The 2014 Plane
If you talk to anyone in the know about aerodynamics, they will tell you that your best bet to improve overall speed is not with the engine but with the planes aerodynamics. To this end the engine was sent to Ly-Con for additional improvements, while Co Crew Chief Mark worked on the planes overall aerodynamics.
Since September 2013 Miss USA has undergone extensive modifications. Co Crew Chief Mark has been working on Miss USA to improve her overall speed. What can you say about a man that undertakes a project to significantly change a Formula 1 plane in one year, when everyone told him he was biting off more than he can chew. Against all odds, and advice, Mark with help from Paul, completed the monumental list of modifications in August 2014, and this year Miss USA is ready to compete with the best.
Congratulations Mark and Paul! Truly inspirational!
The initial work consisted of removal all the outer fabric skin
Its a really good job that this work was undertaken. As Mark removed the outer fabric skin, he found oil contamination damage to the fabric, that could have been catastrophic in the next couple of years.
After removing the outer skin, Mark set about the work below:
1. A new vertical stabilizer and rudder made from carbon fiber
2. A new exterior shell made from carbon fiber
3. A new turtle deck made from carbon fiber
4. A new canopy to go with the new exterior shell and turtle deck
Mark sitting in the plane and Paul working on the new canopy
5. Raked the pilots seat to a better position and strengthened the seat position and backrest, and found that the pilots seat struts had not been fully welded as you can see in the last picture
6. Install electronic ignition
We decided not to install the electronic ignition as we found that we didn’t get any more power out of it. And while we planned to fit a starter motor we decided against it as it didn’t fit well either
7. A new wiring harness for the electronics and replaced the two batteries required for the starter with a single smaller and much lighter battery
8. New aluminum cowling sections to go around the existing wings
9. New carbon fiber top and bottom cowlings with blisters to accommodate the new longer spark plugs
10. Create new plenums to direct the cooling airflow over the cylinder heads more accurately. About 40% of total drag comes form cooling air so, slowing the air by expanding it in a controlled way and directing it accurately is really important.
11. Added extensions’ to the wing root to reduce drag at the intersection of the wing and fuselage
12. Modified the exhaust position and exhaust cowling to help cooling air out of the engine bay taking unwanted heat with it.
After many months of hard work, long hours in the hangar, epoxy fumes, frustrations and little time with his family Mark with help from Paul started to put Miss USA back together. The New Miss USA is Sleeker, weighs less and we expect significantly faster.
Miss USA prior to her drive to Reno and having her vinyl’s added