What is Formula SAE?
Formula SAE is an international collegiate competition, in which students from universities around the globe work in teams to design, build, and compete a formula-style racecar. This type of competition requires students to use classroom knowledge for a real life project. By the end of the project, students will have acquired skills, knowledge, and abilities in which no engineering, automotive, or business course could replace. The Rainbow Warrior Racing Team at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa was developed from the mechanical engineering undergraduate senior design course. We have created a program that will allow underclassmen students to shadow upperclassmen in order to continue this project in their senior design course. We have also opened the team to anyone who attends the university in hopes to expand our knowledge and perspectives contributing to our project. As a result, our team has become more diverse with over 30 students coming from different disciplines, ethnic groups, and ages.
We are the Rainbow Warrior Racing (RWR) Team representing the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. The 2018 Formula SAE competition will be the fith consecutive year for RWR. RWR is still in the fledgling stages of developing a lasting Formula program but we are building upon the foundation developed by the 2014 team. Our mission for 2018 is…
…to design and build a reliable vehicle by prioritizing testing, implementing a structured and conservative approach while adhering strictly to the rules. This will allow us to improve on previous RWR teams and build a strong foundation for the future of this program. As a result, we shall complete all static and dynamic events while scoring 39% of the total points.
The Formula SAE project in its essence is a time management project and has always been an aspect that previous teams struggle with. The schedule is broken down into three phases: Design, Manufacturing, Testing. The Design phase will consist of research, concept, modeling, and simulation. Manufacturing will include everything to building and assembly of the vehicle. Testing will be on a full system approach to the verify our calculations and fixing any problems that arise. The Design phase is from August to November, after which Manufacturing will begin. We aim to start testing a vehicle by the start of February and continue up till the middle of May. The vehicle ships out for competition in Nebraska on the first of June. This year we have made an aggressive schedule to help produce a vehicle that we will be able to test before going to competition.
Currently, the team is well into the testing phase of the project. Rolling Chassis assembly was achieved on Sunday 1/28. Although this was two weeks behind projected schedule, much of the Running Car tasks were completed in parallel, allowing us to reach First Running Car milestone on Wednesday 2/7–only 4 days behind schedule. Since this milestone was reached, the vehicle has been tested for 3 full days, including the SCCA Hawaii Autocross #10 at Aloha Stadium. Many issues have arisen and fixed as we work towards a robust, competition ready vehicle.
The largest tasks left until vehicle completion are aerodynamic devices and the intake and exhaust systems. The intake and exhaust designs will be iterated once the dynamometer is functional–estimated to be completed the week of 2/26. The aerodynamics team is working on sanding and shaping foam male molds for each of the devices (sidepods, undertray/diffuser, and body panels) as well as finalizing the changes to the layup process. Composite work was expected to be completed in time for SCCA Autocross #11 on 2/28, but will most likely not be completed in time. The final Autocross race is on 3/11, the latest deadline for aerodynamics completion.
The remainder of the work for the project other than the aforementioned items are monitoring and testing of individual vehicle components to verify their performance as part of the system, as well as logistics work in preparation for competition in late June. The components must be verified to ensure that their functional requirements are met, and the vehicle system as a whole must meet the system requirements of the project. In terms of logistics, travel, lodging, and shipping arrangements must be finalized, and FSAE competition deliverables must be submitted within the next 1-2 months.
The total budget for this project is projected to be $47,900. This budget consists of three major categories, Car Part Expenses, Travel Expenses, and Operating Expenses. Car Part Expenses are the expenses relating to building the car. The reuse of parts from last year’s team have been implemented into the budget allowing for a lower cost. Travel Expenses are the expenses projected in order to travel up to Lincoln, Nebraska for competition. Currently, the Travel Expenses are expected to be paid out of pocket. Lastly, Operating Expenses are the expenses used to operate and test the car once it is built.
At this point in the project, the team has amassed $6,600 of the needed $10,400 through donations and fundraisers. Upcoming fundraising events include a California Pizza Kitchen fundraiser on Thursday, November 30th at the Kahala Location and a car wash on Saturday, December 23rd at the Waialae Texaco. While some funding sources were projected higher than the amount actually earned, the team is still on track to fully fund the car and the operating costs of the project.
As the manufacturing process is starting, the team is starting to order parts. Due to its long lead time, chromoly steel was recently ordered. The total cost of this order was $90 less than the projected cost resulting in the team being currently under budget.
Technical Specifications at a Glance:
Chassis & Aerodynamics:
- 4130 Chromoly steel tubing space frame
- Plain weave carbon fiber and PVC foam sandwich composite undertray and diffuser
- Carbon fiber body and sidepods housing radiator
- Overall 23lbf goal downforce production
- Yamaha YFZ450R single cylinder 450cc engine, 25ftlb torque & 40hp stock
- Drexler limited-slip differential
- Custom 3003 Al fuel tank, 1.75 gal capacity
- Custom carbon fiber intake plenum
- Push-pull shifter with hydraulic hand-clutch
- Vortex X10 Electronic Control Unit
- Double unequal length A-arm suspension, 4130 Chromoly steel tubing
- Custom 6061 Al front and rear bellcranks, 1:0.9 motion ratio
- 3-point adjustable position pedal-box
Performance Requirement Takeaways:
- The vehicle shall travel 75m from a standstill in no more than 4.85s.
- Acceleration simulations verify that at the current design meets the acceleration requirement, pending verification through testing.
- The vehicle shall complete a 22km course in 35 minutes or less on a single tank of fuel.
- The current vehicle design meets the endurance requirements, given the fuel tank capacity and engine specifications, pending testing.
Cornering Ability Requirement:
- The vehicle shall traverse a 9m radius circle in no more than 5.5s.
- The current vehicle design does not meet the cornering ability requirement, producing only 6 lbf of downforce, with respect to the 23 lbf derived requirement. The diffuser design is currently being adjusted to meet this requirement, pending CFD simulation verification.
- The vehicle shall have a weight no greater than 215 kg, excluding driver.
- The current vehicle design does not meet the mass requirement, at 225 kg. The excess mass will be reduced through further redesigning, pending a requirement reanalysis.
Support the Team
Interested in sponsoring our team? Contact our financial department:
Isaiah Amasol – Financial Manager
Donate to our GoFundMe account:
Get in touch with the Rainbow Warrior Racing Team at:
Keanu Kim – Project Manager
Formula SAE Rainbow Warrior Racing – Registered Independent Organization (RIO) at the University of Hawaii at Manoa
University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
2465 Campus Road, Room 208
Honolulu, HI 96822
A. Z. Trimble– Project Mentor
Asst Professor of Mechanical Engineering UH Manoa
PhD, Massachussetts Institute of Technology
2540 Dole St.
Holmes Hall 302
Honolulu, HI 96822
Phone: (808) 956-7597
Fax: (808) 956-2373
We can also be reached at the following social media platforms: