Jason’s Speed Challenge 2018
This page is about my latest challenge - the world’s fastest electric wheelchair! See below for updates
Yes, you read that right. Last year I came up with this outrageous idea - and then promptly applied to Guinness World Records to see if they would accept my record. Some 12 weeks later, it was approved. Christmas came and went, two trips to hospital nearly got the better of me but still I fight on. Now, asking people to help with such a mad idea is mad in itself, especially when you tell them how fast you want to go. So, one evening I chatted to a friend on Facebook, who suggested a friend of his who has a company in the electric vehicle industry - and, oh by the way, he’s as mad as you. That was it. I sent an email and within a couple of weeks a meeting was arranged.
Liz and I met Jay and Dean from Indra, who were equally as excited about the project as I was. At this stage I should say THAT although Liz is 100% behind me, she also agrees I am insane. Setting the world record in Jay’s words is relatively easy. The attraction to the project, well in both their words, was “we have to do this”, with regards to the record I wish to set.
Various ideas were thrown around and I put my visions to them. To my surprise most of them actually might be used as they were good ones. To achieve my goal which is more than just a goal - a legacy to leave behind for my girls, that not only did I set a world record, but I did it with advanced Motor Neurone Disease, while virtually paralysed. This to me shows not only my girls but indeed the whole world that just because you are disabled, or suffer with an illness, or terminal illness, that life is over. In fact, having two terminal illnesses in some respects was the start of a new life.
Indra estimate it will cost somewhere in the region of £10,000 to make the bespoke chair. Before they can manufacture the chair, we need to secure funding in the form of sponsorship, but they are hoping to get some of the components donated, or at a reduced cost. A racing company have already donated a seat and 5 point harness.
We are looking for companies who would be willing to offer sponsorship. In return, they can have their name and logo on my helmet, suit, on the parachutes, published on social media and shown on the day.
Not surprisingly it is already attracting media attention. It has been on Look North and the Yorkshire Post has published an article. The BBC is making a documentary for Inside Out and we expect the record attempt will be in the National news.
If you know of anyone who maybe interested in being a part of this, please contact me on Jason@cossie.biz.
Update 2nd August 2018
Initially we were to build a chair from scratch but on digging around for parts it was discovered that it would be cheaper to buy a suitable used chair with all the main components on. So such a chair has been bought from Germany and will be here at Indra next week. The high speed motors are waiting to be fitted. This is not a simple conversion as the chosen chair is rear wheel steer, why have we chosen that? Conventional chairs are castor wheels at the front, no good for the speeds we are trying to achieve. The other types are skid steering like a tank, again no good for us. This chair is rack and pinion controlled by a motor through a joy stick, ideal for our needs, with front wheel drive. So Indra want to turn it round so we have a rear wheel drive front wheel steering dragster.
Along side this we have a full parts list. Indra are as well as building the chair supplying ultra thin batteries, the new seat must be fitted and lowered. We have been talking with a tyre specialist who has recommended a scooter tyre capable of 100 mph filled with a compound similar in characteristics to air but puncture proof, fairly simple to work out the outcome of a puncture in a wheelchair at any speed let alone near triple figures.
Other parts to be fitted are battery boxes, hub converters to accept the new wheels, controller power supply and power converter for the controller.
We now have a estimated build time of 6 – 8 weeks, slightly delayed from my original plans.
Next steps are to confirm a date with Elvington airfield and to raise the remainder of the funds required. Mrn print have offered to sign write my Van in vinyl so we are hoping to raise awareness and funds for the challenge that way as well as social media. We have the backing of the Fully charged show, the Free Masons and the MNDA.
I will update you all again when we visit Indra in Worcestershire to see how the build is progressing and possibly a test drive.