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Spring mounted airfoils

Mounting aerodynamic aids / wings on calibrated springs with a pivot point.
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Imagine an F1 racing car. It has wings for down force. Active (computer controlled) aerodynamics are not allowed by FIA rules.

The current fixed system means one angle is maintained throughout the race. Thus on a tight corner – you do require massive down force, but on a straight you do not – but the fixed angle means an exponential rise in down force as you speed up in the straight – causing huge drag, which limits top speed.

Mount pivoted wings with a spring that allows wind pressure to press the wings flat as speed increases – net result = the same down force being applied at different speeds, but with a reduction in drag at higher speeds as the wings are flattened. This is thus a mechanical / passive aerodynamic aid rather than an active aid as banned by FIA – applications in passenger vehicles as well…

TAR-zan, Jul 23 2008


       "A flexible rear wing provides important downforce on the corners without significantly increasing drag on the straightaways. But overly flexible wings are illegal. McLaren, after learning that Ferrari was bending the rules, complained about a slot gap in Ferrari's rear wing that flexed closed at top speeds."
'Grand Theft Auto' (an article about industrial espionage between Ferrari and McLaren racing)
Wired magazine, June 2008, p187
phoenix, Jul 23 2008

       Would not a wing that responded to the amount of airflow passing over it be, by definition an Active Aerodynamic device?
jhomrighaus, Jul 23 2008

       Flexing wings is not allowed by the FIA. There was a big to do in 2006 when on board pics of the Ferrari showed the wings flexing.   

       The FIA load tests all wings to make sure they don't flex any major amount.   

       Passive as well as active aids are not allowed.   

       Baked in the 60s.   

       The high up suspension mounted wings on 60's F1 cars were cable controlld by the driver so they could be flattened out on straights, and increaesed for corners.   

       Even the mass damper system developed by Renault, which is a weighted spring inside the car, was outlawed because it helped keep the car level over curbs, increasing aero effeciency.   

       So again, baked, and explicitly not allowed by the current rules.   

       Read up on the coming 2009-2011 regs, there is room for more aero adjustment I think.
Giblet, Jul 24 2008


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