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Variable down force

Active wing control for race cars
 
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Race cars such as in F1 or Indy have wings to provide down force. Apparently at full speed these provide enough force so that the car would be capable of driving upside down on the roof of a tunnel. All lift generating surfaces also generate induced drag.

This idea is to have variable geometry wings to vary the amount of down force so that the maximum is only generated when it's efficiently utilised.

By linking a weight to a trim tab, aerodynamic balancing should be able to increase (technically decrease as the aerofoil is upside down) the incident angle during braking thus generating greater down force.

scubadooper, Jul 13 2004

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       I think that active aerodynamics cannot be used in F1, unfortunately. I heard that a new rule is coming out to stop re-designs of engines during a season. F1 is getting more boring all the time. I only watch the qualifying sessions. Jelly mould F1, same as most of the road cars.
Ling, Jul 13 2004
  

       Already baked, I had a VW Corrado which had spoiler that comes up at 60MPH. Also Porsche 911, Mitsu 3000GT, Chrystler Corssfire... All have active spoilers. Some adjust continualy others like the Corrado only have two positions.
dlapham, Jul 13 2004
  

       Didn't the old Chapparal have a wing like this? As I recall, it was linked to the rear suspension arms so that under braking, when the rear of the car tends to lift, the wing increased the downforce.
As [Ling] says, moveable aero-aids are not permitted in F1.
angel, Jul 13 2004
  

       Maybe the "wings" can be completely reversible so that what starts off as a road race ends up as one in the lower atmosphere.
tasman, Jul 20 2004
  

       Moveable airfoils were banned from racing in the 1960s.
whlanteigne, Nov 05 2004
  

       Mechanical systems would be doable, but with the electronics available today, the traction control system could be easily wired in to give more downforce when and where needed. Flooring the accelerator out of a turn as you enter a long straight? Ease up on the front downforce, crank in some rear wing. Slamming on the brakes just before a turn? Crank in front and rear to slow down (more downforce for better grip, plus aerobraking at the same time!), ease up a bit on the rear as the brake pedal is released.   

       Something like this could easily give a driver several seconds advantage over a non-active wing system.   

       It's a great idea. Unfortunately, it's so intuitively obvious that it's been banned by the racing regulatory agencies.
Freefall, Nov 05 2004
  

       I really like the idea of hooking the wing to the suspension. Ideally you'd actually have some sort of elaborate linkage that would increase downforce whenever the suspension moves significantly up or down at any point, since these are the times when any acceleration is occuring in any direction, thus requiring more downforce. After all, you don't just need downforce for braking, but for acceleration and steady-speed cornering too.
5th Earth, Nov 05 2004
  
      
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