Pinewood Derby Stories and Photos from Maximum Velocity
PINEWOOD DERBY CAR SHOWCASE
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.