PAL-V (Personal Air and Land Vehicle) is currently developing a road legal three-wheeled vehicle that can be converted into a gyrocopter, giving it unique flying capabilities. It will be a slim vehicle (pilot and passenger in line) with a relatively high CoG (in line with its propeller driven thrust vector). Their first proof of concept was a prototype, based on the principles of the Carver One in terms of driving. It could lean into corners (“carving”), shifting the CoG towards the midpoint of the corner and lowering it as well to prevent it from tumbling over. To do so, it was equipped with two single sided swingarms. The inside arm to be pulled up and the outward arm to be pushed down. This concept was totally new and needed to be tested for many reasons, one of them being to study the amount of tire wear as the rear track width constantly varies when cornering.
8tn Engineering used Solidworks to design a pair of swingarms made of thin walled high strength steel, finding a balance in keeping the weight as low as possible (since the vehicle needed to fly as well) and keeping costs down as well. Cheap but effective weld rigs were designed to manufacture these swing arms. In addition the complex pivoting points were designed that mount to the chassis. Also both a belt and a chain drive system were developed to transfer the power from the gearbox to the carbon fiber rear wheels. Last but not least a rear braking system was added. All components have been analyzed by use of Ansys FE software. 8tn Engineering finally purchased all components and built the prototype that proofed to be successful.