The University of Central Lancashire has released a render of an improved sleigh for Father Christmas.
After analysing the aerodynamic qualities of Santa’s wagon, the team at UCLAN decided to optimise the vehicle for economy. Improvements were made to the shape and size of the sleigh, as well as the materials used.
An aerodynamic carbon fibre body is the most striking change for the next-generation sleigh, as are the aluminium runners. The students claim that the next-generation sleigh will reduce the strain placed on Santa’s reindeers and could reduce his journey time (32 hours to travel to every house on the planet) by up to three hours.
Reuben Taylor, 1st year Mechanical Engineer, UCLAN explained, “We’ve been working on our own ultra- efficient vehicle for next year’s Shell Eco-marathon, when we realised how inefficient Santa’s sleigh actually is”.
The Shell Eco-marathon is a regular competition in which teams of engineers devise ultra-low fuel consumption vehicles compete to go the furthest with the least fuel. The UCLAN team hope to enter a vehicle when the Eco-marathon comes to London in June 2016.
The current record, set using hydrogen, is equivalent to 15,000mpg in a petrol engine.
Tony Broad, Lecturer and Project Leader, UCLAN added, “The first thing that stood out to us was the really high levels of drag. There’s a big area where turbulent air circles around the sleigh and recirculates behind it, and that makes it harder for him to move forward. Do you know how much Christmas spirit he must waste each year?”