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Here are some examples of creative uses of a ducted fan on a
pinewood derby car.

Derby Plane - David White

I enjoy reading the articles of all the dads that get creative and
give their car a little extra help (more than gravity provides for
us). Every year I make a car that uses "outside the box" thinking.
This past year I went with a motorized biplane. I put a micro switch
on the front to open the circuit when sitting at the gate. There is a
main on/off switch in the back to enable the circuit, and a 9 volt
battery hidden behind the motor. When the gate opens, the micro
switch closes and starts the prop. It easily doubles the speed of its
closest gravity driven competitor. I also added a micro switch on the
bottom of the vehicle so the prop turns off when it hits the end of
the track, but the plane goes too fast and shoots off the end of the
braking section.

I hollowed out enough room in the pontoons to hide the wheels. The
plane body and wings are balsa wood. After about the 5th run down the
track it flipped over after crossing the finish line and it broke the
prop and tail. It sure was fun to make and the kids sure enjoyed it.

Bluesmobile - Ron & Matthew Rygelski

This car was made to resemble the Bluesmobile (from the movie "The
Blues Brothers"). My son and I built it for the Dad's Race at his
pack's pinewood derby event. We used parts from the Maximum Velocity
Fan Car kit combined with capacitors as suggested in a newsletter
article. The body is hollowed out to house all the parts with the
exception of the fan, which was disguised to replicate the giant
speaker (in the movie it was attached to the roof of the car with
heavy rope). The weight is race legal at 4.95 oz. We did our best to
make this car resemble the '74 Dodge Monaco, ex-police car used in the
movie, right down to the half rubbed out sheriff's star and the
Illinois state license plate "BDR-529". It was a hoot to race, and
the kids had a blast taking turns setting it up and watching it scream
down the track.

Modified Fan Car - Doug Burgess

We used the parts from your propeller car kit, but went a different
route on the car body. It turned a 1.83 seconds on 35 foot BestTrack.

From Pinewood Derby Times Volume 10, Issue 14

The Car Showcase is a regular feature of the Pinewood Derby Times Newsletter. To subscribe to this free e-newsletter, please visit:

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