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Aeroscreen

The need for speed. And visibility. Latest updates are at the bottom of the page.

I've got a queue of stuff waiting to be written, but this jumps ahead on the basis that it's time sensitive. My scribblings might be different if I wait until after it rains...

Steve and Phil expertly fitted my aeroscreen for me a couple of weeks ago, but immediately afterwards I went away on a business trip which meant that yesterday was my first proper chance to drive the windowless car. In dry, sunny weather it's excellent. There's a panoramic view, unobstructed by a stone-pitted windscreen, stone-pitted aluminium frame, or mucky black sidescreen surround. The car is definitely a lot quicker too. Although part of the impression undoubtedly comes from the fact that the wind pushes my head back, I can now get to n + 10 mph in the same time as I used to get to n (where n is a suitably large number). I'll be testing my suspicions with my AP-22 as soon as my test ballast, Paul, can scrounge a helmet.

I was expecting the improvement in high-speed acceleration, but the car feels a lot more responsive at lower speeds too. Again the AP-22 should confirm or deny my impressions.

Before getting the aeroscreen fitted I drove down to Steve's with no screen at all. That was worth doing because I now realise that the vestigial piece of black Perspex actually does have a worthwhile effect. Without it the fast wind pushed my chin up, and turning my head to do a safety look over my shoulder was almost lethal, such was the force which snapped my helmet round.

Still to come: aero driving in the wet :-(.

24 April 2003: The aeros are fantastic at night. Rather than being blinded by the glare of other cars' headlights refracting throughout my windscreen, I just saw individual points of light through the crystal clear helmet visor. I know it won't stay that way, but hopefully fitting a new visor will be a lot cheaper and easier than fitting a new windscreen. It rained today, but I didn't have to drive through it :-).

30 April 2003: It's rained a lot over the past few days but I've largely managed to avoid driving in it; instead I've had a couple of gentle introductions to aeroscreening in the wet, with drizzle and heavy road spray. The aeros are still very good - at any decent speed the water droplets get blown downwards off my visor and I can see much better than with the windscreen. Again, if I manage to maintain a decent speed (higher than about 50 mph) then most of the water goes straight over my body (apart from the spray which hits my right arm that hangs out the side of the car). For those times when I need to travel more slowly I'm following Steve's advice, and laying the driver's side tonneau across my lap, tucked in down the sides, which keeps me dry and snuggly warm. It's almost civilised.

16 May 2003: I had my first experience of aeros in the rain whilst on the way in to work today. Everything was fine until, some way into the journey, I braked. Then my backside felt cold. Oh dear. Somehow a pool of water had formed in the dip of my seat. I spent the whole morning sitting around with a wet arse. Must buy a bike's suit this weekend.

19 May 2003: I didn't get chance to buy a biker's suit because Steve was fitting my new nearside wing for me. Big mistake. I went to collect to remainer of my "new" wheels after work (more later), and the heavens opened. Day turned to night, visibility disappeared because of the stair-rods falling from the sky, and lakes formed where the M40 was supposed to be. Every item of my clothing got extremely wet. I'm just glad it happened on the way home from work.



This page is http://www.strangely.org/diary/200304/aero.html. It was first published on Wednesday 23 April, 2003 and last updated on Friday 15 August, 2003.