Speedy Air Powered Pinewood Derby Car

For the last two years my Son has been involved in Cub Scouts and Pack 19 in Middletown Ohio puts on a heck of a Pinewood Derby. Pack 19 allows leaders and parents to build their own cars with the hope that it will distract the parents and let the Cub Scouts build their own car. This policy works!!!!! I am one of those Dad’s that obsesses over the Pinewood Derby race. For the 2012 race which was my Son’s first year I generated a good idea to create an air powered car that was to use a rubber band but I didn’t have time to complete it. The 2013 Derby was the debut year of the Speedy Air Powered Pinewood Derby Car!!!! Design changes were made after speaking with a few engineers at AFRL over lunch. The use of radio controlled (RC) parts made this project possible and fairly easy to construct.


In the picture above you can see the car being constructed. We used the following parts:

  • Two blocks of pinewood from the standard kit. One block was the car body and the other block was used to build an motor mount
  • R/C Speed Controller
  • R/C Receiver
  • R/C Motor
  • Not shown in the picture above battery
  • Spektrum DX6i transmitter
  • 3 inch 2/3 propeller (buy a bunch of these because a few of these will be broken during testing and construction)

After construction and a few test runs and tweaking the car is shown in the picture below in its transportation box:


Yes I used rubber bands to hold the car together. This is a bad idea especially for our track which doesn’t have the best stop mechanism. A few times during the race I had to realign the parts and apply the rubber bands again. Below is a picture of all the cars before the start of the race, the Speedy Air Powered Pinewood Derby car is in the front right of the picture. I was really worried about the bunny car because it looked fast.


Not shown on the table above another powered car made a appearance at the race (below) but this Dad had solder problems so we didn’t get to race until the end. Please take note I am not the only parent obsessed with the Pinewood Derby.


Below are some bad movies. It was difficult to control the throttle and take movies on my iPhone at the same time. Needless to say this car was very fast. I rarely had to apply much throttle to win. The car weighed in at exactly 5 oz and was the exact size and dimensions as required. It was fun to build and even more fun to race. Thanks to all the people that pitched in I couldn’t of done it without your help and encouragement!

Links to vidoes: