Will New Snow Sledge Beat Skis to Quickest Time on Snow?

 

Norwegian snow boffins are hoping that a newly-invented snow sledge may topple the world speed record on snow. The sledge is being designed by a team of designers and snow-speed fanatics who (imaginatively) call themselves Snowspeed.

 

The Norwegian team aim to beat the current speed world record for a non-machine-powered device on the snow. In other words, the device must use only gravity and the snow it travels on to gather speed. The current world record for the fastest sledge is held by a Brit; Guy Martin piloted a sledge that reached speeds of 83.49 mph back in 2014.

 

Snowspeed are hoping to smash this with their new snow sledge, which is designed to reach speeds of up to 155 mph. But the team aim to actually go one further and beat even the skiing world record for the fastest time on snow. That record currently stands at 157 mph and was set by Italian ski racer, Simone Origone, also in 2014. (To put this speed into some sort of perspective, this is significantly quicker than the maximum speed of a free-falling skydiver, which is 120 mph.)
 

Not the sled on which Guy Martin reached speeds of 83.49 mph back in 2014.
Image 
courtesy of Tambako The Jaguar on Flickr under a Creative Commons licence.

 

Snowspeed will attempt their world record in Oslo next winter, but have already tested a half-scale model of their speedy sledge at a high-performance testing facility in Germany. With a steady rolling road under the device and a wind simulator, the team recorded almost-real-life conditions and recorded such things as sideforce, downforce, drag, roll and pitch in a bid to help them improve the ultimate performance of their sledge.

 

Head designer, Nima Shahinian said: “We will improve the design further over the next few weeks and aim to complete the final sledge in the next few months, ready for an attempt at the world speed record in 2017.”

 

Watch this space.