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Wings, moveable aerodynamic devices, DRS etc


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#1 Rupertlt1

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Posted 02 November 2018 - 01:33

We take DRS for granted in F1 today. But this picture dates from 1952. A form of air brake, to increase drag:

 

https://library.revs...ion=p17257coll1

 

How did it take at least another decade for wings and spoilers to take off (no pun intended)?

 

It is almost as if designers slept through the fifties.

 

RGDS RLT



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#2 Tim Murray

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Posted 02 November 2018 - 07:35

Here’s an earlier thread on the 1952 300SL which discussed the air brake:

Mercedes 300SL Le Mans 1952

#3 Ray Bell

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Posted 13 November 2018 - 08:37

More to the point was the Porsche of the May brothers...

I think it was at the Targa Florio in 1955. It had a wing aimed at giving downforce.

#4 Charlieman

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Posted 13 November 2018 - 12:44

Racing car aerodynamics really started with the 1923 Voisin C6 Laboratoire. There had been earlier attempts at slipstreamers for Brooklands and similar tracks but the designers did not understand what was needed. Gabriel Voisin was also an aircraft designer and for the C6 he created a body form with low drag and low front end lift. The car was not successful alas and forgotten by too many.

 

The Rumpler-designed Teardrop Benz (1921) is an impressive slipstreamer design. Rumpler and other engineers had to consider engine cooling for an aerodynamic car participating in long races.

 

Speed record cars had adopted aerodynamics long before GP cars. Speed record cars since La Jamais Conente had been slippery, applied brute force or a combination of the two. The bodies of the Mercedes-Benz and Auto Union speed record cars of the 1930s were designed by engineers striving to manage aerodynamic stability. It is argued that Auto Union attempted to provide negative lift -- a type of ground effect -- in the car in which Bernd Rosemeyer died. In hind sight, it seems strange that M-B and Auto Union applied so little aerodynamic thinking to GP cars at the time.

 

After WWII and racing engineers being exposed to war planes, aerodynamic thinking was reapplied to GP and sports racing cars simultaneously. Mercedes-Benz made sports racers for long high speed events and, initially, slipstreamers for GP racing. Minimising front end lift was an important consideration in the designs. Who else made GP slipstreamers? Lots of teams, including tiddlers like Connaught. For sports car racing -- or perhaps the desire to win Le Mans -- Jaguar created a compromise design with the C Type; it wasn't really a road car but it looked like one. To get the aerodynamics right, Jaguar had to make the D Type which wasn't a practical road car.

 

BRM had money to spend in the 1950s and they commissioned aerodynamic studies for the front end of GP cars (if anyone is reading the relevant BRM history volume, please chip in). As I remember, the consultants recommended a new nose cone to reduce (you guessed it) front end lift.

 

The May brothers may have used a wing on a sports racer in 1955 but that event is even more lost in history than the Voisin C6.

 

The next serious aerodynamic creation was the nose flap, a flat rigid projection at the front of a car at an upward angle to the road. It matters because it was intended to create downforce -- the first time since Voisin and Auto Union that anyone had a go at it. And a flap was so easy to implement. Even if it didn't work, it looked sexy in the sales brochure.



#5 D-Type

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Posted 13 November 2018 - 16:02

The 1961 rear-engined Ferrari sports cars had a spoiler at the rear after one of the engineers saw a photo that showed the tail was subject to lift.



#6 Charlieman

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Posted 13 November 2018 - 16:14

The 1961 rear-engined Ferrari sports cars had a spoiler at the rear after one of the engineers saw a photo that showed the tail was subject to lift.

Define "spoiler", please. 



#7 Charlieman

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Posted 13 November 2018 - 16:39

We take DRS for granted in F1 today. But this picture dates from 1952. A form of air brake, to increase drag:

 

https://library.revs...ion=p17257coll1

 

How did it take at least another decade for wings and spoilers to take off (no pun intended)?

 

It is almost as if designers slept through the fifties.

It's not an air brake. It is welded or brazed to the roof panel. The supporting struts look like somebody has made an effort.

 

Aerodynamic qualities? It is not a brake; it cannot pivot backwards to increase its area. The form -- facing air from the front of the car -- seems to be a scallop shape. Scallops redirect air rather than creating downforce.

 

The engineers who designed the pillars may have been smarter than those who put the scallop wing on top.



#8 D-Type

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Posted 13 November 2018 - 18:29

Define "spoiler", please. 

In the case of the 1961 Ferraris it was a small upturn at the tail - about 2 inches high.



#9 Charlieman

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Posted 13 November 2018 - 18:50

In the case of the 1961 Ferraris it was a small upturn at the tail - about 2 inches high.

Thanks. Now find a photo of the back end of a 1961 Ferrari.



#10 Tim Murray

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Posted 13 November 2018 - 18:52

It's not an air brake. It is welded or brazed to the roof panel. The supporting struts look like somebody has made an effort.


5128-FA14-A10-A-49-D5-843-F-477-D1415-F0

https://youtu.be/NAzcQwIQ0v0

My understanding is that MB didn’t persevere with the 1952 version of the air brake as the mounting struts weren’t strong enough to cope with the load when the brake was deployed.

#11 Tim Murray

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Posted 14 November 2018 - 10:00

Here’s another photo showing the brake operating mechanism in a bit more detail:

B4-A1-DB56-E7-C0-437-A-AF13-ACBE5-D3-FA8

#12 Ray Bell

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Posted 14 November 2018 - 12:16

That rather looks like it would create lift when horizontal...

Then again, I'm not an aerodynamicist.

#13 D-Type

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Posted 14 November 2018 - 18:53

Thanks. Now find a photo of the back end of a 1961 Ferrari.

Oh ye of little faith!  Just Google "1961 Ferrari Dino" and you'll find loads.  Here's one of the first I found https://www.conceptc...dino_photo.aspx

Or, if you prefer, look for the Le Mans winning Testa Rossa.


Edited by D-Type, 14 November 2018 - 18:59.


#14 D-Type

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Posted 14 November 2018 - 19:05

Here’s another photo showing the brake operating mechanism in a bit more detail:

B4-A1-DB56-E7-C0-437-A-AF13-ACBE5-D3-FA8

The forward hinge location looks a better idea to me than the rear location used on the 300SLR.  The 300SLR's would go up more readily as the air flow would push it up, but it would need a lot of force to put it down against the air flow.  Admittedly the 300SL set up would need more force to raise it, but it would go down more easily and would allow intermediate (downforce) positions more readily.



#15 guiporsche

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Posted 15 November 2018 - 11:46

The thing about Michael May was that although few people might have seen his Porsche at the Nurburgring or Monza, he did circulate around Europe as a consultor, including advising Ferrari on fuel injection around 1962-64. So he surely must have told Forghieri about his experiments, even if en passant, just as he surely must have told other people around Europe about it. 

 

To add to the Dino, Forghieri says that they tested the rollbar profile of the '63 250P at Uni. Stuttgart's wind tunnel after finding out by chance that it increased stability at higher speeds. And there are pics in J. Thompson's Ferrari F1 album of Surtees testing the 312F1 in early 66 with little spoilers on the nose cone, not that dissimilar from those Amon would race in 68. Chiti's background/training, if I'm not mistaken, was in aero, and by 67 Ferrari employed Giacomo Caliri, an aerodynamicist by training who then would become ever more important in the team until 73, for better or worse but that's another story.

 

I suppose that as power increased both in F1 and Sports cars by the mid-60's onwards and lift at high velocities started happening more frequently and with ever more dangerous consequences, there was finally an empirical recognition that downforce had to be searched for. And this recognition took place in Italy, the US, France, etc, more or less in the same time. The idea was in the air. One thinks of Pescarolo's accident with the Matra M640 or the scary '69 Porsche 917. It's the transition between the old-school aero thinking perhaps best represented by SERA to the one leading to ground effects and eventually horrible winglets everywhere. 

That by the mid-60s too more engineers with training in aero started arriving to F1 must have helped matters, as Robin Herd's Mclaren of 66(?)  with a sort of rudimentary wing shows (the one about which there's a pic in the Nye Mclaren book). 


Edited by guiporsche, 15 November 2018 - 11:48.


#16 Charlieman

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Posted 16 November 2018 - 11:41

Here’s another photo showing the brake operating mechanism in a bit more detail:

Thanks, Tim. The pillars are riveted to the roof panel so definitely non-structural! Increasing the diameter of the struts would seem to be a minor change. It seems to me that M-B had other ideas to improve the car which looked more fruitful.



#17 Charlieman

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Posted 16 November 2018 - 12:01

Oh ye of little faith!  Just Google "1961 Ferrari Dino" and you'll find loads.  Here's one of the first I found https://www.conceptc...dino_photo.aspx

Or, if you prefer, look for the Le Mans winning Testa Rossa.

I found a contemporary photo of a 250 Testa Rossa (Le Mans 1961) at home. Sometimes it's hard finding useful Ferrari pics on the web owing to the number of replica, restoration and model photos... Some of the spoilers in more recent photos seem to have grown a bit.

 

Would the 1961 Ferrari spoiler have created downforce or reduced lift? I think it is more likely to reduce drag by cutting off the wake of the car. It's rather like the roof rake that appeared on road hatchbacks c.1990. 



#18 D-Type

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Posted 16 November 2018 - 22:43

As far as I know the intention was to reduce lift.  



#19 Rupertlt1

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Posted 17 November 2018 - 01:26

No half measures here:

 

https://speedsport.c...ona-speed-test/

 

Note Brian Naylor.

 

RGDS RLT


Edited by Rupertlt1, 17 November 2018 - 01:33.


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#20 D-Type

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Posted 17 November 2018 - 20:05

Is that the Brian Naylor of JBW fame?



#21 Rupertlt1

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Posted 17 November 2018 - 20:06

Yes, AFAIK. RGDS RLT



#22 Charlieman

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Posted 18 November 2018 - 13:32

As far as I know the intention was to reduce lift.  

I've since read that the spoiler was intended to disperse exhaust fumes (i.e. prevent them from creeping forward in the boundary layer) but Richie Ginther observed that it improved rear end stability as well. Whoever designed the bodies for those Ferraris had been reading papers on aerodynamics, rather than drawing by eye.

 

"Kamm tail" principles were known at the time but rarely applied to racing cars. The Ferrari TR and Dino derivatives are Kamm designs and, as Duncan has argued, the spoiler was a significant innovation. Lift reduction, drag reduction or creating a wake? Whatever the reasons, the design worked for Ferrari.

 

The long tail Porsche 917 is thus difficult to understand. The Ford GT40 had demonstrated the effectiveness of the Kamm tail plus spoiler combination for high speed circuits, but Porsche chose the "perfect" lab solution.



#23 Rupertlt1

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Posted 18 November 2018 - 13:41

Motor Sport, June 1961, Page 466

Photo Caption ref 45th Targa Florio, 30 April 1961:

The "spoiler" on the end of the tail of the rear-engined Ferraris

fitted to break up the too-efficient air-flow which was creating "lift."

 

Described as "about five inches in height."

 

RGDS RLT


Edited by Rupertlt1, 18 November 2018 - 14:21.


#24 Charlieman

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Posted 18 November 2018 - 13:41

No half measures here:

 

https://speedsport.c...ona-speed-test/

Wow. 

 

The car allegedly weighed 2,500 pounds and the wings generated 4,000 pounds of downforce. It would be another 20 years before anyone else built a car creating those G forces. And how did the driver cope with different downforce on the banking...



#25 Rupertlt1

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Posted 18 November 2018 - 14:15

Wow. 

 

The car allegedly weighed 2,500 pounds and the wings generated 4,000 pounds of downforce. It would be another 20 years before anyone else built a car creating those G forces. And how did the driver cope with different downforce on the banking...

 

Reading about Art Malone made me wonder about when wings first appeared on dragsters.

Malone was associated with Don Garlits, who had a wing fitted above the engine on his Dodge-powered Swamp Rat V at the Winternationals, Pomona, California in 1963.
There are probably earlier examples. Wings over the front axle were showing up on slingshot dragsters in 1964.

Tony Nancy had a high wing, with end plates, behind the rear wheels on his Wedge II rear-engined dragster at about this time.

 

Here is Don Garlits in 1965:

 

https://library.revs...ion=p17257coll1

 

https://library.revs...ion=p17257coll1

 

Canard wings or fins, in front of the rear wheels on either side, showed up at the end of the front-engined dragster era.

 

RGDS RLT


Edited by Rupertlt1, 20 November 2018 - 11:39.


#26 Rupertlt1

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Posted 20 November 2018 - 11:52

The Opel rocket car, with wings amidship, takes us back to 1928/9.

 

RGDS RLT



#27 Roger Clark

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Posted 24 November 2018 - 08:40

5128-FA14-A10-A-49-D5-843-F-477-D1415-F0

https://youtu.be/NAzcQwIQ0v0

My understanding is that MB didn’t persevere with the 1952 version of the air brake as the mounting struts weren’t strong enough to cope with the load when the brake was deployed.

I believe that is correct. The air brake was tried on one car during practice for Le Mans. It was found that the air brake weakened the supporting pylons after a few deployments. The fact that it was only fitted to one car might indicate that there was little intention to use it in the race.

#28 Roger Clark

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Posted 24 November 2018 - 08:54


The Rumpler-designed Teardrop Benz (1921) is an impressive slipstreamer design. Rumpler and other engineers had to consider engine cooling for an aerodynamic car participating in long races.

Rumpler didn’t design the Benz. The Rumpler company exhibited a rear-engined, swing-axled car at the 1921 Berlin show. Benz took out an option on some of his innovations and began devopment of production and racing cars. Eventually, Benz decided not to seek a licence for production of a car using Rumpler’s designs, but to develop their own. Max Wagner was in charger of Benz chassis design at this time, under chief engineer Hans Nibel.

#29 Roger Clark

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Posted 24 November 2018 - 09:47

Oh ye of little faith! Just Google "1961 Ferrari Dino" and you'll find loads. Here's one of the first I found https://www.conceptc...dino_photo.aspx
Or, if you prefer, look for the Le Mans winning Testa Rossa.

Isn’t that the 1962 shape? I thought the 61 cars all had high tail and windscreen.

#30 D-Type

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Posted 24 November 2018 - 19:28

Isn’t that the 1962 shape? I thought the 61 cars all had high tail and windscreen.

It may well be, but the spoiler is the same as the 1961 Targa Florio winner had.  ie 

http://www.targapedi...ebien (28).html


Edited by D-Type, 24 November 2018 - 19:29.