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A couple of turbine questions


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#1 Megatron

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Posted 24 May 2001 - 09:52

Why did Chapman abondon the turbine?

Why did he compete under the "world wide racing" banner for some of the 1971 season?

Any other info on the turbine is welcomed.

Thanks

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#2 Jeremy Jackson

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Posted 24 May 2001 - 10:02

Chapman competed as World Wide racing in Italy 71 due to ongoing legal difficulties of Rindt's accident a year previously.

I think from there, the 56B was entered under the same banner at the Hockenheim F5000 race, although it may have been just Team Lotus


Regards

Jeremy

#3 Vitesse2

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Posted 24 May 2001 - 12:28

I don't think it was so much Chapman who lost interest in the turbine, it was Pratt & Whitney - their main interest was Indy where the 56s ran in 1968 and Colin had actually planned the 56B as a GP car for 1969. The 3-litre equivalent engine didn't actually appear until mid-1970, so Colin got the spare 56 tub out and rebuilt it, but there were throttle lag and braking problems in testing at Hethel, so it was held back until 1971: Lotus had hoped to race it at Monza in 1970 ... but that race is a whole other story.
Fittipaldi ran it in the 71 Race of Champions, but it bottomed badly and finally wiped off its right rear suspension. Wisell ran fifth briefly at Silverstone and Fittipaldi qualified it on the front row at Brands (finished 3rd in heat 2).
Bigger fuel tanks were fitted for Hockenheim where Dave Walker drove it, but the engine blew in practice and there was no spare.
Walker ran it again in the rain at Zandvoort and showed well before crashing it.
Fittipaldi brought it home 8th at Monza, but high temperatures there meant the engine couldn't develop full power and a week later saw its last run, again at Hockenheim.
Throttle lag was always a problem, the 4-WD system was probably ahead of its time and under-developed and the turbine engine was not really suited to slow, twisty circuits - fine for Indy, Monza, Hockenheim and the old Silverstone but a turkey at Monaco I think!
And, from memory (I haven't checked this) I think the FIA changed the equivalency formula and legislated turbines out of contention at some point in the 70s - plus ca change! They certainly legislated against 4-WD and the thought of a 2-WD turbine GP car is truly terrifying!


#4 Megatron

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Posted 24 May 2001 - 13:24

OK, can someone tell me the order of the races that the 56B competed in?

Also, was there any difference in the P&Ws that ran in Indy VS the ones in F1?

Thanks

#5 Jeremy Jackson

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Posted 24 May 2001 - 14:03

Vitesse2 had the order OK:

Race of Champions (Fittipaldi)
Oulton Park Spring Trophy (Wisell)
International Trophy, Silverstone (Fittipalidi)
Hockenheim (Walker,DNS)
Dutch GP (Walker)
British GP (Wisell)
Italian GP (Fittipaldi)
Preis der Nationen F5000, Hockenheim (Fittipaldi)




#6 Vitesse2

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Posted 24 May 2001 - 14:47

As I mentioned in my earlier post, turbines competed under what was called an equivalency formula; it's complicated maths and I'm not sure if it's possible to display it here, so I'll do it in English: the equivalency formula at the time of the Lotus 56B was C x 0.09625, divided by the product of (3.10 x R) minus 7.63. The value C is the capacity of the piston-engined equivalent (in this case 3000cc) and R is the compression ratio of the turbine engine.

Info from Encyclopaedia of Motor Sport by Nick Georgano, page 23

There was a different formula for USAC, but theirs also included a rule about the size of air intake - this was reduced in 1969 to an uncompetitive size and turbines never raced at Indy again.
The P&W turbine had almost won Indy in both 1967 and 1968: in 67 Parnelli Jones in the STP Oil Treatment Special led almost the whole race until a bearing failed with three laps to go while in 68 Joe Leonard would probably have won if his Lotus 56 hadn't flamed out when it overheated in a yellow flag period. As usual, the established order at Indy over-reacted and legislated out what might have been an Offy-beater!

As to them being the same engines: well, yes and no - all you have to do is change the compression ratio to change the equivalency formula result!

#7 Megatron

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Posted 24 May 2001 - 15:03

Yes, those people at USAC are THE most unprofessional bunch I have ever seen. How fitting that today they run the only possible formula they could get along with, a near spec series.

Remember what they did to Porsche in 1980 and then Ilmor and Ford with the pushrod in 1995?

Also, can someone tell me when exactly was the concept banned?

#8 Gary C

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Posted 24 May 2001 - 18:58

Just as a footnote, the Race of Champions was at Brands Hatch.

#9 Gary C

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Posted 25 May 2001 - 01:50

.......and I think I'm right in saying that the car was entered by World Wide Racing at just one race, Monza 71. All the rest it was GLTL. In fact, the car is STILL in its' WWR livery, as it was at the Goodwood Festival of Speed three years ago. It had been dragged out of the Lotus warehouse especially. Everything in the cockpit looked as if no-one had touched it since Emerson got out of the cockpit that afternoon in Sept.71!

#10 Jeremy Jackson

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Posted 25 May 2001 - 07:49

The car has been sitting in the Donington Collection since it opened in 1973-4. The "WWR" livery was supposedly the forerunner of the JPS livery, but it was entered by GLTL at Hockenheim, one week after Monza.

#11 Paolo

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Posted 01 October 2002 - 20:17

Vitesse2,

you found the Graal... :clap:
the formula you report should be the famed Spear Penny equivalency formula wich several of us in the Technical Forum tried in vain to locate.
Now... one small problem... you apparently report just one side of the formula.
There should be an = somewhere...

(C x 0.9625 / (3 x 10 - R) ) -7.63 = WHAT ?

Should the result be read as a turbine inlet area in square feet or what else ?

Did I write the formula correctly , or maybe should it be

C x 0.9625 / (3 x 10 - R -7.63 ) = WHAT ?

Please, check in your book... you don't know how long I've been searching for this ....

Thanks

#12 Leif Snellman

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Posted 01 October 2002 - 20:59

I have seen the formula once in the appendix of a German book from the early 70s (1973?) written by Adriano Cimarosti. (Can't remember the name as it was a library book, no longer available)

#13 Vitesse2

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Posted 01 October 2002 - 22:04

You're not going to like this Paolo .....

in Georgano, the = is an undefined value, A.

However ....



this scan is from the 1972 FIA Yearbook, article 252(j) of Appendix J to the International Sporting Code. On the left, the French text; on the right, English. All that is missing from the English version(carried over from the previous page) is the introductory text about Wankel rotary engines, which you can see in the French version.

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#14 David Beard

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Posted 01 October 2002 - 23:06

Originally posted by Vitesse2
Fittipaldi ran it in the 71 Race of Champions, but it bottomed badly and finally wiped off its right rear suspension.



And here it is being pushed away...with said broken rear suspension.

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#15 mp4

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Posted 01 October 2002 - 23:25

This MAY be turbine related, but I'm not too sure.
I think there was some sort of race at "Ontario Park" IIRC in California in about '69 or '70. Lotus used the turbine then as well.
I have no documents to back this up and if anyone can put me right, I'd appreciate it.
The turbine was a wonderful idea and very interesting experiment. It's too bad it couldn't have been further exploited...

Cheers

#16 Ray Bell

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Posted 01 October 2002 - 23:36

Originally posted by Gary C
.......and I think I'm right in saying that the car was entered by World Wide Racing at just one race, Monza 71. All the rest it was GLTL.


Not sure what this means, but...

The Tasman Cup results in Racing Car News through 1969 also show 'World Wide Racing' or 'Worldwide Racing' as the entrant...

#17 Jim Thurman

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Posted 02 October 2002 - 07:30

Originally posted by mp4
This MAY be turbine related, but I'm not too sure.
I think there was some sort of race at "Ontario Park" IIRC in California in about '69 or '70. Lotus used the turbine then as well.
I have no documents to back this up and if anyone can put me right, I'd appreciate it.
The turbine was a wonderful idea and very interesting experiment. It's too bad it couldn't have been further exploited...


Ontario Motor Speedway opened in 1970 and turbine engines were gone from USAC Champ Car racing by then. The only time Team Lotus was at OMS was for the non-championship F1/F5000 Questor Grand Prix. No turbine there, but I was. Fittipaldi and Wisell driving the normal cars.

Now, I don't know about any testing. Seems odd they would have tested the car at OMS.


Jim Thurman

#18 Mark Beckman

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Posted 02 October 2002 - 14:27

Ive never seen or heard a turbine run in this situation, can someone attempt to tell me what they sounded like ?

#19 Vitesse2

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Posted 02 October 2002 - 14:43

From the descriptions I've read Mark, they were eerily quiet. At Indy, they were known as "Whooshmobiles".

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#20 petefenelon

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Posted 02 October 2002 - 15:24

Originally posted by David Beard
[B]


And here it is being pushed away...with said broken rear suspension.

...and here's a link to some pics of it in WWR livery from Coy's 2000...

some dodgy photos

#21 David Beard

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Posted 02 October 2002 - 16:57

I've been rambling on about the 71 International Trophy in another thread....
I remember being most unimpressed as the 56B whistled past with a bit of a shimmer in the air behind it. But standing next to the thing in the paddock, being wound up by a mechanic..a different matter entirely.

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#22 Pyry L

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Posted 02 October 2002 - 18:25

Originally posted by Mark Beckman
Ive never seen or heard a turbine run in this situation, can someone attempt to tell me what they sounded like ?


Mark, There are a couple of clips on THIS site about the restoration of what is believed to be the original chassis of the Lotus 56 that was the #60 turbine car raced in the 1968 Indy 500. It gives a little idea of what the car sounds like.

#23 Doug Nye

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Posted 02 October 2002 - 23:01

Originally posted by Mark Beckman
Ive never seen or heard a turbine run in this situation, can someone attempt to tell me what they sounded like ?


The classical Frank Gardner answer to this would be "like ducks fartin' through long grass" - but stationary they make a hollow roar - travelling past you at speed there's an added whistle and the swish of tyre noise. Odd, different, but not terribly exciting. I'm more impressed by the lamented naturally-aspirated V12 at 15,000rpm or even a current V10 approaching 19,000...

DCN

#24 DOHC

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Posted 03 October 2002 - 14:58

Originally posted by Vitesse2
You're not going to like this Paolo .....

in Georgano, the = is an undefined value, A.

However ....

this scan is from the 1972 FIA Yearbook, article 252(j) of Appendix J to the International Sporting Code. On the left, the French text; on the right, English.

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Ok, to make it 1 - 1:

A is not undefined. If you read the text it says that A is the turbine's high pressure nozzle area measured in square centimeters. It is further specified that this area is the "intake" area right at the stator vanes, and if these are ajdustable, it refers to the maximum area. The nozzle area is not equal to the intake, as there may be a diffusor between the physical air intake and the nozzle area where the first stator blades are.

Further, C, the cylinder capacity of the equivalent reciprocating engine is in cubic centimeters.

R is not really the compression ratio, but a nominal compression ratio, calculated as 4.25 per radial compressor stage, 1.15 per axial subsonic compressor stage, and 1.5 per trans-sonic axial compressor stage. R is obtained by multiplying out these factors in accordance with the compressor's actual construction. So R is just a factor representing the turbine's construction, not the actual compression ratio.

Now, what the formula says is that given C for piston engines, and the factor R of your turbine, you can calculate A, the maximum allowed nozzle area of the turbine. If your turbine's nozzle area is below this value, the turbine fits the regulations.

#25 Mark Beckman

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Posted 03 October 2002 - 15:40

Originally posted by Pyry L


Mark, There are a couple of clips on THIS site about the restoration of what is believed to be the original chassis of the Lotus 56 that was the #60 turbine car raced in the 1968 Indy 500. It gives a little idea of what the car sounds like.


Thanks Mate, but ewwwww, I'm with Doug, give me a Cosworth or V12 anyday !

#26 Pyry L

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Posted 03 October 2002 - 17:00

Originally posted by Mark Beckman


Thanks Mate, but ewwwww, I'm with Doug, give me a Cosworth or V12 anyday !


Me too, especially on the V12 part ! I think the best words to describe that turbine car sound is subdued or eerie, it´s fast but doesn´t have at all the vicious "punch in the face" urgency of most cars that have normal engines in them going by you at full chat, let alone something you can hear getting on the throttle miles away.

#27 Pete Stowe

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Posted 03 October 2002 - 18:01

Originally posted by Paolo
Vitesse2,

the formula you report should be the famed Spear Penny equivalency formula wich several of us in the Technical Forum tried in vain to locate.

If you need to know more about the Spear - Penny formula (as posted by Vitesse2 from the FIA yearbook), in late 1964 or early 1965 they presented a paper outlining it to the Society of Automotive Engineers in the USA, which they must have in their library. Also, shortly afterwards Motoring News published the bulk of the paper in a 3 page article.

#28 Vitesse2

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Posted 03 October 2002 - 18:07

Originally posted by DOHC


Ok, to make it 1 - 1:

A is not undefined.


Not in the Yellow Book text, no. But I did specify in Georgano, which was my original source ....

2 - 1 :)

#29 DOHC

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Posted 03 October 2002 - 20:09

Originally posted by Vitesse2


Not in the Yellow Book text, no. But I did specify in Georgano, which was my original source ....

2 - 1 :)


Oops, sorry! I guess I was much too hot on reading the passage you had scanned to note that you referred to Georgano... :blush::blush::blush:

#30 Paolo

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Posted 12 October 2002 - 10:48

Sorry for making it so late, Vitesse2,
but thanks.
I gladly clap my hands at the winners...

Pete, I know about SAE papers, but their outrageous price keeps them well out of my reach.
A real pity; sadly the same happens with Britain's Mechanical Engineers Association(?) and pratically every other engineers' society in the world.

The only free source of good tech papers I know is NACA. Outdated, but often useful.