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McLaren and Red Bull have pivoting front wing?


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#1 KnucklesAgain

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 22:59

Via AMuS:

Der Formel 1 droht wieder Technikärger. McLaren hat einen Frontflügel entwickelt, der ein Geheimnis trägt: Er kippt bei genügend Anpressdruck um die Horizontalachse. Red Bull hat in Singapur - noch eine Stufe extremer - nachgezogen. In Suzuka wollen die FIA-Regelhüter genau nachschauen.


Technical arguments dawn on F1 again. McLaren developed a front wing that has a secret: given sufficient aero force it rotates around its horizontal axis. Red Bull brought a more extreme version to Singapore. In Suzuka the FIA wants to have a closer look.

In the article they claim that the image gallery has pictures. Looking at those pictures reveals nothing at all though. Basically they show lots of FWs and noses and in each instance in the caption it says that it's impossible to see here. So in that regard there is nothing much to discuss. But anyway, I thought it might be interesting for a non-German readership and to see if anyone has heard similar rumors. It's the first time I read about it for sure.

A recap of the flexi wing saga follows, claiming that RBR conducted extreme effort with these wings. They say there was a special version for nearly every track. Then they go on to say that the flexi wing secret was not only in the carbon fiber structures of the wing as such, but also in the wing supports, which had to be changed by many teams when FIA increased the load tests. However, the knowledge as such remained as allegedly more research was done.

McLaren fand offenbar die entscheidende Lücke. Beobachtern zufolge verdreht sich der gesamte Flügel bei entsprechendem Anpressdruck um die Horizontalachse. Der neuartige Spoiler ist eines der Geheimnisse der Überlegenheit der chromfarbenen Autos seit dem GP Ungarn.

Wie auto motor und sport in seiner aktuellen Ausgabe (Heft 22/2012) berichtet, hat nun auch Red Bull in Singapur nachgezogen. Der Flügel könnte ein Grund für die silber-blaue Überlegenheit gewesen sein. Andere Teams hatten keine Chance auf den Sieg.


McLaren apparently found the decisive loophole. "According to onlookers" the whole wing rotates around its horizontal axis. The wing is one of the reasons for McLaren's advantage

Offenbar hat Ferrari aber den Trick entdeckt und die FIA-Inspektoren darauf aufmerksam gemacht. Daraufhin gab es mehrere Gespräche zwischen den FIA-Delegierten und McLaren-Teamchef Martin Whitmarsh. Bei genauerem Hinschauen ergab sich, dass die beiden Pylonen der Nase das Hauptblatt des Flügels nur noch mit jeweils einer Schraube an der vorderen Kante festhalten. Um diese herum kann sich der gesamte Flügel um die Querachse drehen.


Apparently Ferrari found out about it and alerted the FIA. Several talks between FIA delegates and Whitmarsh followed. It was found that each wing support fastens the main wing element with just one screw at the wing's front edge, and the wing could rotate around this.

Da die 50 Zentimeter im Zentrum des Flügels bei allen Autos gleich geformt sein müssen, bewirkt eine Verdrehung des Flügels zwei Dinge. Der vom Reglement gewünschte Auftrieb in dieser Sektion wird reduziert. Und der Unterboden wird deutlich effizienter angeströmt. Das wiederum bringt erheblich mehr Abtrieb im Heck.


Because the 50 cm in the wing's center section must be the same on all cars, rotating the wing has two effects: it reduces the uplift in this area that the regulated center sections seeks to achieve, and it improves flow to the floor and therefore more downforce at the rear.

Red Bull hat das McLaren-Geheimnis als erster Konkurrent erkannt und sofort nachgerüstet. Die Verdrehung soll noch extremer als beim McLaren sein. Deshalb hat Red Bull in Singapur auch eine neue, etwas längere Nase eingeführt. Die Nase und die Mittelsektion des Flügels mussten auf die veränderte Anströmung bei Verdrehung aufeinander abgestimmt sein.


RBR was the first team to understand the McLaren development and followed up with a more extreme rotation in Singapore, where they introduced a new, slightly longer nose to work with the wing.

Interessant wird sein, wie die Technikkommissare auf das neue Problem reagieren. Möglicherweise wird sie in Suzuka Torsionstests durchführen. Sollte der Flügel sich dabei verdrehen lassen, wird der Spuk verboten. Sonst würde ein neues Wettrüsten beginnen, das nur sinnlos viel Geld kostet.


It will be interesting to see how the technical delegates react. Possibly there will be torsion tests in Suzuka. If the wings rotate, they will be banned. Otherwise a new cost race would start.

Edited by KnucklesAgain, 02 October 2012 - 23:51.


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#2 Coops3

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 23:22

Interesting. This is the first I've heard of this as well. I don't really see how it could work though, given that the wing is attached to the nose in two places.

#3 KnucklesAgain

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 23:54

Interesting. This is the first I've heard of this as well. I don't really see how it could work though, given that the wing is attached to the nose in two places.


Well yeah, if what they say is true the two FW supports each attach to the wing in one place only, and it's movable there. So the two supports form two attachment points, which define the axis around which the FW allegedly rotates.

#4 Risil

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 00:00

Anyone fancy preparing a diagram for the technically-unversed? Thanks. :)

There's something pretty cool about such extreme lengths of engineering smarts, aerodynamic research and composites fabrication, to provide what's essentially a low-down tricksterish circumvention of the rulebook. Not a new observation, but sometimes stories like this bring it home.

Also, who else imagined the Mclaren front wing rotating like a helicopter when they read the thread title? :lol:

Edited by Risil, 03 October 2012 - 00:01.


#5 beeclown

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 00:09

At the start of the year a couple people on the f1technical forums noticed McLaren doing this in pre season testing and at Australia, but noone picked up on it and it seemed to go away until now. I guess because the wing is only rotating at high speed before the braking zones, and there are very few good side on photos of the cars at those speeds as photographers usually position themselves as below to snap from the outside of the following corner.

Testing

Posted Image

Australia Quali

Posted Image

Edited by beeclown, 03 October 2012 - 00:13.


#6 BigCHrome

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 01:09

I remember last year in Valencia when McLaren had a nose camera and you could see a little gap opening up on the FW supports.

#7 KnucklesAgain

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 01:21

Anyone fancy preparing a diagram for the technically-unversed? Thanks. :)


I'm not claiming it's fancy but I hope it does the job. At least that's how I understand it.
Posted Image

#8 Juggles

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 02:17

If this is as hard to prove as the Red Bull flexi front wing then they should get away with it shouldn't they? Also, if Red Bull are now doing it as well then there's the possibility that one of them gets caught but the other doesn't. If both get caught and the wing is banned then that will make the championship far less interesting, so let's hope the FIA are feeling in the mood for an exciting finale.

I hope nothing happens before Suzuka anyway, I want Hamilton to win that one more than any of the remaining races.

#9 pingu666

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 02:19

merc could well be doing something too, as their fw often grounds

fyi I thought of a combine harvester like rotation on reading thread title :-)

if you could get rotation and droop, you would be very happy..

#10 teejay

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 04:18

Keen to see Lewis tweet a pic of this.

No really - interesting to see if it really is happening.

#11 dave34m

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 04:54

At the start of the year a couple people on the f1technical forums noticed McLaren doing this in pre season testing and at Australia, but noone picked up on it and it seemed to go away until now. I guess because the wing is only rotating at high speed before the braking zones, and there are very few good side on photos of the cars at those speeds as photographers usually position themselves as below to snap from the outside of the following corner.

Testing

Posted Image

Oh doesnt the low nose look so much better there than it does now

#12 Timstr11

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 06:14

Interseting development.
If they pass the current defelection tests, I don't see how the FIA can ban this on the short term. Unless the FIA can introduce a new test at will.

#13 Chubby_Deuce

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 06:23

If they pass the current defelection tests, I don't see how the FIA can ban this on the short term. Unless the FIA can introduce a new test at will.


:lol:

Follow F1 much?

#14 ClubmanGT

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 07:16

Two things: Last year there was an incident where a car went off and there were cables hanging down from the front wing struts - except the cars haven't had front adjusters for some time. They were eventually clarified to be sensor wires.

Secondly, if the wing itself is moving relative to the unsprung part of the car, I think they don't use the deflection test. I suspect that if this were even remotely true, it would more likely be ruled a movable aero device, which I have a feeling is a different kettle of fish to the flexing wing regs.

#15 TomNokoe

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 07:39

Whose betting that McLaren get punished? When every technical drama before this, every single one of them, has gone unpunished.
I saw this at Singapore when Webber crashed in FP3, it was blatantly obvious.

#16 Baddoer

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 07:50

Whose betting that McLaren get punished? When every technical drama before this, every single one of them, has gone unpunished.
I saw this at Singapore when Webber crashed in FP3, it was blatantly obvious.

Not gonna happen

#17 korzeniow

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 08:08

Apparently Ferrari found out about it and alerted the FIA. Several talks between FIA delegates and Whitmarsh followed. It was found that each wing support fastens the main wing element with just one screw at the wing's front edge, and the wing could rotate around this.


McLaren has two screws in front wing pylons: hi res picture

But they are much closer together than for rexample Lotus has them

EDIT:

But what do you think of this: http://i.imgur.com/RkIIs.jpg

Edited by korzeniow, 03 October 2012 - 08:15.


#18 baddog

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 08:16

McLaren has two screws in front wing pylons: hi res picture

I see two round covers. that means what exactly? Nothing actually says both of them are attached to screws.

#19 Bartel

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 08:22

So basically red bull saw it and thought they'd do it too, but Ferrari sees it and wants it banned...

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#20 Bloggsworth

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 08:31

Ferrari already has it, they just want it banned for other teams...

#21 dau

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 08:36

Thank god. It almost looked like we could have season without any flexi-stuff controversy.

#22 Timstr11

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 08:43

Tobias Grüner F1 ‏@tgruener #F1 FIA plans to carry out a new / different load test in #Suzuka after Ferrari complained in Singapore. @ScarbsF1



#23 Mackey

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 08:49

Ferrari already has it, they just want it banned for other teams...


How do you know that? Care to explain?


#24 sosidge

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 08:50

I remember last year in Valencia when McLaren had a nose camera and you could see a little gap opening up on the FW supports.


I remember that too.

This probably bypasses the load test because the load is applied directly downwards on the ends of the wing, whereas this wing pivots at the leading edge.

Once again it shows the difference between the spirit of a rule and the wording of the rule.

Will be interesting to see what effect the revised test has on performance, and whether any extra bolts are being airfeighted from Woking as we speak!

#25 baddog

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 08:56

Would be a shocker if this was significant for mac and redbull but I doubt it.

#26 Kompressor

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 09:02

Ferrari already has it, they just want it banned for other teams...

Even if they don't have it, it's the perfect time for Ferrari to complain.


#27 McRules

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 09:13

Even if they don't have it, it's the perfect time for Ferrari to complain.

Indeed it is, can get their development on track, problems with their wind tunnel correlation, what do you do! Considering Fernando's luck this season i would not be surprised if they ban the wings with 6 races to go.

#28 wonk123

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 09:14

But what do you think of this: http://i.imgur.com/RkIIs.jpg


Looks pretty suspect to me. I remember it being mentioned last year in the "RBR are blatant cheats who need to be disqualified" thread :lol: or maybe somewhere else, that it would be possible to have the wing pass a static load test but still twist enough to make a real difference. Even if it is not twisting on the centre mount, it still looks like it twists enough to slide on that upright piece in your pic.

#29 Buttoneer

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 09:31

I thought about helicopters when I read the title too.

The previous threads on wing developments got mired in the usual Punch and Judy monstrosity so I can't locate the discussion point but IIRC there was a suggestion that the front wings were not rotating but flattening - the point of those outer tiered flaps being to multiply the pressure downwards on the rear of the wing and push it quickly over the typical FIA test pressure loads. Rotation is perhaps just a different method of achieving the same result?

#30 BernieEc

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 09:33

Ferrari already has it, they just want it banned for other teams...


Quality....... :)

#31 dau

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 09:43

But a fan wing would be a clear movable aero device.

#32 jrg19

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 09:48

Wouldn't a better word for what the wings are doing be "tilting"

#33 Scotracer

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 09:52

It's just aeroelasticity in action. You cannot make the parts infinitely rigid so there will always be deflection.

What they have done is have the elastic axis (the axis about which torsional loads act) and the aerodynamic centre (or neutral axis) of the wing offset so it creates a moment.

This can still pass static vertical loading, therefore being legal.



#34 slmk

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 09:54

It's just aeroelasticity in action. You cannot make the parts infinitely rigid so there will always be deflection.

What they have done is have the elastic axis (the axis about which torsional loads act) and the aerodynamic centre (or neutral axis) of the wing offset so it creates a moment.

This can still pass static vertical loading, therefore being legal.


Not if FIA redefines what is legal.

#35 oetzi

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 09:57

Not if FIA redefines what is legal.

Or devises tests to better enforce the existing rules.

As has been said so often, the test isn't the rule, but passing the test is the measure of legality.

#36 Bartel

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 09:57

If it passes the tests its legal, FIA set that standard 2 years ago.

#37 Tenmantaylor

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 10:03

McLaren has two screws in front wing pylons: hi res picture

But they are much closer together than for rexample Lotus has them

EDIT:

But what do you think of this: http://i.imgur.com/RkIIs.jpg


These are the only images I've seen that hint to the possibility of the front wing moving and it looks very likely that is exactly what this connection allows. Why else have sliding interface like? Of course, it could be a way of legitimately altering the position of the whole wing whilst in the pits which is entirely legal as long as the position is secured before the car goes out. Changing the angle of the entire front wing by 10ths of 1 degree would obviously have huge aerodynamic implications/benefits.

The crux of the situation is if there is an adjuster inside the front wing mounts that can be operated by the driver or remotely which would obviously be highly illegal.

If it is a passive reactive system then we are back to where we were with loading tests. If it passes them it's legal.

Edited by Tenmantaylor, 03 October 2012 - 10:07.


#38 oetzi

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 10:05

If it passes the tests its legal, FIA set that standard 2 years ago.

Yes.

The test is the measure of legality.

That's what I said.

But the test is not the rule. So changing the test is not changing the rules. Just enforcing them differently (hopefully better).

It's not so hard to understand.

#39 Fat Albert

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 10:06

The purpose of this modification, if true, is to reduce the angle of attack of the front wing at high speed thus reducing the lift co-efficient (less downforce and drag) and/or increase the lift co-efficient (more downforce & drag) at low speed. As such it would be clearly a movable aerodynamic device and is outside the letter as well as the spirit of the regulations.

In essence, no different, except perhaps number of degrees of change of angle of attack from the adjustable front wings of a couple of seasons ago.

On the other hand, I know of no comparable device fitted to aircraft which optimises the angle of attack of a lifting surface automatically due to airspeed, on the contrary, every such device uses mechanical/hydraulic/electric systems to work against the aerodynamic forces involved in order to change the angle of attack.

If true, the last time we saw such blatant contempt for the regulations was Ferrari's flexi floor

Edited by Fat Albert, 03 October 2012 - 10:07.


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#40 dau

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 10:13

The purpose of this modification, if true, is to reduce the angle of attack of the front wing at high speed thus reducing the lift co-efficient (less downforce and drag) and/or increase the lift co-efficient (more downforce & drag) at low speed. As such it would be clearly a movable aerodynamic device and is outside the letter as well as the spirit of the regulations.

In essence, no different, except perhaps number of degrees of change of angle of attack from the adjustable front wings of a couple of seasons ago.

On the other hand, I know of no comparable device fitted to aircraft which optimises the angle of attack of a lifting surface automatically due to airspeed, on the contrary, every such device uses mechanical/hydraulic/electric systems to work against the aerodynamic forces involved in order to change the angle of attack.[...]

Of course not. Why would they even investigate passive systems when nothing stops them from using superior active actuation?


#41 seahawk

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 10:14

If it passes the tests its legal, FIA set that standard 2 years ago.


It won´t be "illegal" in the worst case the solution won´t pass the changed test procedure.

#42 KnucklesAgain

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 10:19

Wouldn't a better word for what the wings are doing be "tilting"


Possibly. I'm not a native English speaker and initially "rotate" sounded right, after all "rotation is a circular movement of an object around a center (or point) of rotation" (wikipedia), which is exactly what this is doing, even though the movement is restricted in travel. But now, and in particular after the many remarks, I too think "pivot" or "tilt" would be better. It seems I cannot change the thread title - mods please feel free to change it.

Edited by KnucklesAgain, 03 October 2012 - 10:30.


#43 sharo

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 10:21

If there are clearly definable pivoting points then passing the test can't help as it would show a clear design intent.

And I agree that 'tilting' might be the better term, although I am also not native English speaker.

Edited by sharo, 03 October 2012 - 10:23.


#44 KnucklesAgain

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 10:24

It's just aeroelasticity in action. You cannot make the parts infinitely rigid so there will always be deflection.


You work for RBR right? The people suffering from an infliction which forces them so seek the most outrageous interpretation of every concept?
For people who do not have this problem it was always obvious that just because you cannot make something infinitely rigid does not automatically mean that unavoidable minimal movement is the same as designing a movable part on purpose trying to circumvent the rules.



#45 Bartel

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 10:31

Yes.

The test is the measure of legality.

That's what I said.

But the test is not the rule. So changing the test is not changing the rules. Just enforcing them differently (hopefully better).

It's not so hard to understand.

I wasnt actuall replying to you, it was just my two cents. If its been passing the already stringent tests then its legal, carry on, thats all i was saying.

#46 dau

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 10:32

You work for RBR right? The people suffering from an infliction which forces them so seek the most outrageous interpretation of every concept?
For people who do not have this problem it was always obvious that just because you cannot make something infinitely rigid does not automatically mean that unavoidable minimal movement is the same as designing a movable part on purpose trying to circumvent the rules.

What exactly do you expect teams to do? Design a part as close to "rigid" as possible or adhere to the maximum deflections as mentioned in the Technical Regulations?

#47 Buttoneer

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 10:35

It seems I cannot change the thread title - mods please feel free to change it.

Done, though all the previous comments remarking on the roation issue make even less sense now!

#48 oetzi

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 10:41

I wasnt actuall replying to you, it was just my two cents. If its been passing the already stringent tests then its legal, carry on, thats all i was saying.

Fair enough.

#49 KnucklesAgain

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 10:41

What exactly do you expect teams to do? Design a part as close to "rigid" as possible or adhere to the maximum deflections as mentioned in the Technical Regulations?


I of course fully expect them to try and circumvent the rules' intentions while staying within the letter of the law (edit: and within the actual tests). Fine with me, and at least part of the point of the whole exercise. But an argument along the lines of "hmm, I cannot make this joint infinitely rigid, so it should be just as fine if I put a hinge in its place" is IMHO nevertheless ridiculous.

Edited by KnucklesAgain, 03 October 2012 - 10:46.


#50 KirilVarbanov

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 11:32

Martin W. just said in phone interview that he's not aware of any complaints.