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Reactive Ailerons

Ailerons on your car respond to your speed and turn radius to create more or less friction with the road as required
  (+3, -1)
(+3, -1)
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Ailerons is not exactly the right way to describe this, but it's the best way I know of. So 'ailerons' (or similar devices) project off the side or perhaps rear of your car a small amount, and they are adjustable so as to allow for upward aerodynamic force or downward aerodynamic force on the car. The degree and direction of the force would be in proportion to how fast you're going and how fast you are turning - for example: -a straightaway, 75 mph. The ailerons lift you up slightly, allowing for less friction with the road and increased mileage. -a V-turn, 75 mph. The ailerons cannot prevent you from crashing, but they can force you into the road giving you maximum friction, before crashing.

Seeing as how this is a potentially dangerous concept (ailerons lifting when you need them pushing, for example) it would hopefully be a mechanical rather than electronic system. The details of that could be hashed out later, no problem :)

This is partially inspired by Devil at Your Heels, a documentary featuring cars with ailerons being incredibly, wildly misused.

Advanced aileron systems could certainly be created to allow for brief periods of flight, as well as high speed hydraulic-style displays of how gangsta your ailerons are.

kerryoco, Feb 18 2008

Automotive aerobraking Automotive_20aerobraking
Similar. [phoenix, Feb 18 2008]

whoomp, whoomp whale_20tail_20spoiler
[po, Feb 18 2008]

Bugatti Veyron http://en.wikipedia...wiki/Bugatti_Veyron
"The car's everyday top speed is listed at 375 km/h (233 mph). When the car reaches 220 km/h (137 mph), hydraulics lower the car until it has a ground clearance of about 8.9 cm (3œ inches). At the same time, the wing and spoiler deploy. This is the "handling mode", in which the wing helps provide 3425 newtons (770 pounds) of downforce, holding the car to the road."...."At speeds above 124 mph (200 km/h), the rear wing also acts as an airbrake, snapping to a 55-degree angle in 0.4 seconds once brakes are applied, providing 0.68 g (4.9 m/s²) of deceleration (equivalent to the stopping power of an ordinary hatchback).[8] Bugatti claims the Veyron will brake from 400 km/h (249 mph) to a standstill in less than 10 seconds." - a very silly car indeed. [zen_tom, Feb 19 2008]

Youtube of the first Top Gear review http://www.youtube....watch?v=lGJ9hrpcI2c
Complete with Truffles [gnomethang, Feb 19 2008]

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       This idea has potential at highway speed if there are no other cars in the vicinity. To be effective, the "wings" would have to be positioned at a proper aerodynamic balance point, especially if they are going to be used to create lift. The wings could destabilize the car unless, of course, they were designed merely to increase apparent down force to increase traction. This is a very carefully calculated adjustment for both road conditions and the individual car and the type tires used. It is not something to be casually handled. You see them on race cars, and they are critical racing components adjusted by experts.
Blisterbob, Feb 18 2008

       I'm not sure there's any advantage in having lift for 'less friction' - if your car has wheels rather than skids, I suspect 'frictional' losses would not be reduced. But I may be wrong.
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 18 2008

       Various sports cars (I'm thinking of the Porsche 911) have 'pop-up' spoilers that automatically deploy over certain speeds.
zen_tom, Feb 18 2008

       As velocity increases, the predominant energy loss is drag from air resistance. Adding airfoil sections will increase drag, even if they reduce the downforce on the road, as they will be converting forward momentum into lift.   

       Deploying airfoils to produce asymmetric downforce when executing high speed turns is an idea not without merit, however. Bear in mind that a car using such a system would be unstable if it were absent; thus any failure of the airfoil control system would probably have serious consequences.
8th of 7, Feb 18 2008

       I think active aerodynamics are used in some European racing classes. The same money no object classes that brought us paddle shifters. I think most of the time it is done with variable front air dams to vary down force. Adjusting rear wings is scary stuff and that is why it was banned by most classes of racing.
MisterQED, Feb 18 2008

       If I recall correctly, Jim Hall had an adjustable wing on a couple of his Chapparal racers that were so ridiculously effective that it necessitated a rule change to eliminate an unfair advantage. The wing was operated by a pedal.   

       The additional air drag would more than offset any advantage realized in reduction of rolling resistance.
elhigh, Feb 18 2008

       "Left Hand Turn, Clyde!"
gnomethang, Feb 18 2008

       This was baked and banned in Formula 1. Then a simple mechanical version was also banned, which just had an aerofoil that bent flat at speed.
marklar, Feb 18 2008

       What [elhigh] said. I think I also saw a similar set-up on a Nissan-powered sports-racing prototype of the '60's/'70's, which worked automatically. This was a split overhead wing the left and right portions of which operated separately, with the steering.   

       Then there was the guy who mounted a pair of movable sailboard sails on a Lotus 7 clone to achieve the same end using lateral rather than vertical forces. I've tried in the past to find a link, to no avail. Anyone?   

       By the way: //it would hopefully be a mechanical rather than electronic system//: [+], goes without saying.
Ned_Ludd, Feb 19 2008

       This can't be good for the shocks.   

shapu, Feb 19 2008

       Nice Link [zen-tom]. My two favourite stats are the following:
You can put it along side a Maclaren F1, let the F1 go and get to 100mph, let the Veyron go and it will STILL beat it to 200mph
It will empty its fuel tank flat out in about 12 minutes.
gnomethang, Feb 19 2008

       I saw a Veyron in the flesh the other day. I like to think that I wouldn't ever cheat on my wife, but if I did, it would be with one of those.
jtp, Feb 19 2008

       I have a new class, applied physics this year. My teacher explained that you need some high speeds to achieve any actual lift or force. He mentioned around 150 MPH, 75 being just half of what is needed.   

       I think that putting this aileron upside down would cause extra pressure to push down on the back of the car (or wherever the aileron is placed).   

       If you placed it on the back of the car where the wheels of the car which are powered by the engine you could achieve a high pressure downwards which can be used to produce greater traction.   

       This is nothing new, such upgrades are already sold for cars. My teacher pointed out the high speeds needed for this wing to work. He made fun of the students who put these upside down wings on their cars and expect better performance in normal town traffic. Lol!   

       And yes I'm back! Muahaha!
EvilPickels, Feb 20 2008

       Muahaha indeed Mr Pickels! Nice to see you're back!
zen_tom, Feb 20 2008

       I think this needs more explanation. Are we talking about ailerons for vertical or horizontal force application?   

       I.e. is this trying to push the car directly around the corner or is it simply pushing the car into the ground to improve traction?   

       If it is the later (which the example certainly suggests) then it's been baked for many years.   

       However I don't think anyone has really tried the horizontal version.   

       Wings can 'work' at any speed, they are normally only designed to do any noticable work at high speeds. However there are examples of microlights and other far larger aeroplanes that can fly at around 40mph.
fusion_cat, Feb 20 2008


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