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Author Topic: Blue Flame question  (Read 7234 times)
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martine
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« on: October 21, 2014, 03:50:37 PM »

Apologies if this has been asked before but...

How many wheels did Blue Flame have and if it was 3, when did the FIA rules change to specify ALSR cars must have 4 wheels or more?
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Martin - Bloodhound SSC ambassador
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« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2014, 03:55:39 PM »

I think you will find it did indeed have 4 wheels / tires. 2 in the front very close together under the nose and 2 at the rear in outrigger fashion.
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Michael LeFevers
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martine
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« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2014, 04:04:32 PM »

Thanks for confirming...I've been poking around the internet and only just found a photo which showed the 2 front wheels...very close together.

Interesting it used rubber tyres...I always though the speed limit for rubber was around 500mph - you learn something everyday.
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Robin UK
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« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2014, 12:09:52 PM »

Martin,
FIA have I think always insisted on 4 wheels which is why Craig's first SoA jet car record (which only had 3 wheels) was rejected by them. But no matter - the FIM cater for 2 and 3 wheelers so his record was ratified by them. And it was faster than Bluebird CN7 before Campbell got his 4 wheel record. But here's a curious thing, Craig set subsequent records with the same car before building SoA Sonic 1 and those records appear in outright record tables. Plenty of posts elsewhere on this forum to illustrate the point that sometimes rules & regulations take a while to be clarified and aligned with use of new technology or step changes in design.

Cheers

Robin
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Phil UK
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« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2014, 04:36:11 AM »

Martin,

The pic below shows how close the two front wheels were mounted. And if you have access to Facebook the Speed Record Club has some great pictures of the Blue Flame previously on show at the Goodwood Festival of Speed here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.656216021074779.1073741833.359703307392720&type=3.

The Blue Flame's Goodyear tyres were good for up to 700mph.

Phil


* BF.GW.jpg (63.82 KB, 666x960 - viewed 283 times.)
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MAYOMAN
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« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2014, 09:53:56 AM »

The Blue Flame, indeed, had four wheels. At the beginning of our design process I clarified with FIA that we could mount the front tires close together. So we did, about 1 inch apart. We also had asked if the two front tires could mount on a common wheel. NO! So the front wheel/tire assemblies were independently bearing mounted on the front axle. Running on rubber tires was never a problem. We had twelve sets of Cragar wheels and Goodyear tires initially. Goodyear spun the assemblies up to 850 mile per hour!
Goodyear’s tire design for The Blue Flame was an improvement on their previous LSR tire. The chief engineer’s comments on the changes: “Different type carcass fabric increased as far as possible for strength to weight ratio, a product called 1260's/3 cord. Breaker cord was smaller cord for less centrifugal weight. More bead strength with a double bead on each side with the number of bead  wires increased to 25x10 approx. Tread compound changed to latest long wear endurance and least amount of co-efficient of friction.”
We lost one wheel/tire assembly when the supporting mandrel broke at speed (I believe a balance weight flew off) on the test fixture. The tire was destroyed but the wheel only suffered some scuff marks. Of course, it was never used after that. We were limited to 700 miles per hour by Goodyear in 1970 only as a precaution, due to our lack of experience at Bonneville. The plan was to return the following year with full power and attempt a supersonic record. One of the tires was used on every one of the 26 runs, several over 600 miles per hour!Two front wheel/tire assemblies were replaced when one began to lose nitrogen pressure. That was probably an O-ring seal in the wheel flanges. Only one leaked but we replaced the pair since it was a time-consuming operation. One rear wheel/tire assembly was replaced after it locked up under braking – while being towed in the pits. The rubber tread was scraped down to the cords. It could have been run structurally, but there would likely have been some imbalance at speed.
The LSR lads who have been running solid wheels may have saved themselves a lot of trouble by running pneumatic (rubber) tires on the Bonneville salt flats rather than having to run at the various desert venues.
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MAYOMAN
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« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2014, 09:56:07 AM »

Here is a nice shot of Gary with the Cragar wheel and alongside The Blue Flame on the salt - showing four wheels. Well, three of the four. You get the concept.


* TBF034 CRAGAR Wheel.JPG (90.09 KB, 700x1000 - viewed 232 times.)

* TBF054.JPG (258.5 KB, 2000x1333 - viewed 237 times.)
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« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2014, 10:29:32 AM »

Thanks for sharing the history on this. Can you describe the front end set up & the geometry involved & if you have more pics, don't hold back on us!
  Sid.
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MAYOMAN
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« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2014, 03:12:50 PM »

The steering consisted of a four-bar link controlling the front wheel assembly. Here is a Solidworks model in The Blue Flame.

* suspension ISO view 1.pdf (140.06 KB - downloaded 240 times.)
* suspension ISO view 2.pdf (136.89 KB - downloaded 181 times.)
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MAYOMAN
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« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2014, 03:15:02 PM »

Two more views of the front steering and suspension. I made these Solidworks solid models from my original blue line drawings.

* suspension SIDE view.pdf (167.18 KB - downloaded 175 times.)
* suspension TOP view.pdf (114.12 KB - downloaded 156 times.)
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kiwi belly tank
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« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2014, 12:14:36 AM »

I figured they would be mounted on the outside, I like that 4 link setup, the whole frame reacts from the action at one end.
The coilover's are at the front?
& Is that a rack & pinion steering the frame or hydraulics?
  Sid.
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MAYOMAN
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« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2014, 11:32:22 AM »

The steering means consists of a Champ Car steering box with a pitman arm mounted in the cockpit. A drag link carries the steering input motion forward through the LNG tank compartment and HTP tank compartment into the front wheel compartment. At that point, the drag link drives linked pivot arms transferring the linear steering wheel input to the closed yoke wheel carriage assembly. It had to be robust in order to control any reverse input from the heavy wheel/tire assembly from the road surface and centrifugal forces at high speed. The spring/shock struts were mounted forward of the wheel carriage assembly.


* STEERING LINKAGE.jpg (251.41 KB, 1760x1173 - viewed 243 times.)
* front coil-shocks.pdf (117.74 KB - downloaded 112 times.)
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MAYOMAN
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« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2014, 11:35:48 AM »

Here is another view of the steering linkage where it attached to the closed yoke steering carriage. Had to break this up to meet the 500kb limit.


* LOWER LINKAGE.jpg (248.03 KB, 1800x1200 - viewed 234 times.)
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MAYOMAN
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« Reply #13 on: October 24, 2014, 11:44:34 AM »

Also, I forget to mention the overall steering ratio was 90:1. The angular steering limit was +/- 1.5 degrees. That resulted in a turning radius of ~1/4 mile. Obviously, not a slalom racer. To turn around quickly at the end of a run, we placed a skid under the front wheels and pulled it around 180 degrees. Not elegant, but worked every time. You can see this on the Youtube video "Break the Record".
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« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2014, 03:40:21 PM »

I had seen that clip before & just watched it again.

 I know now whom I'm communicating with & it's a pleasuer to be in your company.
This stuff is part of history but saddly so much of it also seems to get lost to history. Places like this forum are now keeping this stuff alive but only with the foresight & generosity of people like yourself.
Now that see the 1.5 deg of steering I don't feel so bad about the "whopping" 8 deg I have in my liner. grin
  Sid.
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