December 2012 - Newsletter
A big howdy to all our project sponsors, 1000 MPH Club members, supporters and followers. Welcome to our December newsletter and thank you all for your involvement or interest in our epic journey for the World Land Speed Record, and our mission to become the first team in history to reach the holy grail of motor racing and the greatest achievement since the invention of the wheel… 1,000 mph.
Unpacking from our latest trip
This month started with the return of our shipping container from Sydney where we appeared with our stand up image of Aussie Invader 5R, our B3 rocket motor and as a world first our 1,000 mph wheel, developed by my loyal team of professional design engineers, John Ackroyd, Ben Parry, Leon Eversfield from Aeromechanics and Ayrton Sue of AAE.
Rosco revealing the 1,000 mph wheel to the media at the Australian International Motor Show
Their work was complemented by the professional machining work performed by Veem Engineering in Perth, Western Australia and the great aerospace 7000 series aluminium product from our great sponsors Calm Aluminium.
There were a thousand follow up jobs from Sydney and this has taken up a big chunk of my teams month with phone calls, meetings and design work to carry us into our next phase of this great project.
Rocket engine firing getting closer
Our goal over the next couple of weeks is to complete and test our torch ignitor which is currently being set up on a test jig ready for transportation to a remote quarry in our hills area, this should be quite an exciting test program and a lot of the components for this ignitor have been developed by my team and needs to perform perfectly to guarantee a failsafe ignition sequence for our motor.
Chris Demunck and Ivan working on the torch ignitor test rig
This torch ignitor is in essence a small rocket motor that fires the main motor. We are experimenting with several different propellants to achieve the best and simplest operation. More on this next month.
Great Foresight by "INSIGHT"
While we were in Sydney we arranged to meet with Martin Reed, CEO of Perth-based strategic grants and incentives company "INSIGHT". Martin was over there visiting some clients and after seeing our display, seemed to be pretty excited about what we're up to. When we got back to Perth we met with Dave Hutson who works with Martin and following that visit and another meeting or two, we're really excited to announce that Insight are now a Proud Sponsor of Aussie Invader.
Rosco with Dave Hutson of Insight at the workshop
These guys are experts at helping Innovative organisations like ours get the most of the Australian Government Funding available each year to promote Innovation and R&D. Australia isn't the cheapest place in the world to build anything but there are plenty of smart people here and without the help of guys like Martin and Dave, many a brilliant ideas would slip through the cracks. They're on the job with us now and have even given us the honour of mentioning their Sponsorship in their email signature! Now that's Innovative! If you could do with the help of guys like Martin and Dave, tell them Rosco sent you.
NKH/INSIGHT Event at Frasers
Our shiny new Sponsor INSIGHT asked us to attend an information evening at the amazing Frasers Restaurant with their friends and partners NKH Financial Services. NKH has four divisions and offer everything from business advice and accounting services to superannuation and capital raisings. We were really impressed with the knowledge these guys have, they are smart cookies. I gave a bit of an information session on what we're up to and the impressive group of local companies in the room seemed to like what we were saying, enjoyed our amazing Unique 8 animation and our Spark 1:43 model of the car. After the session, we had a good chat to one of their Directors, Steve Gava who's coming to see us real soon and we hope to be working together with NKH in the not too distant future.
Where are we going to run the car?
After being asked 200,000 times during the Sydney Motor Show where are you going to run your race, the team decided it is now time to make that decision. Obviously we would all like to run in Australia but very few people can even imagine just how isolated outback Australia is, getting into remote areas with hundreds of kilometres of goat track for a road, zero infrastructure to support a team once you are there and couple this with the heat and bloody flies, it actually brings a lot of tough people to tears..
We have been working with Queensland Tourism to inspect and possibly negotiate a deal to run on a Claypan in their states far south west. Our long time team member Mike Annear located an area that could prove to be the world's fastest racetrack whilst flying from Darwin to Sydney several years ago. As this area has seen an abundance of rain over the past 3 years it was not on our teams radar to even consider investigating this venue until now.
Some of the advantages of running our race in the US would be, sealed roads to within metres of our race venue, reduced aero drag on our vehicle due to the higher altitude, accommodation, machine shops and infrastructure all within 50 miles... and best of all no bloody flies.
As mentioned Australia is where we want to run, hopefully we can make a final decision on venue choice within the next few months. Thank you Matt Bron from Queensland Tourism for your great support.
ABC's Catalyst visits us in Perth
We have just completed a story for a TV program called Catalyst which is shown on Australia's national broadcaster, ABC. This once again required a mammoth effort from our team to fully assemble our racecar and make sure she was presented in her prettiest condition.
The decision was made to paint the car, fit her out with a windshield, mount our 1,000 mph wheels and refit all of the parts and make her look as race ready as possible. Pete Taylor took to the painting job like a man possessed and the rest of us got busy reassembling. The car now looks race ready and we are reluctant to start dismantling her again. The Catalyst episode with us featured in is due to be shown in Feb 2013. Read the full story here.
View latest build pictures
We do not have room in the newsletter to see all the pictures of how the car is looking at the moment, so if you want to check out our build images, please click here.
A big thank you must go to Robayne for the fantastic paint product and advice they gave us and Clint Smith and Lee Morgan, you guys are champions, thank you. BCJ Plastics and Tim Hartung and the BCJ crew, you built us a ripper polycarbonate windshield which has really made our car look complete.
Iconic speed sign
How about this sign for a statement! Our lifelong friends Cathy and Keith Tapping presented me with this iconic road sign when we appeared in Sydney. It now has pride of place on the front of our shop.
Getting into the swing of things
This year I was once again privileged to be invited to Perth Christian Life Centre's Golf day at the Vines. This group does some fantastic work in the community and what a great group of people they are, sorry about the windows I broke and the big divots around the golf course, I hope I get invited back again next year.
There are lots of exciting things happening with the project and on the sponsor front and we hope to make the announcements very soon.
Next month we should have the new black caps and stubby holders available online with our revamped merchandise site.
It only leaves me and the Team to wish you and your family a safe and happy Festive holiday.