FAW+ Velomobile Build

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skier

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My wife and I have had a recumbent tricycle for a few years now and she's been enjoying riding it. This year we decided we wanted a second one so that we could go out riding together. The only issue with that is that it was going to eat up my CH-750 budget for the year. As a result I put my foot down (didn't really take any convincing, she's a great wife) and said rather than another trike I want to build a velomobile.

Now what's a velomobile, you might ask. It's an enclosed, aerodynamic tricycle. The newer ones tend to be built from composites, but the one I bought (FAW+, based on the Dutch Alleweder A2) is an older, cheaper design that is built from typical aircraft sheet metal construction. You can either purchase it in kit form or pre-built. I opted to go for the kit-build since it is cheaper and gives me more experience with sheet metal construction before I build my airplane.

I know there's at least one other velomobilist on this forum. Between that and it being made from standard aircraft construction techniques, I figured there may be some interest on here for a build thread. So without further rambling to the photos:

The Fedex truck making the delivery:
IMG_3049.jpg

Opening the box:
IMG_3060.jpg

The larger components:
IMG_3062.jpg

All the little guys:
IMG_3063.jpg
 

bifft

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I'll be following this with interest. Been thinking about doing something similar, already have all the riviting tools and skills.
 

skier

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Before I get to inventorying all the parts in the kit today, I thought I'd tie this thread back into aviation. The original Alleweder was designed by Bart Verhees, but he was not able to successfully market the design. The kit finally found some success after being developed into the A2 and being sold/marketed by Flevobike.

Flevobike+Alleweder-->FAW

Now what does this have to do with aviation? The aviation nerds on here may have made a connection with the name I mentioned above: Bart Verhees. While I have seen no documentation noting the connection, based on the dates and limited information I can find, I believe this to be the same Bart Verhees of Verhees Engineering that designed the Verhees Delta (http://www.verheesengineering.com/gb/delta.html).

 
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Tiger Tim

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This thread kind of reminds me of the three wheel electric car I built in high school using mostly Texas Parasol-inspired structure.
 

skier

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The first step was to rivet 4 plates onto each wheel well. Of the 8 plates, the pre-dilled holes in 4 of them didn't meet my standards. See the photo below.

Remake parts.JPG

I ended up remaking all of those parts with scrap material provided in the kit. I then clecoed the plates in place creating my first assembly in this build.

IMG_3168.jpg

I then built-up the next-level assembly, clamping all the components in place. Unfortunately there were 2 other holes that were mis-drilled. There's enough room that I'll just drill new holes for those two locations and not use the existing ones.

IMG_3169.jpg

Hopefully that's the last of the issues with the kit, but with multiple issues in the first steps, I'm thinking I will find a lot more. It almost seems like in this case it would have been better if the manufacturer didn't pre-drill any of the holes.
 

N8053H

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What Schwable tire is that you are using? I use the 28-406 Durano on my DF Velomobile. These come in three different styles or flavors. The Plus is the most durable or flat resistance. But I do not use the plus durano. The Durano I use is 11600683. I also use the Kojak on the rear. 50-559 or a two inch wide tire gives best performance on the rear. I use the 35-559 on mine. I am not sure a bigger tire on the rear will fit. Keep the updates coming or keep us posted on the progress of this build.

IMHO cycling should be part of the aviation community. Cycling will keep you flying longer. They go hand in hand the older you get. Again this is my opinion.


IMG_1394.jpg
 
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skier

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What Schwable tire is that you are using? I use the 28-406 Durano on my DF Velomobile. These come in three different styles or flavors. The Plus is the most durable or flat resistance. But I do not use the plus durano. The Durano I use is 11600683. I also use the Kojak on the rear. 50-559 or a two inch wide tire gives best performance on the rear. I use the 35-559 on mine. I am not sure a bigger tire on the rear will fit. Keep the updates coming or keep us posted on the progress of this build.
The FAW+ used 20 inch tires all around. I went with the stock option of Kohacks up front and a Marathon Plus in the rear. For what it’s worth, I use Marathon Plus all around on my trike.

As for your opinion, I wasn’t into cycling at all until my doctor told me I needed to be more active. I hate running, so I gave cycling a shot and have been enjoying it for the past few years now. I put around 500 miles on my trike the first year I had it, last year was a bit of a dud, but this year is looking like I’ll blow past 500 miles. I’m really hoping for the velo to open up winter cycling and help me get out on rainy/misty days.
 

N8053H

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The FAW+ used 20 inch tires all around. I went with the stock option of Kohacks up front and a Marathon Plus in the rear. For what it’s worth, I use Marathon Plus all around on my trike.

As for your opinion, I wasn’t into cycling at all until my doctor told me I needed to be more active. I hate running, so I gave cycling a shot and have been enjoying it for the past few years now. I put around 500 miles on my trike the first year I had it, last year was a bit of a dud, but this year is looking like I’ll blow past 500 miles. I’m really hoping for the velo to open up winter cycling and help me get out on rainy/misty days.

This year I have logged 3400 miles riding my DF. I have owned her one year now. When I first got her I could ride 1/4 mile and that was it. Then I stretched this to 1 mile. After a couple weeks of riding one mile I went for my first 7 mile ride. I have now done one 100 mile ride taking 3hours and 20 mins to ride this 100 miles.

My doctor told me to stop doing all exercise. I even tried working out in a pool with old ladies and that put me down. But I can sit in this velo and pedal my butt off. Your velo will get you out a lot more then an upright or a trike. Keep posting your progress on this build.
 

skier

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A bit more progress and it's actually starting to look like something.

IMG_3186.jpg
 

Quan

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=ZETOFOAM=light...?
Ha ha...I think I've gotten you beat. Funny I found the same velomobile being built on a home built aircraft site. Here is mine. No it's not painted black, it is Graphite/Epoxy.

As a retired (early) Aerospace Engineer specializing in Composite Structures, I could not help myself when I have so much composite materials at my fingertips. Naturally I have to put the two together.

Project started over 11 years ago. I am finally riding it around now.

Do you have electric assist? I have a 500W through the chain system. Not liking the noise it makes. Going to 1000W rear hub motor running on 48V. That motor whines and the structure really resonate the sound and makes it feels like I am sitting in a drum and someone is beating on it.
 

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