pitot tubes on race cars

Ado Sigal a.sigal at bluewin.ch
Thu Jul 22 22:07:08 EDT 2004

Louis-Alain_Richard at computerhorizons.com wrote:

>>From the position of the tube, I guess its for measuring the actual 
>undisturbed air speed. The reason must be linked to the "flying Mercedes" 
>of  LeMans 1998.
>These cars took off because, after getting closer from behind to another 
>slower car, their front downforce was impaired to the point of being nil.
>I guess the driver wants to know when the air speed is way slower than 
>road speed.

I believe it is to confirm the trust and discrepancy shown with CFD test 
method. All three Mercedes actually flew, not when approaching the car, 
but the fast straitline crest before the down slope and facing the wind, 
all of which where extensively simulation and real time tested, and 
still flew. DF wasn't nil, if it was, the car would be still on the 
ground, it was actually a positive lift force big enough to lift the 
car, which flew quite the distance. Three years later, after Alboreto's 
death in sideways flying Audi, FIA under pressure from Audi, conducted 
first real time test, where it was confirmed that the cars can fly in 
forward and sideways motion, at the incidences and conditions commonly 
found in racing, and promptly redesigned the floor aerodynamics, by 
reducing DF by further 8%, as if it wasn't the only force apart from the 
car's weight that kept it on the ground. Noun officially asked a 
question, as to why the cars with controlled and passed aero 
configurations can and do fly, and officially it was just a racing 
accident with noun to blame, so I believe that the pitot tube (invented 
in 1732 and improved in 1856) is a show of trust in available 
megamillion hardware and software that car racing industry has sunk into 
aerodynamic R&D, while the Aerodynamic Safety isn't even recognized as 
such by any of the governing bodies, even after numerous aero induced 
racing accidents, which in fact makes the car aerodynamics into the 
least effective and most costly discipline of all times used within car 
racing performance. Marketing techniques have been mastered times over, 
while the aerodynamic expertise still produces aero designs that do 
exactly opposite than required, and where highly paid and appreciated 
car aero experts still have 'grey areas' within their aero expertise, 
even after spending decades designing and testing their creations. 
Strange that.



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