October 18, 2012
One of the major things which the team decided we wanted to update on our vehicle was our slow speed stability system, also known as the landing gear. Although last year's landing gear often worked, it was unreliable and was also heavier than desired.
The team met to ideate on potential landing gear designs, strategies and actuation methods. We came up with a number of designs. Some of the concepts folded up along side the fairing and some stowed inside the fairing. The idea everybody liked the best was based off of a folding music stand (shown at right).
The design consists of two legs which are pivot about points fixed relative to eachother and mounted to a sliding carriage. Each leg has a second fixed support points and is supported by bearings.
When a brake lever on the handlebars is pulled, a cable wrapped on a spool will be drawn in, turning the spool which is on a one-way bearing. This spool will cause a shaft to turn which has a ratchet on it and a secondary spool.
When the brake lever is released, the ratchet holds the position of the shaft steady and a torsion spring resets the position of the master spool on the one way bearing. The secondary spool pulls on a Dyneema rope which pulls the carriage down, deploying the landing gear wheels.
A video demonstrating the motion of the landing gear is shown at left. We really like how this design cleanly stows in the space available behind the rider in the fairing.
We expect to begin construction of the landing gear in the coming days.