There’s nothing more fun than racing things at high speed! But how to do it in a safe, semi-controlled, educational manner? One great idea is using CO2 cartridges to propel balsa-wood based vehicles. Here’s some of the the details!
First of all, let’s look at a few of the creative cars. These babies are about a foot long, and the bodies are carved out of raw chunks of balsa. In order for the racing to be fair, wheels and axles can be provided for all the cars, so the emphasis is on body design and aerodynamics.
Then, all of the cars are equipped with small round hooks on the bottom of the body through which some monofilament is theaded. A long chunk of this fishing line is what keeps the cars on track. All that is then needed is a launcher!
You’ll probably have to purchase a launcher – they come in affordable manual models and incredibly expensive electronic versions! The launcher is mounted on a simple wooden frame, and you’re ready to go!
- Science of Speed
- YouTube video of CO2 cars in action
- Example of a launcher