To car enthusiasts, the name Lotus hardly evokes visions of bob sledding. However, when considering the engineering elements involved such as composite materials and aerodynamics, such a relationship appears not so unconventional after all.
To car enthusiasts the name Lotus hardly evokes visions of bob sledding. However, when considering the engineering elements involved such as composite materials and aerodynamics, the relationship appears not so unconventional after all.
When Royal Air Force (RAF) Bobsleigh Team Manager Flight Lieutenant Craig Dickie approached Lotus Engineering initially to discuss the possibility of them assessing a sled which had sustained significant damage and cracks to the body over the years, Lotus Group Chief Executive, Mike Kimberley, accepted very enthusiastically.
Kimberly states, “Lotus is regarded as a world leader in composite research, development and manufacture. We are delighted to be given the opportunity to demonstrate our skills outside the car industry. The advanced composites repairs have been done to an extremely high quality, keeping weight to a minimum and are another example of our skills. The resulting Sled has been returned to the RAF as good as new.”
With a colour scheme changed from its RAF blue to the traditional green and gold of Lotus, the sled that was once deemed a safety hazard was returned to the RAF after 70 plus hours of engineering time. Upon its first outing, at the Inter-Services Ice Championships for 2008 held at the 1200 metre Innsbruck/Igls Olympic Bobsleigh track in Austria, the team finished third overall.