DESIGNING A HUMAN POWERED VEHICLE TO WIN THE DEMPSEY-MACCREADY PRIZE

  • J. Reid
  • E. Wang
Keywords: Dempsey MacCready, human powered vehicle, bicycle

Abstract

The objective of this paper is to investigate whether or not a human powered vehicle (HPV) is capable of sustaining 90 km/h for an hour, the distance required to win the Dempsey-MacCready Prize. Three types of vehicles, a standard upright bicycle, a recumbent bicycle, and a faired recumbent bicycle were investigated. The reduction in power requirements due to hills, wind, and elevation were analyzed for each of the three vehicles. It was found that at 1500 m with a 9 km, 1% grade hill and a 10 m/s tailwind over half the course, a healthy male could win the prize with a current world-class HPV. More realistically, however, other improvements in vehicle design will be required to save approximately 100-200 Watts of power.