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Newsletters Archive - March 2012 - February 2015


February 2015

Last year was a great year for Formula Gravity. We joined forces with Technology Supplies Ltd. which has improved the service that we can give schools and colleges.
We were the consultants to Channel 4’s ‘Speed Guy Martin’ program and worked with Sheffield Hallam University to get a new World Land Speed Record for gravity racers at Mont Ventoux in France.

We also attended the Coventry Motor Show at Stoneleigh Park and also the Big Bang Show at the NEC. We hope to be at the Big Bang Show NEC again this year.

Gravity racing events

For a complete update you cannot do better than the information on the Scottish Carties website:
http://scottishcarties.org.uk/ Lots of other exciting information and news here as well.

Belgian club:
http://www.speeddown.be/
Please let us know of any events in your area that we can include.

Red Bull Soapbox London

Red Bull are again putting on a soapbox event in London http://soapbox.redbull.co.uk/ As teams have to be 18+ years old it is not for schools, but it is a good spectator sport!

We of course would like to offer for sale sets of wheels to Red Bull builders. Our wheels survived the last London Red Bull event and got the fastest run ever at the Mumbai Red Bull event.

Gravity Racer Kits and kit parts

It is good to now be visiting schools that have been with us for years. One school has ordered new parts for their racer as they are now on their eighth rebuild. (Not bad value for money!)

We would like to welcome both the new students and the new Engineering Ambassadors to our project.

Please order your racer kits or parts through Technology Supplies Ltd.
http://www.technologysupplies.co.uk

Project help

I am now spending more and more time helping schools and colleges to set up their projects and to help on the builds. This has always been part of what we do. We are also linked into the STEM Ambassadors system. So if you need any information about getting a part time free engineer to help in our or any project please contact me. I can then put you in touch with your local organisation.

Project funding

As our racers can be rebuild and designed each year with different cohorts it is very good value for money.
Last November one of our schools funded the project by involving the local community, Work experience companies and parents in just a few weeks. They are now building!

Some of our services

  • We can supply a gravity racer in kit form. We are the only company that makes them.
  • Our racer kits are supplied exclusively through Technology Supplies Ltd.
  • This gives schools and colleges a one stop shop for all parts of the project, and lots of help if needed.
  • Help on your builds is also available on the phone from both Technology Supplies Ltd. and Formula Gravity.
  • Racers can be built with students in about 100 hours. Much shorter time if you are not teaching it as well.
  • Our racers are tried and tested since 2002. Lots of records broken with this design.
  • The design of the body is up to you. We can advise.
  • We sell parts such as wheels separately as well.
  • We can visit your organisation and lecture / advise.
  • We can advise on events.
  • Our Web site has building suggestions and help for staff and pupils.
  • Provide some amazing Work Experience opportunities
  • We also give talks to inspire engineering in the UK.
  • We can advise also on Health and Safety and Risk Assessments.

Lotus 119 series

It is with a touch of sadness that I hear that Lotus have sold their 119 series soapbox racers to a museum in the USA. These magnificent machines are a credit to British engineering.

Final thought

As time goes by and our project gets more embedded into education, we are getting such positive feed back from ex pupils who have been involved and are now in great engineering jobs with main British manufacturers.

It is not enough nowadays to just have good qualifications. You need that bit extra to make you stand out. The Formula Gravity project has definitely given that bit extra to CVs for our students. This is a project that certainly helps.


David Ackroyd

April 2015

Formula Gravity started in 2002 as a school project that quickly got out of control.

As a teacher at Samuel Ward Academy in Haverhill, I thought it might be a bit of fun with the pupils. Since then our success rate and learning curve with both engineering and pupils has spiralled. I thought this was a simple task but to quote the Goodwood Festival of Speed “it is F1 without the engine”. What a great basis for education and fun.

The latest statistics are that UK research is sited in 10.9% of all patent applications worldwide. Our project is a great starter.

Big Bang Show at the NEC

We linked up with Technology Supplies Ltd for a fantastic four exhausting days. Our stand at the show was certainly popular with so many schools and colleges visiting us, wanting information and to chat about for existing build projects.
It was great to see so many friends both staff and pupils and to also make new contacts.

Visit and Voucher Competition

Technology Supplies Ltd. are about to announce the winner of our grand draw competition at the NEC who will get a free day’s school / college visit from Formula Gravity, and a £250 voucher from Technology Supplies Ltd.
The winner will be published in our next Newsletter.
The response to this was so popular that we have decided to run another one!!!
Full details in the next newsletter.

Gravity Racer Kits and kit parts

It is good to now be visiting schools that have been with us for years. One school has ordered new parts for their racer as they are now on their eighth rebuild. (Not bad value for money!)
We would like to welcome both the new students and the new Engineering Ambassadors to our project.
Please order your racer kits or parts through Technology Supplies Ltd.
www.technologysupplies.co.uk
Now is the time to start your first build. You can have a runner ready to run by summer, and plans for next year’s model in place.

Project help

I am now spending more and more time helping schools and colleges to set up their projects and to help on the builds. This has always been part of what we do. We are also linked into the STEM Ambassadors system. So if you need any information about getting a part time free engineer to help in our or any project please contact me. I can then put you in touch with your local organisation.

Some of our services

  • We can supply a gravity racer in kit form. We are the only company that makes them.
  • Our racer kits are supplied exclusively through Technology Supplies Ltd.
  • This gives schools and colleges a one stop shop for all parts of the project, and lots of help if needed.
  • Help on your builds is also available on the phone from both Technology Supplies Ltd. and Formula Gravity.
  • Racers can be built with students in about 100 hours. Much shorter time if you are not teaching it as well.
  • Our racers are tried and tested since 2002. Lots of records broken with this design.
  • The design of the body is up to you. We can advise.
  • We sell parts such as wheels separately as well.
  • We can visit your organisation and lecture / advise.
  • We can advise on events.
  • Our Web site has building suggestions and help for staff and pupils.
  • Provide some amazing Work Experience opportunities
  • We also give talks to inspire engineering in the UK.
  • We can advise also on Health and Safety and Risk Assessments.

Formula Gravity in the USA

One of our racers is in California and has just got an entry in Nevada City 13th July.
So we are hoping for good results in our first ever USA competition. (No pressure there then Danny).
Danny has built one of the best looking racers ever using our kit. Pictures will be put on our website in the next couple of days.

Lastly can I remind you all that the best UK Gravity Racing website used by us all, is
www.scottishcarties.co.uk This has a lot of the UK events listed as well as some great software and information. There are a lot of local events around the UK as well that are not listed.
Our website has so much information for you. We also have fliers and further information on builds, events and racing. For further information please email me at info@formulagravity.co.uk


David Ackroyd


September 2015

Where did the summer go? We were so busy that we only got in one event, Penn House Event. Sun all day, so great remembering last year’s rain. As usual a great event we got six runs down the hill with speeds in the top 40s. Competition was stiff with some of the best racers in the UK.

Our schools have done well this year in events with Bryn Celynnog School getting fantastic results in different categories and top places in the race event at Penarth! So Congratulations .

It is worth mentioning that they managed to get funding sponsors from the community and built two racers. They also involved the pupils with all aspects of a race team. REAL EDUCATION. The pupils learnt so much cross-curricular and practical key skills. Their CVs will look good.
We even have one school that have formed ALR Racing who have built a three-wheeler from our kit to lessen friction. That also went very well and won prizes.
I enclose a quote from one of our students: -
We would just like to say a massive Thank you for all the help you have given us, and all the additional information. We added the info from you about canopies and aerodynamics and safety into our report and I achieved a distinction for it (top grade)!!
(Even if Formula Gravity had only ever achieved this result as a project it would have been worth the effort!)

It is now hard to mention all the schools and colleges that have done so well again this year, either building for the first time or as a rebuild. (The record is 8 rebuilds!)
This could be the start of so many engineering careers that the UK needs so much.
This project also makes a great extended project for pupils. These extended projects are now becoming really important for a good CV application for an engineering course at university.
We have also just heard that a school has managed to get awarded lottery funds to finance one of our gravity racer kits. This is really exciting as it opens doors to other schools who would also like to enhance their learning experience with youngsters.
The best way to fund is still to get local companies and organisations involved as well.

The winner of the Technology Supplies ltd. National Competition for a Gravity Race school day is Burton Borough School.
We will be delighted to arrive first thing in the morning and spend a whole day with them explaining about careers in engineering and of course how to plan, design and build an amazing racer. We look forward to working with Technology Supplies Ltd and the school to have a really amazing day.

Shows and events

We were lucky to attend the National Big Bang local event at Newmarket. A great event where we met so many teachers and pupils. Our racer was nearly worn out with the number of students sitting in it.

We attended the 75th anniversary celebrations of the Army I Corps and presented the Formula Gravity Shield for the most improved racer to 21 Company. Congratulations to them. We look forward to seeing their next racer in 2016. The Duke of Edinburgh inspected our racer, but declined a go.

We joined the Williams F1 drivers Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas on their hols. It does appear that they have racing in their blood. It was good to see them trying gravity racing for ultimate adrenaline thrills. We had to put extra sugar in their tea afterwards.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yh3xSKVvKxw

Our racer in the USA did so well at its first outing in Nevada. Danny won the second heats and went on to get a great result. Although not in the top race results we did win the ‘cutest car’. As Danny built the racer and entered a major event on his own the learning curve was immense. He is looking forward to his results next year loaded with his new knowledge. Corners and apexes are now real racing and not just in theory. Interestingly his aerodynamics is remarkable. Congratulations Danny. Watch out USA.
Congratulations also to the many teams, who I know used our web site to build for this year’s Red Bull challenge in London. Great that you made it in one piece. Not an easy course.


Some of our services

  • We can supply a gravity racer in kit form. We are the only company that makes them.
  • Our racer kits are supplied exclusively through Technology Supplies Ltd.
  • This gives schools and colleges a one stop shop for all parts of the project, and lots of help if needed.
  • Help on your builds is also available on the phone from both Technology Supplies Ltd. and Formula Gravity.
  • Racers can be built with students in about 100 hours. Much shorter time if you are not teaching it as well.
  • Our racers are tried and tested since 2002. Lots of records broken with this design.
  • The design of the body is up to you. We can advise.
  • We sell parts such as wheels separately as well.
  • We can visit your organisation and lecture / advise.
  • We can advise on events.
  • Our Web site has building suggestions and help for staff and pupils.
  • Provide some amazing Work Experience opportunities
  • We also give talks to inspire engineering in the UK.
  • We can advise also on Health and Safety and Risk Assessments.

November 2014

Hi, we have again had such a busy year. It seems that the word has got out about the success we are having with our racers. Our racers are still being sent across the globe to privateers wanting to enter events.

Technology Supplies Ltd.

The biggest change to us this year is a new partnership. We have teamed up with Technology Supplies Ltd. based in Shrewsbury. They are now selling, marketing and distributing our racers.
This has left me free to get on with the educational project (and eventing).

Technology Supplies Ltd is already dealing with a high proportion of the UK schools and colleges. So we have an instant network. They also offer ‘Big Company’ back up to clients. They are now able to answer questions on the phone and help with all aspects of your project. They also have parts in stock (wheels are popular).

As well as this Technology Supplies also have a great network of schools / colleges and STEM organisation. As well as great industry links.
Of course the old system still is on offer. You can contact me either direct or through Technology Supplies for any help. Visits are also a possibility.
I must admit to also liking the great lecture facilities at the Technology Supplies offices in Shrewsbury. I was able to give a talk and powerpoint to some local STEM ambassadors, teachers and people from local industry

http://www.technologysupplies.co.uk/formula-gravity-racer-kit.html

I can also supply memory sticks with project information and a power point presentation for schools to be a basis for a funding presentation.

Sales

Kits seem to be rolling out at the moment. We do seem to be ticking all the boxes for learning!
Remember you can reuse the kits each year.
I was with a school this week that had fundraised for their racer and also had money over to event! Local industry and the parents. I think their plan of appointing the right pupil to manage this was perfect.

Events

I seem to have been a bit too busy this year and only managed Penn House event.
A great run. Great racers. Great rain. But the rain did not stop the fun of trying out some new racers and ideas. Thanks Adrian.
Hoping for dryer tarmac there next year.
But I know that there have been amazing events this year around the UK. The Scottish Carties Web has most of them listed and is now putting on the calendar for next year http://scottishcarties.org.uk
Shows
Formula Gravity has had a stand at the ‘Engineeringuk Big Bang’ at the NEC for 4 days.
Thousands of visitors. Lots of schools and colleges. A great show. A special thanks to the staff and pupils of the JCB Academy who helped to run our stand so well.
We made so many great contacts and also sales.
Also thanks to Jason Bradbury who took time out of his job as a judge to come and see the pupils.
We also attended the Coventry Motor Show at Stonewall Park. My highlight was to meet two of our past project students. Now both are working in industry as engineers. Both in senior posts with World leading engineering companies. This is what we actually do!
I was also delighted to talk to a group of teachers and STEM at Pocklington School.
An event organised by Technology Supplies.

Media

You may have enjoyed ‘Speed Guy Martin’ Ch4 8.00 on Sunday 16th November. If you did, here's your chance to see it again. If you didn't see it first time around, here it is:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dY9TWeR2VYk

A gravity racer to get a World Land Speed Record.

We worked with Sheffield Hallum University to create a fantastic racer for Channel 4.
Our running gear, suspension and wheels look very good. Our good friends at Parish Engineering Ltd. fabricated the spaceframe. I think we gave Guy his best chance ever.
Interesting that our racer kits have the same running gear. Why not see if you fancy beating him????

We also specialise in design and building any ‘one off’ craft for the media. So ideas please. We can always get a student to help!


David Ackroyd

November 2013

Hi, we have had such a busy year. It seems that the word has got out about the success we are having with our racers. Our racers are now being sent across the globe to organisations wanting to enter events.

So looking first at our events and builds: -

Army

We sent a racer kit to the Army Intelligence Corps as they were putting on their first event. We hope that this idea really takes on with the Forces. It was a most successful day. I hope to work with them all next year as well.

Red Bull Soapbox London

We then helped make a series of five programs with UMTV for the Red Bull Soapbox Derby at Alexandra Palace in London. This was great fun getting to know some contestants and filming them at Penn House who then got enthusiastic and put on their own event! The project ended in the commentary box at Alexandra Palace. As if this was not enough at the same time we got invited by Lord March to run at: -

The 20th Goodwood Festival of Speed This meant a rebuild of our original VXR Nimbus. New brakes, wheels etc. We had two runs down the hill with a crowd of some 200,000. No pressure then to do well! An amazing four days.

Charnwood College

in partnership with Loughborough College An amazing partnership which resulted in second place for Charnwood College with one of our racers, that they built to such a high standard, ( More skilled engineers for the UK!)

Wanaka New Zealand

Yes we sent a racer kit out to James in NZ. In a few weeks the guys had built a shiny silver racer, THAT WON! Thanks for the photo of you all drinking Champagne. A photo is not quite like the real thing though.

Gadget Show Live Christmas at Earls Court London

A great event. We were again at this show partnered with Northampton College who had a great exhibit of beautifully painted racers that pulled in the crowds. A big thank you to our friend Jason Bradbury who took the time despite a very tight schedule, to visit the stand and climb aboard one of our racers.
We are planning a great stand at the Gadget Show Live at the NEC next year.

California USA

A quick well done to Danny in California USA for an amazing build of one of our racer kits. It looks great, he is just waiting for his event to take place.

OK, that is just us having fun with our racers, and learning all the time. The real work is being done in schools and colleges around the UK. It is also great to hear that the projects are not just all engineering but pupils also managing their project by doing the business and funding parts as well as design, research and building.
We have this year again answered the questions: -
Why use the project?
Why design?
Why build?
Why plan event management?
Why enter events?
What next???

Although we are obviously having great fun we are also learning more and making contacts that we can pass onto schools and colleges.

Gravity racing events

For a complete update you cannot do better than the information on the Scottish Carties website: http://scottishcarties.org.uk/ Lots of other exciting information and news as well.

Gravity Racer Kits and Kit Parts Prices

Despite price increases out there we are keeping the prices of our kit racers and parts the same. We now have a very short delivery time.
Our project is also ideal for an engineering club as well as providing a project to fulfil the main curriculum requirements of many engineering courses.
Our Web site has lots of information about this. You can also email or phone as well.

Project Help

I am now spending more and more time helping schools and colleges to set up their projects and helping with the builds.
We can also provide a great lecture on our engineering adventure to inspire pupils to think about engineering as a career. This has always been part of what we do. We are also linked into the STEM Ambassadors system. So if you need any information about getting a part time free engineer to help in our or any project please contact me. I can then put you in touch with your local organisation.

1000 mph record

The British are building Bloodhound to get this record but a real contender is Aussie Invader: www.aussieinvader.com You might like to see the web site.
One of our team is involved. Can you spot him?

Speed

The factors affecting the speed of a soapbox would make for a great PhD dissertation.
Generally pupils under 16 are kept to about 35mph for safety. Adults can touch about 70mph.
The magic 100mph idea is really pushing it, remembering that terminal velocity for free fall is about 120mph for a racer.
With this in mind I hope to write a very short introduction to the topic. If anyone would like to ‘chip in’ I should be pleased to hear from you.

THANKS

Our activities this year so far could not be possible without the help and advice so freely given. It is impossible to mention everyone, but to mention just a few in no particular order. Please forgive omissions

Lord March For the invite to the 20th Goodwood Festival of Speed
Jack Tetley For all the friendly professional help at the GFoS
Julius Thurgood For essential help at the GFoS.
Jonny Ackroyd Pilot Goodwood Festival of Speed
Steve Kidgell Producer UMTV for being the most patient man in the UK
Red Bull Staff For the London Soapbox Derby Event
617 Squadron A great entry at the Red Bull event
Steve Hall Scottish Carties, for all the advice
Staff Samuel Ward Academy allowing filming on site and use of the VXR Nimbus
Matt Hodgins Upper Street Events for help at the NEC and Earls Court Gadget Show Live Event
Steve Chaplin Northampton College Engineering design Dept. Lots of help
Jason Bradbury Gadget Show. For continued support for youngsters
Chris White Chambers & Cook Freight. Taking our racers around the globe
Earl Howe For the use of his estate, especially the tarmac track
Adrian Stroud Organiser of Penn gravity event
Jon Gray Army event organiser
Maria Smith Flotec. For continued help with colleges
Keith Large Help and advice Loughborough College
Martin Killeen Loughborough College. Continual support
Tom Ryan Great builder of racers Loughborough College
Charnwood College For all the hard work and success
James Manning Our New Zealand expert and builder
Russ Annerson Technical advice and mentor
Alan Jones Schwalbe tyres. For help in a future extreme project

So with a team like this behind you why not get a racer kit and build a racer to encourage more young engineers. Please contact me for funding ideas. I cannot promise a result, but?

We also specialise in design and building ‘one off’ craft for the media.

David Ackroyd
Formula Gravity Ltd.

Company Number 7040081


July 2013

Time just goes too fast. (like our racer!) and we have been concentrating on publicising our sport. Gravity racing must be one of the fastest growing sports in the UK. There are many events that are listed so well on the Scottish Carties web site and news at facebook https://www.facebook.com/scottishcarties. Now there are also small village events starting around the UK. We have been helping a couple of these as well. Ideal for youngsters.

This year is the 20th year of the Goodwood Festival of Speed 11 – 14 July.
To highlight this the Daily Telegraph printed an article about our school racer that we entered in 2004. Our driver in 2005 was Jasmina, one of their staff.
The organisers of the Festival have decided to reassemble the Goodwood Soapbox Club and allow us to run down the hill in our VXR Nimbus racer, during the Festival. There should be some 158,000 visitors. If anyone is going please visit us. An ideal time to chat about joining or building.

Red Bull

Also on the 14th July is the Red Bull Soapbox event at Alexandria Park in London.
Some 55 teams from across the UK have been entered. This should be a real fun type event. (One of our racers set a new track record at the Mumbai Red Bull event just before Christmas. 19 seconds ahead).

We have been working with a TV company making a series of programs about Soapbox Racing in the UK for the Red Bull event. This will go out on DAVE TV each night from the 8th July until the event on the 14th July. Our VXR Nimbus features on the programs, but we could not enter the event. We will be involved in filming on the day. http://soapbox.redbull.co.uk/ I know many other people and teams have been involved in the making of this program. It should be a historical record as well and help publicise the great engineering challenge and sport. I suspect great viewing for budding builders.

A thought

Could I make a plea here. On the 14 July I have to be at the Red Bull event in London for filming, I have to be running down the hill at Goodwood, I have to be at Worlaby Down Hill Challenge 14th July, and I wanted to go to the Richards Castle Soapbox Derby 14th July. After that date there is nothing happening in my life ever.
(Except the closing do of my old MOD unit in Germany. Yes 14 - 15 July)

Project help

I am now spending more and more time helping schools and colleges to set up their projects and to help on the builds. This has always been part of what we do. Including CDs and advice sheets. We are also linked into the STEM Ambassadors system. So if you need any information about getting a part time free engineer to help in our or any project please contact me. I can then put you in touch with your local organisation: www.stemnet.org.uk

Funding

As always funding is a problem for schools / colleges.
Some years ago when I was teaching and wanted to build our first racer to take to Goodwood we had no funding. I tried to get sponsors by putting a request for sponsorship into our school ‘thank you’ letter to the companies who had helped us out on Work Experience. The response was fantastic. We got the funds to build.
We also got rather a lot of stickers on our racer and a lot of practical help, including a great paint spray job from the local car body repairers.

Sales

Our sales are going well. I delivered a kit a couple of days ago to an organisation that is also putting on an event for the first time in a few weeks.
We have a delivery time of about two weeks for our kits and about one week for our wheels. (Best sellers).
All details and prices are on our web site. We can also export kits at a very reasonable charge. We now have racers in the USA, Australia and India.

Talks and shows

These can be arranged for schools, colleges and other organisations.

Dramatic arts

We have always thought that publicity was good. Together with the idea of involving many different skills in our project. Drama is a good way of doing this. We had huge success with ‘GREEN RUNNING’, which we put on at Loughborough College for the primary schools. The pupils were soon designing great racers. And as a result more schools are building. And more plays are being created.
We have a resident expert on this approach to engineering education in Keith Large who has been involved for some years. If anyone would be interested in more information please get in touch with me.

Parametric Technologies Corporation (PTC)

PTC is a software company that has educational design software. It has now finished work with our soapbox designs. So you will now be able to teach CAD using our designs for a soapbox together with much more. If any school / college is interested please contact me. A good start for September term.

Finally best wishes go to the Richards Castle event:-

http://www.richardscastlesoapbox.co.uk

and Worlaby Soapbox events

www.appleheadgravitysport.co.uk/‎

A great day out for all.


February 2013

CAD System CREO

We are nearing completion of our gravity racer designs as learning material on the PTC CREO 2 system of CAD. This should soon be in schools and colleges across the globe very shortly. So you will be able to learn how to design using CAD with our designs and then go on to do a build and race.

Gravity Racing Events

For a complete update you cannot do better than the information on the Scottish Carties website: http://scottishcarties.org.uk/ Lots of other exciting information and news as well.

Lecture at Loughborough

For the first time last month, we gave a lecture to college staff from various colleges around the Midlands about our project and how we managed to it, from logistics to funding.
Many thanks to Loughborough College for organising this successful event at Henley College

Gravity Racer Kits & Kit Parts

It is good to now be visiting schools that have been with us for years with new parts for their racers as they are now on their second builds. We would like to welcome both the new students and the new Engineering Ambassadors to our project.
Prices

Despite price increases out there we are keeping the prices of our kit racers and parts the same. We now have a very short delivery time.
Our project is also ideal for an engineering club as well as providing a project to fulfil the main curriculum requirements of many engineering courses.

Gadget Show Live Christmas @ The EXCEL, London

A great event. We were again at this show partnered with RAPID who had a great exhibit of robots that pulled in the crowds. Thanks Rapid for your support.
We also had young people from both the Scout Movement and Samuel Ward Academy on Work Experience helping the show organisers Upper Street Events.
The Gadget Show Live is on again at the NEC from 2 April 2013. We will be there.

Secondhand Racers

We are often asked for information about any second hand racers by schools or organisations who do not have much funding. We would be happy to put people in touch with each other if this helps.

Project Help

I am now spending more and more time helping schools and colleges to set up their projects and to help on the builds. This has always been part of what we do. We are also linked into the STEM Ambassadors system. So if you need any information about getting a part time free engineer to help in our or any project please contact me. I can then put you in touch with your local organisation.

Project Funding

Usually the first question that I get from schools / colleges is. ‘How can we get funding?’
Times have changed for funding from Government etc for projects. This type of funding is now very hard to get.
BUT There are many ideas to get funding from local and national companies. Some ideas work for a school this week, but not the next. It depends on so many things. I am going to try to put some ideas down on a document for schools and colleges etc. If you have any bright ideas that you can share I would be grateful if you could let me know ASAP.

Red Bull Soapbox London

Red Bull are putting on a soapbox event in London: http://soapbox.redbull.co.uk/
They are looking for more than speed from teams of 4 who have to be over 18 years old. We might see you there.

1000 MPH Landspeed Record
The British are building Bloodhound to get this record but a real contender is Aussie Invader. www.aussieinvader.com You might like to see the web site.

Lastly
To explain very briefly what Formula Gravity Ltd does:-

FOR EDUCATION

  • We can supply a gravity racer in kit form. We are the only company that makes them. Cost £2200 including UK delivery. Global delivery extra but reasonable.
  • Racers can be built with students in about 100 hours. Much shorter if you are not teaching it as well. I managed to build a racer in four days just before Christmas on my own.
  • Our racers are tried and tested since 2002. Lots of records broken with this design.
  • The design of the body is up to you. We can advise.
  • We can visit your organisation and lecture / advise. We have a free teacher’s CD
  • We can supply Creo 2 software. This will have our designs on for teaching.
  • We can advise on events.
  • Our Web site has building suggestions and help for staff and pupils.
  • Provide some amazing Work Experience opportunities
  • We also give talks to inspire engineering in the UK.
  • And much more.

FOR THE MEDIA TV and FILM

  • We can put an expert team together to design build and run ‘one off’ vehicles of
  • Any sort. We specialise in breaking records or doing the impossible.
  • In short time dead lines.
  • We have a great track record with 3 World Land Speed records so far and many other successes on land, water and air.
  • We have access to world leading experts in many engineering fields.

October 2012

The Big News

We are linking forces with Parametric Technology (UK) Ltd. (PTC) the engineering software company that has ‘Creo 2’
As soon as we have this new venture up and running we hope to be able to offer CAD help to our schools. Formula Gravity Ltd. is now into CAD design. So if you are thinking of getting a new CAD system talk to us first.
I shall put out a newsletter to tell all as soon as we have the complete details for you.

Belchford gravity event results

Out of 50 entries: - Northampton College got a well-deserved ‘Best Turned Out’ racer.
Formula Gravity came 3ed fastest with Lotus Eater Mk11
The winner was Lee from LG Racing.
A great event thank you Belchford.

Loughborough College

The college is involving local schools with their engineering department. Some of their local feeder schools spent part of a day attending a lecture given by Formula Gravity about projects they can start to get involved in. Garendon School is now building their own gravity racer there, helped by apprentices from the college. A gravity bike and sidecar is also being planned.

We are proud of the 12 students from Loughborough College who helped us to build the Lotus Eater for the Gadget Show. They ALL got into university to study Engineering. I hope that the experience and part of their CV that we provided helped.
Jason Bradbury was especially pleased with this result.

Northampton College

Their fabulous racer is now being shown off to schools around Kent and Coventry, as they have been part of the Teen Tech events in the area. The local EBP organisations have helped so much to make this a success. We hope to engage with Teen Tech again next year.

Suffolk Educational Business Partnership

Has awarded us a certificate ‘In recognition of our support for young people in Suffolk’ as part of their Link up Awards. We hope that we will continue to do so for years to come.

America

Our kit racer has just now cleared USA customs and our first build in the USA is about to start. Good luck Danny.

Germany

On an exchange trip with pupils from Samuel Ward Academy I walked into the entrance lobby of the school in Ehringhausen to be greeted by the sight of their gravity racer. A copy of an old Bugatti. They had just won their local event. Perhaps an international competition in the future?

Kits and kit parts

It is good to now be visiting schools that have been with us for years with new parts for their racers as they are now on their second builds. We would like to welcome both the new students and the new Engineering Ambassadors to our project.

Prices

Despite price increases out there we are keeping the prices of our kit racers and parts the same.

Electronic dashboards

We have not tried these but they might work? Any comments or ideas?

http://www.arduino.cc/

http://vimeo.com/50589024

WLS record build

Some highly experienced members of our ‘special build team’ have been building an experimental prototype of a gravity racer, which has been a complete success. We are now looking for a sponsor to help us break some World Land Speed records. Think of the publicity opportunity for someone. This would not cost much. Any takers out there?

Other members of our ‘Special build team’ have also been busy with their own projects. Did you know that Australia is getting ready to go through the 1000mph barrier? The created video on this is good.

http://www.aussieinvader.com/

September 2012

As it is now the start of another academic year now is a good time to think about starting a build for racing next season. We are now taking orders for kits from schools & colleges.
We are placing orders with factories and suppliers. The more we order the cheaper and faster we can get kits together. At the moment we have about four weeks from order to delivery. Costs obviously depend on exactly what is needed. We can do as little or as much as needed to help a build succeed.

We are giving away £50 to anyone who can put us in touch with a school or college that puts in a firm order. That should help a build!
We have just exported our first racer to California. Let’s hope we can get an event happening there. Chambers & Cook Freight have been great again, they took another of our racers to Australia.
Our wheels seem one of our best sellers. These are now across the globe. So we are happy to help with all parts as well. Lots of information on our web site.

We have just sent the Lotus Eater that we built for the Gadget Show to Nugent’s Ltd. in Northern Ireland for an event in Pomeroy. They got fastest across the line and fastest overall.
A bit on YouTube might give you an idea of the race. I hasten to add that the Irish were building serious soapbox racers as long ago as 1920. First off the mark I think. So I hope we hear an awful lot more about Pomeroy and other Irish events: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8fYznuowhg

Update on the Ex Goodwood racer for sale. It was bought within hours of our Newsletter. I just hope I do not come up against it at Belchford this weekend 16th. where there are about 50 soapbox teams and gravity bikes. This looks like being the biggest event ever. So if you want to know what all the fuss is about join us and Northampton College’s entry at Belchford: www.belchford.org.uk/

As well as supplying kits Formula Gravity is now offering speakers to schools and Colleges to emphasize engineering as a career and the fun that can be had. If you are interested in this or our ‘resident engineer’ scheme please contact me for details.

We had a great time at Duxford War Museum the venue for SETPOINT Hertfordshire’s Big Bang event on the 4th July. So many excited youngsters enthusiastically showing off their ideas. We had queues of boys and girls wanting to sit in our racer.

We have again been building strange craft for the media. This time for an Australian show. ‘Hamish and Andy’ We got them from Spain to within one mile of the African coast when the pedal of our adapted aqua trike fell off. ( Not our weld!) Still it leaves a challenge to be completed. http://www.hamishandandy.com/2012/pedalling-from-europe-africa/

Just an idea: -
We are looking to raise the speed record of these racers by building a super fast racer and then set a new record.
In order to do this we are looking for a sponsor to work with as a team.
The cost would not be great as we already have access to expertise and knowledge of materials and suppliers.

Lastly if any school or college would like to have pupils on work experience at the Excel in London 30 Nov – 2 December for the Gadget Show Live Christmas Show, please contact me. An amazing chance.


July 2012

We have had a really busy few months.

Shows and Exhibitions

The Gadget Show Live at the NEC seems a long time ago. We had the Lotus Eater Mk11 and Northampton College’s fantastic new racer. Thanks to the Northampton staff for the help and support. We also involved the young visitors by vacuum forming models of our racers and getting them to build them up.
Thanks go to Rapid Educational, R C Clarke Ltd. Gadget Show, Upper Street Events and Mark Harmsworth for exhibition support. For the second year we had students from the JCB Academy with us on Work Experience helping at the show. The organisers comment about them was “Gold Dust”.
The Big Bang Show at Duxford Museum. A very popular regional event that has always been fantastic. Great venue.

The National Association of Advisers & Inspectors in Design and Technology show at Keele University. This was instead of the D & T show at the NEC. Great venue and so much interest in gravity sports. More racers out to schools as a result. Thanks to the DTEP for their support. A great event.

Racer kits

We are now ordering and sending out kits to schools and colleges so if any more schools or colleges want to join or to reorder parts for rebuilds, now would be a good time to secure an order so that we can get bulk orders into the factory. It is nice to now be sending out parts to colleges for rebuilds.
Please email or phone if you would like to join or just know more about what we do.
We also offer talks / assemblies etc on engineering.

Events

We shall be at Worlaby 22 July and Belchford 16th September. If anyone would like to come along and see what it is all about please contact us and join the team.
The best UK web site for events is http://scottishcarties.org.uk/event.
If you know of any others please let us know.

Other news

We are still involved in other engineering projects, so if any college would like to become involved in special projects please let us know so that we can put you on our list of those interested. We are looking for excellent workshop facilities for mid August for our present project.


March 2012

NEWS - Special Gadget Show Live Edition
NEC 10th – 15th April
Stand A45

Yes we are at the Gadget Show Live at the NEC this year. We think this will be our best stand yet.

We will have:-
The Gadget Show’s Lotus Eater Mk11
Northampton College’s amazing racer.
Loughborough Primary schools model competition winner.
Visiting youngsters will be able to build their own model Lotus Eater Mk11 from parts vacuum formed as they watch and sit in the real racers. Certificates given to all model racer builders.

The 10th April is the Press and VIP day. If anyone would like to join us and discuss joining Formula Gravity or just chat about our engineering projects or even sponsorship we would love to see you. Please contact me ASAP for complimentary tickets. gravity.racing@virgin.net

I would like to thank our sponsors and helpers who have supported our stand.
The Gadget Show
Upper Street Events
Northampton College
Loughborough College
JCB Academy
Rapid Education
R C Clarke & Co Ltd.

Other news

Events to book in to. Check with organisers for young drivers.
www.borderbogie.co.uk
www.soapboxracing.co.uk/entr#225FA9
www.dalbysoapbox.webs.com/
www.cancerwisesoapboxder#225E28
www.belchford.org.uk