Thanks, bonjengr. It's surprising how important those wickers have become. IndyCar's rules are so confining that teams now spend thousands of hours working on details -- such as wickers -- to distinguish themselves.
Charles—Fascinating article!OK, the first time I have heard the word "wickers" in my life—first time.You mention in your write -up that KV spends considerable time with trial and error before settling upon a suitable design that gives optimum performance.I recently published an article on the Sim Center located within the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga facilities.This center performs computational engineering analysis on air flow ( and other things )around the "big rigs"; eighteen wheelers fully loaded and going coast to coast.This is a remarkable technology and certainly one not existing when I was in engineering school.Maybe the folks at KV could gain additional insights and reduce the time tolaunch with this approach.Again—great article.
Chaschas you sould do a little research as windgenerators do earn their keep and profits nicely.
Please don't confuse the finacial vehicles known as wind farms with whether wind is viable. Facts are in many places wind is the low cost energy source and those using it are paying lower costs. A recent utility study forcast that wind in the mid to west will keep the cost of electricity down. Afterall it only takes 2kw of wind generator to power an eff home and tetail they are going for $2k/kw in larger sizes.
Facts are now solar PV, Solar CSP/CHP, wind are all now under $2k/kw or will be soon. At that pricepoint it's less costly than retail coal.
As for Indy Aerodynamics it's mostly used for downforce and using hp to overcome the large aero drag it causes. It's a very hard thing to design because things like paint lines have brought down airplanes and air coming out sideways from the racecar, etc create all kinds of problems.
I depend on weight, low CG to keep me stuck to the earth and just use aero to lower drag to increase range.
This article just underscores how much aerodynamics have created parades rather than races. With the incredible emphasis of creating a car that can be driven flat out all the way around Indy, driver skill is secondary. If you look at an Indy or F1 car there are all sorts of wickers, splitters, trim tabs, diffusers, flaps, etc. designed to keep the car glued to the road with minimal drag. Unfortunately this creates unpredictable handling when running close to other cars so there is no way to pass unless one car is a lot faster (i.e., less drag) than another. I would really like to see substantial limits on aerodynamics, including an outright ban on wind tunnel testing, so that driver skill and the ability to pass are brought back into racing.
Bill (Architect), I won't disagree that "the way we've always done it" often wins out over creativity and methodology and I'm also no aerodynamic expert, but I would argue that such an exhibition like that of Watson could help fund research that would potentially benefit millions of people...
A middle school team from Rochester, Mich., has again nabbed the grand prize in the annual international Future City Competition, which drew students from 37 regions of the United States, as well as from England and China.
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