Weightmans Wednesday – The ARION2 Project

Earlier this month, I attended an event at Weightmans LLP, which featured a discussion given by the University of Liverpool’s Velocipede Team (ULV Team). This was to discuss the ULV Team’s work on the upcoming ARION project. Intrigued by this, I briefly researched the ULV Team and the ARION project beforehand. My reason for doing this, was to familiarise myself with their work.

Formed in 2013, the ULV Team consists of sixteen students studying for their Masters in Mechanical Engineering, at the University of Liverpool. Each team member was involved with the design and construction of the ARION1 land-speed velocipede, and they are now working on the engineering of the ARION2. The purpose of the ARION2 is to attempt the World Record for Human Land Powered Speed, in the Nevada desert this September. You can find out more about the ULV Team on their Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages.

Last September, the male team broke the British Land Speed Record, reaching 75.03mph.  This year, the ULV Team have chosen four riders looking to break the current male and female world records. These riders are Ken Buckley and Dave Collins, who are attempting the male record of 86.65mph, and Yasmin Tredell and Kirstie Maxfield attempting the female record of 75.69mph.

The discussion provided a brief synopsis of different aspects of the project. This included looking back at last year’s previous attempt with the ARION1, which you can view here. In addition, the event also looked at the rigorous rider training and selection process, design and construction of the ARION2, and the preparations involved with September’s upcoming World Record attempt. Listening very carefully, I understood that such an attempt is risky and very dangerous, which requires not only total commitment, but plenty of courage.

I would like to thank Weightmans, as well as Rory Curtis and Carafino Braganza from the ULV Team, for sharing the ARION story. I am seriously impressed with their work, as an example of human endeavour and performance, as well as engineering craftsmanship. Whilst not coming from an engineering background, I found the discussion of how the Velocipede is constructed, as well as the related physics, fascinating to learn about.

To conclude, I would like to wish them the very best of luck, and I am sure they will do the university, and the city of Liverpool proud!

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