2012 Millennium Falcon

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2012 Millennium Falcon

Postby mullenc525 » Tue Feb 28, 2012 3:14 pm

falcon model.jpg
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Hello,

My friend and I (both mechanical engineers) are beginning to design and build a millennium falcon to bring to the burn this year. It's 30' long by 23' wide and 13' high. We plan to build it in a battle damaged state and it is being towed by a star wars themed maintenance vehicle (our trusty golf cart for a disabled person in our 2010 camp). Features will include a 14' semi flexible floor designed to imitate the feeling of space flight with an occupant load of 40-50 people, nozzles on the landing gear for a playa dust kicking landing effect, video projected onto the upper hull such that it is visible internally and externally, bike racking, and of course moderate sound. To reduce the scope of the project but maintain scale, the hulls of the falcon themselves are non structural - only satisfactory for wind loading.

This is a little upgrade from our tall bikes last year.
photo.JPG
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Currently we are under the assumption we will have a small team as tickets are scarce. (Neither of us have tickets at this point but we are planning on something coming through.) We believe we can do this ourselves without too much extra help.

We just wanted to post a teaser to gather some thoughts and ideas from the community and make sure we weren't crazy thinking we can do this with only a couple people.
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Re: 2012 Millennium Falcon

Postby trilobyte » Tue Feb 28, 2012 4:16 pm

Sounds like fun, if the Death Star guys make it out this year I can imagine they'll wanna steer clear of you. I'm far from an MV or golf cart expert, but it'd have to be quite an engine in that cart to be able to tow a trailer with a lot of people on it.

As you guys firm up your plans, you might want to consider posting in the MV's seeking participants thread. Call out where you're based, and the kind of workers you're looking for. Aside from new participants who may have some skills, there may be some returning burners looking to get more involved or willing to come lend a hand.

Good luck!
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Re: 2012 Millennium Falcon

Postby lemur » Tue Feb 28, 2012 5:30 pm

not only is the ability of the motor/chassis to pull that huge load (50 people at 130pound = 6500pounds .. plus art/trailer) a concern.. youll also need some serious stopping power to stop a load that big with golf cart brakes.

good luck !!.. it looks like if you get super detailed on it that thing could kick ass (many times stuff ends up looking WAY better than the sketch)


and.. dont forget.. your tow vehicle needs to be mutated as well...
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Re: 2012 Millennium Falcon

Postby videoparker28 » Thu Mar 01, 2012 9:23 am

Only concern..he dust jets on the lnding gear. I assume you will be porting air to the dround to give that dusty langing effect. Super cool but keep in mind that blowing dust around can be a problem. The waters truck are used to cut down on the dust so it is an issue for some reason. The DMV may question this effect due to the dust it will be constantly kicking up. maybe just at load/unload stops. I get it man...and I respect it...but be ready with a reasonable answer if DMV questions it
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Re: 2012 Millennium Falcon

Postby mullenc525 » Thu Mar 01, 2012 4:06 pm

Yes, of course the dust effect will be via a push button only. Don't think we'd make many friends driving down the streets kicking up extra dust but it will be cool on the open playa.

The golf cart is going to need modification yes. We are thinking of a samurai rear axle, which will solve the gear reduction, gross weight, and braking issues. And the golf cart will be embellished in star ways style too!
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Re: 2012 Millennium Falcon

Postby Galaxo Magic » Fri Mar 02, 2012 11:02 pm

Having been with a camp for 6 years that used a golf cart until we got to big and had to move to a small pick-up. Even beefing up a golf cart would struggle pulling 20 people on a trailer. If the playa is soft or has loose areas (2007-09) you won't be able to pull it through those. Good luck, can't wait to see it!
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Re: 2012 Millennium Falcon

Postby ZaphodBurner » Sat Mar 03, 2012 5:56 pm

Impressive. Most impressive...
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Re: 2012 Millennium Falcon

Postby Major Krash » Sun Mar 04, 2012 8:53 am

I second the concerns about using a golf cart to pull this creation...but I do not think you will need brakes at all (it will never move with 20 people on it)...my GryoNadir struggled with 4

http://www.flickr.com/photos/extramatic/4971785474/

I added rear seating for 2, and a relatively light weight top structure (solar panel, flame effects)...these additions were too much. Fully loaded it would get stuck in 2010 unless I stayed on hard roads, and even then after 30 minutes or so the gasoline engine would overheat.... Without all the added stuff, it would do 20mph.....

But being Mechanical Engineers, you probably have some clever plan for F=MA and all....
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Re: 2012 Millennium Falcon

Postby ZaphodBurner » Sun Mar 04, 2012 3:03 pm

Major Krash wrote:I second the concerns about using a golf cart to pull this creation...but I do not think you will need brakes at all (it will never move with 20 people on it)...my GryoNadir struggled with 4

http://www.flickr.com/photos/extramatic/4971785474/


Beautiful.

We just acquired access to a golf cart that has been used for many years on the playa and has hauled 12-15 people max. We're going to turn it into a Fokker tri-plane.

A cart might be able to pull the Falcon with the right wheels and bearings, but my prediction is that you'll end up moving it with far fewer people onboard--you'll figure it out when you get there--and then people will pile on it wherever it stops. Can't wait to see it.
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Re: 2012 Millennium Falcon

Postby Galaxo Magic » Mon Mar 05, 2012 2:15 pm

ZaphodBurner wrote:
We just acquired access to a golf cart that has been used for many years on the playa and has hauled 12-15 people max. We're going to turn it into a Fokker tri-plane.

Dang it, if we weren't committed to the pink elephant again, I would love to build a Sopwith Camel! We'll get you Red Baron!

PS- And Baron, keep Vader on a leash....
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Re: 2012 Millennium Falcon

Postby zerzura » Mon Mar 05, 2012 3:52 pm

Hi there, I just read that the tow vehicle is your disabled campmate's. I wanted to give you the heads up that it will have to be mutated enough on it's own to pass as a mutant vehicle; because vehicles registered for a disabled driver are not allowed to pull a trailer. I don't want that to surprise you.
Also, we've had much better luck with small industrial vehicles that have high towing capacity and torque rather than golf carts. Things such as Taylor Dunns and the like. They do not go anywhere fast, but they "go" slowly very well.
Whether you are crazy to take this on depends on you fabrication skill and available time. A vehicle that large is not a quick build, just from the sheer square footage you want to accomplish. It sounds really fun, please post later if you get it underway!
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Re: 2012 Millennium Falcon

Postby BBadger » Mon Mar 05, 2012 4:38 pm

I know when I see it the first thing out of my mouth will be:

What a piece of junk!


(that is of course meant in the best possible way)
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Re: 2012 Millennium Falcon

Postby Galaxo Magic » Mon Mar 05, 2012 9:40 pm

But she'll do the Kessle run in half a parsec
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Re: 2012 Millennium Falcon

Postby ZaphodBurner » Mon Mar 05, 2012 11:46 pm

...just don't tell that to the DMV.

One thing it should have is a flashing thing.
Or a just a flashing sign that says THAT.

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Re: 2012 Millennium Falcon

Postby moonrise » Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:05 am

zerzura wrote:Hi there, I just read that the tow vehicle is your disabled campmate's. I wanted to give you the heads up that it will have to be mutated enough on it's own to pass as a mutant vehicle; because vehicles registered for a disabled driver are not allowed to pull a trailer. I don't want that to surprise you.
Also, we've had much better luck with small industrial vehicles that have high towing capacity and torque rather than golf carts. Things such as Taylor Dunns and the like. They do not go anywhere fast, but they "go" slowly very well.
Whether you are crazy to take this on depends on you fabrication skill and available time. A vehicle that large is not a quick build, just from the sheer square footage you want to accomplish. It sounds really fun, please post later if you get it underway!


ADA laws allow disabled persons to tow trailers.

BRC DMV rules may not be the same.

Hopefully they'll mutate it willingly or decorate it beautifully...I'll stfu now.
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Re: 2012 Millennium Falcon

Postby zerzura » Tue Mar 06, 2012 10:51 am

I am of course speaking about Burning Man DMV
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Re: 2012 Millennium Falcon

Postby Bounce530 » Tue Mar 06, 2012 11:09 am

Or unless it's a steampunk octopus....but then again maybe their tow vehicle was mutated to look like a Lexus SUV...
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Re: 2012 Millennium Falcon

Postby Galaxo Magic » Wed Mar 07, 2012 1:17 am

El Pulpo Mechanico was running under it's own power the Saturday pre-Burn. I think it pooped out after the event started. Not sure if anyone hassled them after it had to be pulled but it was worth it to see it in action all week!
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Re: 2012 Millennium Falcon

Postby Galaxo Magic » Wed Mar 07, 2012 1:20 am

So what's an aluminum falcon? - Senator Palpatin (Robot Chicken)
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Re: 2012 Millennium Falcon

Postby plumblove » Thu Apr 12, 2012 6:54 pm

I applaud you for your vision. Looks awesome! But your engineering leaves something to be desired. A golf cart has a centrifugal clutch and will not pull that load. It probably couldn't pull the Milleniun trailer(built to support 40-50 people) empty. You'll need at least a small pick up truck/suv or a full sized one to pull the trailer and people. The other problem you'll have with the golf cart or even the small truck/suv is the tongue weight of the trailer. Too much and you'll drive the tongue and the back of the golf car into the playa. Popping a golf cart wheelie. The inverse problem is true as well. If there's too much weight in the back of the trailer the tongue and the rear of the golf cart will be lifted into the air. With people moving around in the trailer it will be impossible to keep this balance right. You're best bet is a full sized truck/SUV. How many large trailers, with 40-50 people in them, being pulled by golf carts, have you seen cruising around the playa? Sorry, there's more. The width of your trailer would make it a playa only MV. No streets for you. Which would mean you'd have to leave it when you went to camp.
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