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Old 22 Dec 2003, 21:29 (Ref:818492)   #1
gttouring
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flying cars and flying boats

in regards to flying cars, blamed on too much power and speed, I recently saw the F1Boat Racers and the boats (in the hightlight real) take to the air much more often than indy cars, the instance is the same however, a small amount of air gets under the boat and its travelling surface, and it lifts up and over, and as it come crashing down the airbag allover the boat open up to help it stay afloat you get the idea.
What so these boats travelling much slower, and IRL cars have in common- if any thing? and what about the aerodynamic issues in common, they certainly are not flat bottomed but twin keel with a center portion, in essence 3 ski type shapes and twin tunnels (so is that 3 keels?)

and if the car gets to an angle of greater than X degrees why not have a side pod wing deploy to bring it down? or an airbrake? the gyroscope needed to read such an angle is relatively cheap and if it can be used to keep a Segway HT scooter upright than I am sure the design can be adpated to indy cars to keep them horizontal instead of veritical or inverted.
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Old 22 Dec 2003, 23:00 (Ref:818536)   #2
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all sounds reasonable , but I believe that the reason the cars are getting airborne is because of contact and nothing else , these cars just dont take off by them selves do they ????

I havent seen one case where this has happened but if it ever does or even looks like happening then your idea should be used I think.

heck prevention is better than cure so why not throw them on the cars now and see what happens.

but i personally think that the cars are not taking off by themselves , every case that i can think of (and I am willing to be corrected on this) where the cars have become airborne is because of contact with another cars wheels or forced inpact on a wall or uneven surfaces such as grass.

but certainly food for thought.
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Old 22 Dec 2003, 23:36 (Ref:818560)   #3
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yeah they are not just taking off the wings they have do produce downforce, so its just the opposite, but any lifting of the car itself, tends to negate any effect the wings may have and then they launch up, so why not address this problem and provide some sort of counter device if the car gets any end up, or side up off the horizontal,
and tracks with bankings, would get the gyro calibrated for said banking, at least laterally, the up and down motion of the nose and tails of the cars would always be set standard, so if the car lifts the nose say 5 degrees up off the track the winglet or flaps pop open by hydraulic rams and the car comes smashing back down or something- better than flying up and into fences and people- at least everyone on track is thinking of this possibility, no one in the grandstands ever expects the car to come flying in at them.
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Old 23 Dec 2003, 09:07 (Ref:818782)   #4
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JimW should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridJimW should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridJimW should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridJimW should be qualifying in the top 3 on the grid
Quote:
I havent seen one case where this has happened but if it ever does or even looks like happening then your idea should be used I think.
Not Indycars I will admit, but there are quite a few cases where sportscars have just taken off on their own.

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Old 23 Dec 2003, 11:34 (Ref:818854)   #5
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absolutely Jim , I can instantly recall the Flying mercedes at le man a few years back and Yannick dalmas in the GT1 Porsche at road america , totally unexpected.

maybe this device would have helped thoise cars immensly.
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Old 23 Dec 2003, 12:07 (Ref:818884)   #6
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JimW should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridJimW should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridJimW should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridJimW should be qualifying in the top 3 on the grid
And to prove it here is Yannick Dalmas' flip. (The clip is towards the bottom of the page).

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Old 23 Dec 2003, 13:57 (Ref:818998)   #7
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Like Marcus said, Indy Cars only seem to fly when there is contact, or, like a boat, the car skids across some rough infield grass, gets some air underneath, and off it goes.

Gt's got a good idea to have some type of counter device to get the car down as soon as it gets alittle air. A hydraulically actuated speed brake, like jet fighters use, would work. A panel on the top of the cowl or on the top of the nose cone of the car could be used. It would pop up the instant it felt the car taking off, thereby bringing the car back to the ground and also providing a huge amount of drag to control the car and stop it.

Not sure if its feasible, but I don't think it would be all that complicated to set up.
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Old 23 Dec 2003, 20:09 (Ref:819332)   #8
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Re: flying cars and flying boats

Quote:
Originally posted by gttouring
in regards to flying cars, blamed on too much power and speed, I recently saw the F1Boat Racers and the boats (in the hightlight real) take to the air much more often than indy cars, the instance is the same however, a small amount of air gets under the boat and its travelling surface, and it lifts up and over, and as it come crashing down the airbag allover the boat open up to help it stay afloat you get the idea.
What so these boats travelling much slower, and IRL cars have in common- if any thing? and what about the aerodynamic issues in common, they certainly are not flat bottomed but twin keel with a center portion, in essence 3 ski type shapes and twin tunnels (so is that 3 keels?)

and if the car gets to an angle of greater than X degrees why not have a side pod wing deploy to bring it down? or an airbrake? the gyroscope needed to read such an angle is relatively cheap and if it can be used to keep a Segway HT scooter upright than I am sure the design can be adpated to indy cars to keep them horizontal instead of veritical or inverted.

Modern powerboats are like made for blowing over, considering thet are indeed flat underneath, inside the tunnel between the two keels. The Formula 1 Offshore monsters, Unlimited Hydroplanes, dragsterboats, F1/F2/F3 powerboats etc are all designed roughly by that principle, and it doesn't take much to send one over, whether it be because they hit a small wave that is enough to lift up the nose or if the driver pushes too hard on the throttle. Not to mention most powerboat drivers are racing on the edge anyway.

Speaking of throttle, that sort of powerboat blow-over is quite similar to those of Top Fuel dragsters; once the nose of those beasts get high enough, it's often not enough for the driver to let go of the throttle (if they have time to react in the first place) - the car blows over anyway thanks to the air pushing it up (despite there isn't a lot to push up in the first place) and thanks to the cars going so freakingly fast, reaching the speeds so incredibly quick.

Personally I think the way IndyCars are going airborne are more similar to that of the sportscar flips mentioned earlier in this thread, those of Yannick Dalmas in the Porsche at Road Atlanta and Peter Dumbreck in the Mercedes at Le Mans. In those two cases, however, both cars were designed to be right on the ragged edge in terms of downforce applied to the nose (they were essentially flawed, actually), and all it took for both men (plus at least two other drivers in the same two models; Mark Webber flipping a Mercedes during Le Mans practice and another driver flipping a Porsche at Homestead) was slightly too much throttle as they went over a crest, going too fast for the nose to stay down and off they went.

So thinking about it, I'd guess the quickest way to keep the IndyCars grounded (with the exception of extreme cases like that of Kenny Bräck which had nothing to do with aerodynamics) would be to alter the configuration of the nose. I have seen a clip of an older IndyCar crash, where a car clips a spinning car on the Texas backstretch, going airborne in the process but without blowing over, but rather landing - relatively - safely back on its wheels. Then again, who can forget Roberto Guerrero clipping a tire of another car at Las Vegas in 1998, going airborne in the process (before landing upsidedown in the grass, really messing up the car as it flipped several times)?

Still, one has to wonder, what difference would it have made in the case of Mario Andretti, hitting that piece of debris at absolutely top speed? It would probably have been quite hard to keep him down on the ground, considering the speed involved.

And with Tony Renna, it's another case of bad circumstances (now that we have read the report), with him spinning into the grass. If you hit grass at over 200mph and strike a bumpy patch, it's more of a miracle if you aren't sent up into the air.

That leaves Dan Wheldon, and initially I was thinking that, hey, this was a crash that easily could have been helped by an altered front wing configuration. Then I started thinking about the fact that the right rear wheel is almost torn off as he hits the wall, and while a different front wing configuration would have helped, I think it would have been hard to stop the car from lifting the nose as the right rear no longer could support the car. Bobby Rahal, crashing during the CART race at Motegi in 1998, and Lyn St. James, crashing during IndyCar practice at Indy in 1998, have both done the same thing, albeit flipping over sideways (thanks to the wind) when they, in their separate incidents, managed to rip off both wheels on one side, removing the car's natural ability of supporting itself.

Hm, so what is my point with this massive post that no one will have patience enough to read? No idea. Perhaps my point is that all of the crashes in this years IndyCar season that have seen cars flip over or go airborne have been the result of rare circumstances coming together.

Last edited by rustyfan; 23 Dec 2003 at 20:10.
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Old 23 Dec 2003, 20:54 (Ref:819360)   #9
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I did read your post, good thoughts.
The front wing configurations not withstanding, why isn't there any measure of an airbrake? this is my question, why is no thought in design going into this common occurance.
Even on the other end of hte spectrum when Ryan Newman flipped at daytona, and Sadler flipped at Talladega, we see the NASCAR roof flaps did little to stop this from happening, but we have seen a car begin to take off and as it spins the flaps have opened and prevented lift off, why is this simple and very common device not used in indycars, it won't prevent all airborne incidents as preventing everything is improbable, but it could minimize the occurance, or simply minimize the severity of lift off, making it a brief lift, instead of flight.
Top fuel dragsters could use this as well, and it would be much easier to install and calibrate aas the top fuel is always on the straight and flat, any lift woudl cause the jam or flap to open and bring the front of the car down, ending the run for sure, but also no causing a flight.
Indycars have no such safety device, and could easily apply it. this could also work in F1, Champcars, etc. evryone is prone to jumping and lifteing but the main concern is Oval racing where spectators are close at hand, and car are wheel to wheel at incredible speeds, and the wall is unforgiving and inches away, certainly more variables to cause a wreck and certainly a flying car, as we have see- be it debris or not, if the nose goes up, it should come down.
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Old 23 Dec 2003, 21:07 (Ref:819369)   #10
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Could be that such a system would have to be absolutely fool-proof (which is a pretty hard thing to achieve in racing). I mean, you can't have a system that might accidently deploy while racing normally, and who knows how it would cope with the forces involved when a vechicle travels as fast as IndyCars and dragsters do?
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Old 23 Dec 2003, 21:37 (Ref:819407)   #11
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There are a lot of conections between the aerodynamics of a Powerboat & a racing car. But the basics are different. They both want to reduce drag, but a powerboats biggest drag is the water so the less of the boat that is in the water the less drag. that has to be balanced with the need for the boat not to flip over. One person who was very interested in this was the late great Colin Chapman. In fact the only time I ever met Colin was at a powerboat meeting at Oulton Broad. It was about the time that the safety cells were being introduced into powerboating. Colin even designed powerboats, mainly for his son Clive. Being Colin they were lighter & quicker then anybody elses but they did have a tendancy to flip.
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Old 23 Dec 2003, 21:49 (Ref:819419)   #12
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- i have drawn out a basic diagram for my self (sorry no scanner) so the forces in the car are relative, and the device wouldn't go off on mere driving or braking, being elctronic in nature- of course tests would need ot be done to see what is the minimum angle that a car needs off the horizontal to go off, even a scoop or flap under the cars mightwork, so if it get reall high there is something pulling it down.
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