Iowa State, which … [Continue reading]

Got Facebook? Watch the Solar Car Video!

There's a new video on the Solar Car Team's Facebook page! Check it out at Missouri S&T Solar Car Team on FB? (Translation: This elderly blogger doesn't know how to link it into the blog post.) … [Continue reading]

A Solar Car Race and You Want Clouds???

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Who knew? Overcast skies made the first hours of racing kinda slow this morning, but about 11:00 a.m. the skies cleared and the cars really sped up. For a few hours. And then it got hot. Really hot. And the battery packs got hot. Really … [Continue reading]

Tires Are Becoming a Hot Commodity!

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Despite yesterday’s near disaster, the Miners are tied for 3rd place in the Formula Sun Grand Prix. The car is running very smoothly, but the team is concerned about running out of tires. Rumors are the top five teams are chewing through tires … [Continue reading]

Boring = Good. Exciting = Bad.

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...and this afternoon was pretty exciting for the Solar Miners. We’ve already reported that the S&T Solar Car fought its way to the lead and held it for several hours, and that it took a driver change and tire swap to temporarily push them out … [Continue reading]

#42 is in First Place on Lap #42!

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Half way through Day 1 it's an incredibly close race. After about 170 miles/53 laps four teams are within two laps of each other. #42 started fifth in line and gradually clawed their way into 1st place and held that for over two hours, all the way … [Continue reading]

The Evening Before the Race

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Today was pretty laid back. Some students double- and triple-checked systems, a few napped on the garage floor, still others drooled over Nissan’s super car that did two-minute laps on COTA’s nearly four-mile long asphalt. Preparation is the key … [Continue reading]

So, Why the Orange T-Shirts?

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There’s no mistaking the S&T Miners at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA). They’ve chosen function over form, safety over civility, practicality over protocol by donning neon orange t-shirts instead of the now-classic S&T green … [Continue reading]

Solar Miners Nab 5th place in Start Line.

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Three days in Texas are set aside for “scrutineering:” three days to pass seven critical tests or go home empty-handed. Electrical, mechanical, array, battery protection systems, driver, vehicle body/sizing/egress, and dynamics. Day one was … [Continue reading]