Walnut’s solar car looked like a miniature aircraft carrier as it floated down Pomona Boulevard. I expected small jets to land on its flight deck at any minute.
But this futuristic car was only making another test run before the Walnut Valley students load it up for the annual Solar Car Challenge in Texas next week.
The sleek, aerodynamic vehicle was testament to clever engineering by two dozen students from Diamond Bar and Walnut high schools, as well as Suzanne Middle School.
The team will be the only challenger from California in the challenge. But hopes are high that the Walnut Valley team will do well again. Last year, the team captured second place in the open division.
And the students have learned from their mistakes, building a new car from the ground up. It’s taken a full year to design and develop, but the car, dubbed Horus after the Egyptian sun god, is ready.
The petite pilot, co-captain Rhea Lin, was all smiles as she slid into the sleek shell. Clambering under the large solar panels, only her helmeted head appeared in the custom tear-shaped canopy.
“We’ll do well, the Walnut Solar Car team has worked really hard to finish our new car,” said Lin from the safety of her three-point harness.
In fact, the local teens have been meeting every Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. to build their solar sailor. Horus is powered only by the rays of the sun.
Read more in Rich Irwin’s story SOLAR.