26 Oct Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it a BIKE?
Yes, it is in fact a bike. A fast bike. A bike named ‘Bilby’.
(The recognisable bike parts are there, hiding under the aerodynamic shell).
‘Bilby’ has recently broken the Australian single-track vehicle speed record, along with its student team and riders. At the recent World Human Powered Speed Challenge in Nevada USA, riders Kit Kirby and Alastair Haslam successfully hit speeds of 116.39 km per hour and 116.05 km per hour respectively, meaning they are the fastest and second fastest Australian bicyclists! And ‘Bilby’ is the fastest single-track human-powered vehicle produced in Australia.
Monash Human Power (MHP) is the team of engineering students whose goal is to design, manufacture and race the fastest human powered vehicle in the world. Their three vehicles have been named ‘Bilby’, ‘Wombat’ and ‘Blacksmith’ – ‘Blacksmith’ being the original that was developed by students for their Final Engineering project at Monash University, and became version 1 and the springboard for MHP in 2015.
There are now sub-teams of students, including Aerodynamics, Electrical, Materials, Chassis and Drive Train, and Rider Development, who conduct research and development into future versions of the bikes. When not busy with this, they also promote human powered vehicles and their ability to inspire STEAM learning and sustainability in schools.
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