In case you weren't aware, U of M finished 3rd in the World Solar Challenge this year, and MSU, well, didn't. Gotta take your shots where you can get them.
I think my push lawn mower has better tires- Yikes.
I bet its more aerodynamic too.
I donated to the solar car, Composite Systems baby
Now I know who stole the tires to my fertilizer spreader...
The UM solar car looks as much better than Sparty's as the football helmets do. Unless you can't see well, it's just another reason that it sucks to be Sparty.
...must have been a night game.
MSU's solar car reminds of that one guy's supped up lounge chair that he got pulled over for DUI in.
I had heard they were contemplating a new logo for the MSU solar car. Looks like it didn't work out.
Man, we're some corporate whores, though. I tell you what. Look at all those decals. Is this NASCAR? Can we get a Wonderbread ad across the windshield?
You whore yourself out to anyone that will sponsor you because its the only way you have a chance to build a competitive car on the WSC stage. You can have a small budget and brilliant engineers, but if you're running cheap solar cells and heavy materials you don't have a chance. Likewise, running with expensive cells, a carbon fiber hull and a lot of corporate stickers means nothing if you're catching more wind than a sail. You've got to have both, and Michigan does.
For the record, I take no offense to your joke. In fact, LOL'd in my head, FWIW.
No worries. I just thought it was pretty Ricky Bobby with not being able to say no to a sponsor. I'm well aware of how such engineering contest work. I was in Minneapolis, staying at their Solar Car guru's house one weekend for work. He'd give me crap about going to Michigan and then I'd reply that he has no chance against our solar car team. Kept him in check really well.
Hah, well, within reason obviously. I'm pretty sure they would reject a sponsorship from Viagra (although I bet Applebee's is fair game). As for Minnesota, they are typically very competitive in the North American race, and generally cool guys from my experiences. They gave Michigan a run for their money in 2005 (lost by 10 minutes IIRC), but they had a lot of electrical issues in 2008. Really though, Michigan is far and away the most dominant team in North America, and a lot of other teams are very frustrated with the amount of resources Michigan has available to them. It helps to have such close ties with the Detroit automakers.
Is there anyone Michigan wouldn't accept as a sponsor if the price was right? "What kind of girl do you think I am, anyway?"
LOL'd in my head
But alas, this is not football, basketball, or hockey, and so this costs a dear good amount of money for us to do. We (And by we I mean myself included) say and believe that there is no advertising in Michigan Stadium for the sake of tradition, but that's probably just because the Athletic Department doesn't need the cash (They make enough off their drink vendor and there stupid MGoBlue Shop). If, heaven forbid, they should ever be destitute for cash, I'm betting that "tradition" is one of the first things to go (That will almost certainly never happen, but I'm just sayin').
In NASCAR, you can do as well as Jimmy Johnson and you won't even break even if you don't have some major sponsorships. That's just the way it has to be sometimes, and cutting-edge solar technology qualifies.
NASCAR is already on my list. Ford Racing took away one my SID the week of opening day. I mean I'm glad for the guy, but dammit, I don't really have a baseball SID right now.
would you want YOUR logo on that thing that MSU called a solar car or would you want it on UM's?
Aerodynamically efficient, carbon-fiber monocoque bodies take money to fabricate. MSU has provided an excellent example of the kind of solar car you produce on a shoestring budget. Sounds like they got shoestring budget results too.
its over a two million dollar project per car (two years). the university certainly isnt shelling out that type of cash
OSU's car is not so great either. Go Blue!
Each model comes equipped with Ping Pong balls and plastic cups for Beer Pong that can be played along the body of the "vehicle" in between major in-race repairs.
I've driven Buicks with hoods this big.
Okay, I'll ask the question:
How the hell do you get in that thing?
The top hatch opens and you gingerly try to squeeze in whilst trying not to step on those very fragile and expensive cells. It can be very tricky, especially for anyone who is larger than your average Pygmy.
Much like concrete canoe, you have to recruit small females to come to your engineering school. Their lighter creating less load on the engines/boat, and often times the best looking girl in engineering. It's a bonus for solar cars because they have to be a contortionist to get in there.
Lets just say you probably wouldn't pick Mike Martin or Brandon Graham to driver it.
tiny, T-rex-like arms could never reach the steering wheel.
That's better than Ray Vinnopal's stumpy legs. He could never reach the pedals!
I understand the purpose of a steering wheel on a solar car.
I understand the purpose of a break pedal on a solar car.
But what do you need ANOTHER pedal for?
Does it make more sun?
Style, baby. Style.
The don't have "traditional" pedals on the car. They have steering wheel mounted speed controls.
Looking at that car makes me feel claustrophobic.
You start with a fiberglass bathtub, attach a 3/4" 4 x 8 sheet of plywood on top, then get a huge plastic trash can, cut some windows out of it and put it upside down on top of the plywood, scribe the outline of the trash can on the plywood, cut the hole, and then attach the trash can with screws. Then scan an image of PV cells, get some large format color copies made at Kinkos and glue them to the plywood. For the final step you install the axles, wheels, pedals, and bean bag chair and you're good to go.
Oh, I forgot one crucial step—go to the HD paint department and pick up a gallon of really bilious Spartoony green paint. You have to make sure it's latex so that it will start peeling off the fiberglass tub about 15 minutes down the road.
Someone should've told them it's better to bring it out on a sunny day.
Sparty only comes out at night because it's too easy for the police to spot them in the daylight.
an award at their homecoming parade. Seriously. That must have been one sad parade.
I was about to say we should cut them some slack since it is their first car but then I looked up our first car. And it is infinitely sweeter despite now being 20 years old:
Am I the only that notices a missed opportunity for a winged paint job?
It has a winged paint job for display purposes. Otherwise, need more room for solar cells.
In response to some other common questions, it doesn't have 2 wheels because the rules say you have to have at least 3, the whole top half comes off so you can get in, the top speed is roughly 90 mph, and I'm pretty sure we've never turned down a sponsorship (hey, $2 million every two years doesn't come easy). The Michigan team has 5 national championships (out of 9 races) and 3 third-in-the-world finishes.
Great post, but wouldn't it be "something for which we can make fun of Sparty"? :)
if my sarcasm meter is on the blink.
I happened across a discussion of sentence-ending propositions while researching the use of third-person plural pronouns as a gender-neutral substitution for singular pronouns. It originated from the English Department at UT-Austin. I can't find it now, but the sense of it was similar to comments by Tina Blue:
Some of the "rules" of English grammar that you learned in school were devised by pedants who believed that English was inferior to Latin and should be improved by forcing it onto the Procrustean bed of Latin grammar. But English is descended from an ancestral German dialect, not from Latin, and certain of the rules based on Latin grammar simply do not fit the structure of English.
She is talking about "pedants" of the middle-to-late-nineteenth century. Writers from Shakespeare to Jane Austin were supposedly little bothered by these types of rules, although I can't think of any examples for demonstration. Probably none of them is as extreme as this one (link):
What did you bring that book that I don't like to be read to out of up for?
Of course, in the office or other CYA situations, the choice isn't ours.
There's a funny joke in here regarding your use of propositions instead of prepositions...it's just too early for me to think of it.
Some of the "rules" of English grammar that you learned in school were devised by pedants who believed that English was inferior to Latin and should be improved by forcing it onto the Procrustean bed of Latin grammar, begging the question: will you sleep with me? No? Hmmm.
But English is descended from an ancestral German dialect, not from Latin, and certain of the rules based on Latin grammar simply do not fit the structure of English, so how about a bit of frottage then?
This thread makes me depressed that I suck at math, as I actually have an excellent grasp of the principles involved. I just can't do the numbers to save my life.
But it does bring up an interesting question. Have any teams ever entered a two wheeled vehicle, or some other nonstandard (not 3 or 4 wheel) drive system to try and reduce drag and friction?
We're working on it....
That would be ideal.
I was actually just very much into the Blue Team at the DARPA Grand Challenge. The concept that a motorcycle under non-standard racing conditions (Ie - Autonomous, Solar, etc) should be able to outperform a car sat well with me.
Students at the student union at State must be pissed they used their ping pong table for the top of the car.
this image of the msu car is unfortunate - the high angle does not allow you to see the driver's feet coming out of the bottom.
I think it would be all kinds of awesome if they had a drag race between the two cars at halftime of the next MSU-UM game.
Quietest race ever!
It'd be like watching a Prius flee a Knoxville gas station.
for the Tennessee reference.
I don't know whether to thank you for reminding me that we're still better than Sparty in something or to curse your name for reminding me of my pathetic existence.
Oh yes, +1. Let us cry together.
I'm pretty sure they designed the zambonis for the Olympic games too...if anyone's been following that mess.
While MSU may not compare to us in solar car racing, they actually have pretty good Baja and Formula racing teams. Just more fuel to the UM vs. MSU stereotypes.
Is that they bought non-Zamboni Zambonis.
You can't beat the real thing.
...new aerodynamically designed exterior...
[Edit: from link above]
remember, they have to work in hiding to avoid Dantonio's rampaging warriors.