Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Humpback style racing wings

Bumpy surfaced front and rear wings.
  (+7, -1)
(+7, -1)
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Research recently has been done regarding the fluid dynamics of humpback whale fins.

The fins have leading edge bumps, which the reason for has never been known.

It turns out they smooth the flow of water around and over the leading surface before passing over and creating lift.

The advantage to the bumps is a much greater stall angle, and greater effectiveness at lower speeds.

In a traditional sharp even edge wing, at lower speeds the air that would be bumped up or down by the leading edge would in fact be smoothed over the surface so the wing can perform its duty at lower speeds due to the reduction of dirty air.

It's quite counterintuive as sharp and pointy objects have always been the norm in aero dynamics.

This is somewhat baked as the idea has already begun being researched on airplane wings.

But it's the F1 designers who pursue any small bump in performance with so much effort, looking for the next big revolution that everyone will copy.

Pardon the pun.

Giblet, Jan 08 2005

Science Daily write up of the whale research http://www.sciencen...s/20040904/bob9.asp
[jutta, Jan 08 2005]

Prof. Frank Fish http://darwin.wcupa.edu/~biology/fish/
The biomechanist on on the research paper. [jutta, Jan 08 2005]


       Oh yeah... and if a body kit company made them, the small bump in performance would get the boy racers buying them like crazy to be unique in the field of unique cars all looking basically the same :)
Giblet, Jan 08 2005

       I hate spoilers, but bravo for identifying an ideal market. It wouldn't even have to be functional... it's like someone's paying you to do your field work.
tiromancer, Jan 08 2005

       But it is functional.   

       Racing wings dont apply useful downforce until 120mph or so. So having useful downforce at a lower speed is actually functional.   

       But yeah.. they would be bought if they were or were not working.
Giblet, Jan 08 2005

       Be aware that, as water is so much more dense than air, fins, or features on them, can be a lot smaller to have the same effect. You might need huge bumps before they became useful in air.
david_scothern, Jan 09 2005

       F1 cars currently have all kinds of little flip-ups and mini wings that's only purpose is to smooth the dirty air over the wings.   

       Even of if the bumps are big, at least they would be all on one control surface.
Giblet, Jan 09 2005


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