18th of October - Not dead… yet…
It was 6:30 am people started arriving at the airport (in a shocking turn of events, Jeandre' is the first person at the terminal) for the 8:40 flight. After making a special point to be early, Mr. Beattie was one of the last few to arrive. We all checked in and went through the security point, before waiting until we could board. The flight was uninteresting, until we hit strong turbulence. The wing caught on fire and we almost died.
Not really. But we did play some card games and drew some interesting caricatures of each other and our teachers. We'd landed at around 1.30 pm (midday Perth time) and instantly began to feel the ten degree difference in temperature, which felt like twenty once we were outside. At the airport we met up with Mr. Hedgeland, who seemed awfully serene for a person who had just driven the team bus, trailer and solar car 4000 kilometres.
At the Alatai apartments we instantly met up with a member of the Nuna team from the Netherlands. Their car had the misfortune of crashing a couple of weeks ago and they'd been working on their replacement array it seemed to be going okay now though. We chatted with him and wished their team all the best before going to our rooms to fight over beds.
The priority of the afternoon, for us at least, was to pick up some groceries since everyone was famished. Steaks, sausages, rolls, bread, cereal, spreads and drinks came to a total of $248, more than Mr. Sheppard's first car. Meanwhile, those that stayed back either settled in and unpacked or went for a refreshing swim in the pool, complete with a waterfall. Sandwiches were soon to follow.
Later in the evening the team assembled around the barbeque whilst dinner was cooked. James inspected the torch Mr. Beattie was using to see in the low light and ended up breaking the switch, so that it could only be turned off by taking the batteries out. It is decided that James should not work on the solar car tomorrow. After dinner it's time for a quick meeting, planning out what will happen tomorrow, and then we all go back to our rooms and wind down before bed. We'll all be at Hidden Valley Raceway in the morning.
19th of October – Team Blog
Today we took the solar car down to Hidden Valley raceway and prepared it for it's first test drive. By nine am all the team members in Darwin had made their way to the track and were starting to work on the car. We were startled by the amount of interest in our car from the other teams. In pit eighteen, one down from us, the German team told us they'd be driving two cars; one shaped like a duck's bill that they'd driven in the last race, and one that is shaped more like a conventional passenger car.
Work on our car went relatively smoothly. Doug got our computer and electronic components in working order whilst the tools and equipment were unpacked from the trailers. Roughly half a dozen teams were at the track and some were already doing laps. We were lucky enough to have the car in working order by around midday and got a few laps of our own in. Tomorrow we plan to relay data using a Bluetooth connection between the laptop in the following support vehicle and the solar car to diagnose problems and tune for optimal performance.
In the afternoon team members were given the opportunity to explore Darwin's city centre, and to shop for souvenirs and ingredients for dinner. Our final two drivers, Tom and Trent, and teacher Mr. Morgan arrive from Perth tomorrow.
- The Team
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Monday, October 19, 2009
18th of October - Not dead… yet…