INSTALLING THE ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION – May 12, 2018
Above, Brent Burch is shown attaching fuel line fittings to the engine and frame to set up the Ground Test Vehicle (GTV) for some track testing soon to come. We are placing all of the engine and transmission components together for the first time so we can test how they play together prior to installing them in the Switchblade prototype. This way we can get some early testing and validation, and if we find we need a slight modification, we can still get those changes done prior to first flight. The GTV has been used this way for many years, testing suspension and steering, and is once more being asked to perform those duties. Building the GTV was one of the key decisions that enabled us to develop the Switchblade into such a high-performance vehicle, and we are very proud of the results.
FINAL TUBE FRAME FOR REAR OF PROTOTYPE
The tube frame currently on the rear of the prototype is a temporary one. The final tube frame, which is more substantial and engineered for hanging the large rear carbon fiber parts off of it, was quite an undertaking to perfect. It’s a bit like a puzzle, where every piece has to fit exactly. If you change one piece of the puzzle, it can affect many other pieces.
The rear tube frame is now out for bids at several high-tech fabrication shops. Once the tubes are cut and welded together, the frame will be heat treated in a large industrial oven.