Canadian startup AeroVelo is designing a speedbike that targets up to 140 km/h speeds. Will the “Eta” bike break the current human-powered land speed record of 133.8 km/h?
Cycling is the new golf, as businesspeople, fitness enthusiasts and cylists would tend to think. But while most people would go about biking in the city or through mountain trails, a Canadian startup called AeroVelo aims to break the current human-powered land speed record of 133.8 km/h with its new bike design. Dubbed “Eta” the bike is a marvel of aerodynamic and drivetrain engineering, and actually looks anything but a normal two-wheeler.
While Eta may not necessarily start hitting bike shops around the world, the goal of the team at Aerovelo is to “inspire the public and youth, tackle the impossible, and challenge conventional design by doing more with less.” The startup has also taken on a team of students to help in designing and executing the project.
To support its project, AeroVelo has launched a crowd-funding campaign on Kickstarter with a CAD 30,000 goal. To date, the campaign has reched CAD 19,780 — about 66 percent of target — with 60 hours remaining. It should be noted that the AeroVelo team has been behind some successful transport-related projects before, including the “Snowbird” human-powered ornithopter, “Atlas” human-powered helicopter and the BlueNose human-powered vehicle, which reached a maximum of 125 km/h.
The team’s Atlas helicopter actually received accolades, such as the 33-year old American Helicopter Society’s Igor Sikorsky Human-Powered Helicopter Competition. Atlas was able to achieve what was previously thought to be impossible. The team was able to succeed in flying its human-powered helicopter by using cutting-edge composite materials, innovative computational design techniques, out-of-the-box thinking and prototyping.
With Eta, AeroVelo aims to take land-based transport efficiency to another level, with Computational Fluid Dynamics, minimal-loss drivetrain options, reduced rolling resistance and optimal ergonomics. Fabrication will be done through July, and the team hopes to achieve its 140 km/h goal by September.
Will Eta succeed in its speed goal? More importantly, will the design improvements and innovations eventually make their way to cars, planes and bikes of the future?