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BLAT type ground effects in Formula 1?


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#1 RayC

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Posted 24 May 2006 - 02:00

Does anyone know if the type of ground effects referred to as BLAT - Boundry Layer Adhesion Technology - was ever used in Formula 1? This type of downforce generating design was pioneered in the Can-AmII Frisbees and used in the John Ward designed Eagles from 1980 thru 1984 and also the 1982 Longhorn Indycar that Al Unser Sr. raced. The Longhorn was converted mid-season to a regular venturi type sidepod configuration. The Eagles were very competitive in 1981 and 1982 until the rules were changed to reduce the very wide "tail" that they used. It looks like a much smaller amount of air was pushed under the car, judging by the photos of the Pepsi Challenger Eagle that Mike Mosley put on the front row at Indy in '81.
As much as the Formula 1 teams tested and tinkered, I am curious if anyone tried this design out. Anybody have any info on this?

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#2 Henri Greuter

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Posted 24 May 2006 - 07:07

Originally posted by RayC
Does anyone know if the type of ground effects referred to as BLAT - Boundry Layer Adhesion Technology - was ever used in Formula 1? This type of downforce generating design was pioneered in the Can-AmII Frisbees and used in the John Ward designed Eagles from 1980 thru 1984 and also the 1982 Longhorn Indycar that Al Unser Sr. raced. The Longhorn was converted mid-season to a regular venturi type sidepod configuration. The Eagles were very competitive in 1981 and 1982 until the rules were changed to reduce the very wide "tail" that they used. It looks like a much smaller amount of air was pushed under the car, judging by the photos of the Pepsi Challenger Eagle that Mike Mosley put on the front row at Indy in '81.
As much as the Formula 1 teams tested and tinkered, I am curious if anyone tried this design out. Anybody have any info on this?




Given the fact that ground effect was forbidden since 1983 I suspect the answer being: No.
The only car that came close to using the principle might have been the dartlike 1983 Brabham and a similarly shaped Osella.

Henri

#3 simonlewisbooks

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Posted 24 May 2006 - 08:08

Originally posted by RayC
Does anyone know if the type of ground effects referred to as BLAT - Boundry Layer Adhesion Technology - was ever used in Formula 1? This type of downforce generating design was pioneered in the Can-AmII Frisbees and used in the John Ward designed Eagles from 1980 thru 1984 and also the 1982 Longhorn Indycar that Al Unser Sr. raced. The Longhorn was converted mid-season to a regular venturi type sidepod configuration. The Eagles were very competitive in 1981 and 1982 until the rules were changed to reduce the very wide "tail" that they used. It looks like a much smaller amount of air was pushed under the car, judging by the photos of the Pepsi Challenger Eagle that Mike Mosley put on the front row at Indy in '81.
As much as the Formula 1 teams tested and tinkered, I am curious if anyone tried this design out. Anybody have any info on this?


I never figured out if this was actually the originator of the flat bottom/diffuser type of downforce generation that every F1 car adopted once venuri tunnels in sidepods were banned. Or am I barking up the wrong tree entirely here?
Anyone know if there is there a diagram of the BLAT system on a web link somewhere?

Simon Lewis
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#4 David M. Kane

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Posted 24 May 2006 - 16:20

Visually the Gurney Eagle Moseley drove looks a bit like the Brabham Fan Car without a fan?

There isn't much info out there.

#5 RayC

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Posted 25 May 2006 - 00:38

Originally posted by David M. Kane
Visually the Gurney Eagle Moseley drove looks a bit like the Brabham Fan Car without a fan?

There isn't much info out there.


Actually David, it look more like the Brabham BT53 from 1983. Very skinny along the cockpit with angled radiators just in front of the rear wheels. The Eagle had a 'running board' at the bottom of the chassis which flared out towards the rear. The Brabham didn't have anything like that. The start of the 'running board' allowed a very small amount of air in compared to a normal ground effect sidepod. In the back is was swept under a very large, wide tail which most of the normal cars didn't have. I wonder if that made the center of aero downforce further back? A lot of people disagree with me, but I think that '81 Eagle was one of the nicest looking cars of all time. The Danny Ongais 'Batmobile' also had the wide tail, but I think it used the standard ground effect venturis. It was a shame when the rules were changed to prohibit the wide tails.
There are good photos of both cars on the Artemis site.
Maybe Formula 1's rules were changed before anyone got around to trying it, or maybe they were happy enough with what they had. I know they were really sticking to the ground in those days. The Eagle was as fast or faster than any othe Indy car on the road course then. Both Geoff Brabham and Rocky Moran should have won with it at Riverside and Watkins Glen respectively. Maybe the stock block chevy had a lot to do with that, but the car obviously worked well.