Cycloid ramp for gravity race cars

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United States of America Patent

APP PUB NO 20120034984A1





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This invention relates to gravity-driven car racing, specifically an improved ramp, such as used in the popular Pinewood Derby race, which is cycloid shaped. The present invention eliminates excessive centripetal force and related problems such as car oscillation caused by prior art ramps which are curved too much or curved in the wrong places. The present invention comprises a ramp shaped as a section of a cycloid curve with the ramp bottom tangent to the horizontal coasting run. It can be shown mathematically that such a curve will produce the least possible centripetal force and associated friction increase in the car wheels as it accelerates toward the coasting run. The present invention causes a ramp to assume the cycloid shape by applying appropriate bending forces to the underside of the ramp. In a preferred embodiment, a hinged brace automatically applies the key bending force as the main support legs are lowered.

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Patent Owner(s)

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Inventor Name Address # of filed Patents Total Citations
Jobe, John Dewey Missouri City, US 4 23

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