GTR Composites, part of the GTR Group, has recently manufactured a composite BMX bowl for Red Bull, that was used to film Don’t Look Down. The project involved BMX pro Kriss Kyle riding the composite bowl whilst suspended under a hot air balloon, 2100 feet above the ground.
The incredibly unique set of requirements in this project included: the correct bowl shape to enable Kriss to perform his tricks; enough strength to ensure the structure did not flex; achieving the rigidity to allow it to be suspended from a number of fixed points and importantly, being lightweight enough to allow the entire structure to be airlifted to the required height, below the balloon.
Once designed by GTR’s client Red Bull Advanced Technologies, GTR production engineered and manufactured the carbon-composite bowl. The project took 10 weeks to manufacture and delivered a structure that was 11 meters long, 8 meters wide and 3 meters deep. The bowl has a surface area of 160 square meters and once produced, weighed 1500 kgs. The bowl was manufactured in 22 separate individual modules that were then bolted together to create the final assembly. The production process involved the use of a low-cost tooling method using high density foam. Each mould was created and surface finished before being layed up as a vacuum assisted wet lay-up using dry fibre CFRP over a pigmented gelcoat that was then cured under vacuum, out of autoclave.
Simon Kingdon-Butcher, Director and Co-founder at GTR said: “this was a really exciting project for our team to work on here at GTR and I’d like to thank Andy Dance, in particular, for his detailed management of the project on our side. We were selected by Red Bull Advanced Technologies as they are an existing client of ours who fully understand our ability to deliver on a unique, complex and safety critical project such as this. Due to the size and complexity, we had to adjust our approach in a number of areas including the application of an ‘out of autoclave’ process. The final product fully met the requirements and we’re exceedingly proud of our achievements that demonstrate, once again, our ability to produce any kind of component or structure across multiple applications and sectors”. He added: “the ‘Don’t Look Down!’ film is simply stunning and can be viewed on the link. Please do take a look, it’s amazing to watch!”.
Watch Don’t Look Down on Red Bull Bike YouTube channel with a full behind the scenes documentary available to watch at redbull.co.uk/dontlookdown.
Images courtesy of Red Bull.