Behold, a YouTuber’s Plan to Drive a Car Upside Down in a Tube

Behold, a YouTuber’s Plan to Drive a Car Upside Down in a Tube

Videogames give cars a pretty easy time when it comes to jumps and loop-de-loops, giving them almost unlimited traction to stick to the road, and the ability to fly forward for kilometres without crashing down to the earth. But how far would somebody need to go to make a car actually drive upside down for a considerable distance?

Well, that’s exactly what Scott Mansell of YouTube channel Driver 61 is setting out to achieve with a project that’s just… Out there.

With ‘Project Inversion’, Mansell is planning to drive a Formula 1 car upside-down within a tube (or, well, a Formula 1-like car).

“I know that sounds absolutely ridiculous,” Mansell said.

“But yes, me and the team of engineers and many other people have been working on this project for a couple of years already – and we’ve found out that it’s all 100 per cent possible.”

It’s not the first time I’ve seen a YouTuber drive a car upside down, but this time things are a little different, ambitious, and seemingly much more expensive. Cars have, previously, driven upside down, yes, but Project Inversion involves having the car driven upside down for more than just fractions of a second.

Formula 1 cars are probably one of the best choices for this experiment and were originally considered for it: at high speed, they can supposedly create more than twice their body weight in downforce, according to Mansell.

However, because of their weight, a greater load on the outer structure, a longer tube, a longer run-up, and more power would be required to make this all come together. Additionally, because of the inversion of the car and the way it mechanically works, the engine would need to be engineered to work upside-down. Manswell didn’t elaborate on how this would be rectified but did say he’d get to it in a later video (though he did say combustion engines would be a no-go). Ultimately, a standard F1 car wouldn’t work.

To meet weight and aerodynamics requirements, Mansell plans to drive the Empire Wraith – a car that only weighs 311kg – upside-down with the intention of driving at a slower speed to maximise time at the top of the tube.

The plan is to use the momentum generated by the car, rather than the aerodynamics of the car, to keep the car sustained for a long period.

So, where will Manswell get the tube for the job? Well, a 2.7 kilometre UK tunnel called Catesby Tunnel was originally considered, but complications with the bumpiness of the roof made it a no-go, so the team is now just building their own 600-metre long tube.

Manswell is hoping that, by driving a car upside down through a tunnel, he’ll be inspiring the next generation of engineers. That’s a pretty out-there goal when we’re talking about a daredevil stunt like this, but hey, it’s certainly a feat.

The team is currently looking for partners to help the project come along. Manswell is currently uploading a series about the development of Project Inversion to his YouTube channel.

Image: Empire Racing Cars

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