Lightweight garage #12 Lightweight skids @ Santa's sleigh (Mark V)

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Lightweight garage, News

The vehicle

It is said that Santa's sleigh was first reported on exactly one hundred years ago. Designed and built in the Elf Tuning forge at the North Pole and pulled by up to nine reindeer, this vehicle makes it possible to deliver to the good people of the world on Christmas Day.

©Hartwig KHD, Christmas Boycott, CC BY-ND 2.0

In addition to the most innovative navigation and assistance systems on the market and the traditional racing color polar red (also available with metallic option), lightweight construction applications are also concealed alongside the highly confidential drive system.

The major benchmarking providers assume that Santa Claus delivers to around 100 to 200 million households in 31 hours, which results in an average speed above 3,000 to 10,000 times the speed of sound. If the gifts per household weigh a total of 5 kg, a maximum take-off weight of 500,000 or 1,000,000 tons must be assumed, whereby centripetal forces occur that exceed the earth's gravitational pull by an order of magnitude.

If an average of three parcels measuring 40 cm x 40 cm x 40 cm are delivered to each household and the parcels are stacked on the sleigh at a ratio of 2:1:1, the minimum loading area is almost 490 m long and almost 245 m wide and high. Presumably this is why it is always dark when Santa Claus brings the presents.

In view of the high mass and forces, lightweight measures must also be taken here, in particular to avoid displacements in our solar system. In the first part of the project, we therefore optimized the runners.

The lightweight construction

As the mobile teleporter is still undergoing approval and the gifts have to be kept on board, it has been decided at system level to decouple the transport area. This allows the sled mass to be reduced during use. Two variants are still being tested. Either the loading area is divided into eight parts, so that one reindeer can fly back with each 11,250 km long transport area module, or these are burned in the auxiliary drive to further increase the speed.

Customers worldwide want the traditional "carriage with runners" design. As the sleigh can fly, as is generally known, the runners were merely a design element for decades. Now they have been given a load-bearing function in the truest sense of the word. To ensure that the above-mentioned payload does not lead to unacceptable deflection of the transport surface, it is supported on the outside by a rigid frame. The rigid frame is in turn connected to the runners via a framework. The increased bending stiffness thus achieved by increasing the Steiner's ratio enables the rigid frame to be downsized.

©Elke Wetzig, Flax fibers, CC BY-SA 3.0

At the North Pole in particular, efforts are being made to reduce the ecological footprint and contribute to minimizing climate change. This is why the decision was made to use natural fiber-reinforced plastic profiles manufactured using the extrusion process. Knecht Ruprecht upcycles used flax rods.

We can already reveal one thing - all payload increases will be exhausted this year with more gifts. Merry Christmas!

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