Norwegian Student Project May Set World Record

Snowspeed sledge170 mph: The high-tech sledge made by Norwegian students Nima Shahinian and Anders Aannestad. (Photo: Espen Jensvold / Aftenposten)

Nima Shahinian and Anders Aannestad had a childhood dream of making the world’s best sledge. With car manufacturer Toyota on the team, the two Norwegian students are as close to the dream as ever.

The project has been named “Snowspeed” and the goal is that the high-tech sled made by Shahinian and Aannestad at Oslo and Akershus University College (HiOA), are able to achieve a speed of up to 170 mph (275 km/h).

The sleds has room for one driver who controls it manually. It runs entirely by gravity, and has no engine.

The current world record for snow sled is 83.3 mph (134 km/h) and was set by British TV personality Guy Martin in 2014.

Fastest Downhill

– I grew up in Nittedal and have always been fond of sledging. My father was car designer, so I became interested in fast vehicles. The dream was to have the fastest sled. After I became an adult I could not put my dream aside, Nima Shahinian tells newspaper Aftenposten.

At the Product Design program at HiOA, Shahinian met Anders Aannestad, and together they developed a prototype of the sled.

The school however, did not appreciate it.

– The sledge was the over 13 feet long (four meters) and took up a lot of space at school. So I had to move it to my private workshop, Shahinian says.

After that, the sledge has become increasingly more popular.

International Attention

Aannestad and Shaninian gradually acquired several Norwegian partners.

One day, car manufacturer Toyota called and invited them to test their prototype sled in the wind tunnel in Cologne, Germany.

– The wind tunnel is unique and used by the leading Formula 1 teams in the world. Our collaboration with Toyota means we get to work with experts, says Shahinian.

Several international media have described the Norwegian super sledge, among them BBC.

– We want to challenge the world of design. By mixing the Nordic snowy landscape with an extremely high-tech universe, we create a unique combination. We want to show that design is not necessarily just a nice lamp, says Shahinian.

Still Studying

The sled is scheduled to be ready for a world record attempt in January 2017.

– We have already made several prototypes, but now we are working to make the sled more stable, Shahinian explains.

The two designers are still studying, and are currently taking their masters degree in product design at HiOA.

Question Everything

It is not the first time the two receive attention for their design.

They designed a box to guide airplanes through volcanic ash called NicAIR II, and Shahinian got a million-dollar contract for a socket he designed.

– Where do you get all the good ideas?

– I think it is about asking questions about why things are as they are and whether they could have been different – all the time. However, it is also a curse; all day long, I ask myself weird questions, Shahinian laughs.


Text modified by: Anette Broteng Christiansen, ThorNews

Categories: Culture, Design, Sports & Health

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