[TECH TALK] 1000HP+ is useless without Aero | AMB Aero
There's no doubt that aerodynamics. Have played a huge part in, the improved lap times that we've seen here, in the cars at World Time Attack there's a misconception though, that developing, a proper aero package requires. An f1, budget. We're here with Andrew, brilliant from a and B zero it will find out how developing, an effective aero package is an, outside, the realms of the average club level competitor, so. Andrew this is something that we've seen becoming. More and more prominent. With world, Time Attack cars as well as motorsport, obviously all around the world can we start though by going. Into your background a little bit how did you get involved, in aerodynamics. Um. I kind of fell into it I'm not actually trained as an aerodynamicist but as, a mechanical, engineer and then I was, in Motorsports, and then we. Started just finding lap timing these little things and I'd always loved fluids and you, know was had, a reasonable, aptitude, with computers, so, I just started. Experimenting, and, learning a. Lot and then I became, my profession slowly, it turned into a hobby to working. With other professionals, and then just became full-time business. Actually. So. If you want, to get into aerodynamics. These days are other specific. Courses, that. People can take at, university. Level to, train or do, you have to sort of self train if, you want to look at motorsport, aerodynamics, ya, know there's um so there's a couple of you know respected. Aerodynamicists, around here that run courses we we, had one in Australia but I haven't had a venue. For it for a little while but there's, there's. A guy named Scott Beaton who has an on line one you, can search him out air design and then also Sammy Sammy. Eásá knows I think I pronounced that right he's. A lecturer, at I think University New South Wales he's, a designer of the Porsche and that's a they're. Both they're. Both tall guys and so, those seminars are definitely out there there's. Plenty of books on the subject although, they're not as, in-depth. As you, know the. Knowledge that's on the high end they're they're good introductory courses, so. As essentially. You got into, aerodynamics. And found speed, and the cars obviously you've developed. And, I think this is something that maybe, is overlooked. When it comes to getting speed. And lap times out of cars. There's. A few a few areas, we can go into obviously engine performances, is generally. An easy one, there's also working on a speech and a mechanical grip from the car and then of course we've got aerodynamics. Obviously if we want the, perfect result we need all of those working together but. In terms of like factoring. The importance, of aerodynamics. From your view how, does that sort, of rate with, the. Other two areas in terms of what's. Most beneficial. Like if you had to choose one of those three what's. Going to give you the best improvement, from your car yeah. That'll. Vary a lot car to car in teams team because how, good do they have each, of those categories, but they, do they. Do enhance each other you know like the suspension vehicle, dynamics is a magnifying, lens for the Aero and you, you can change, how the Aero works so much with the vehicle dynamics so understanding, those interactions, is really important. At. This level I mean as you saw in Time Attack if you look back in, 2009-2010. Nobody, was under 1 minute 30 here and, the. Basic specifications, of the cars have not changed, a lot in terms of their maybe. Some have gotten lighter some one gotten heavier because they added era where they didn't use to Suzuki, for example it's more, than 50 kilo heavier than he used to be with. Era but much faster but. That but the whole fields moved into the low 20s from the low 30s and I, think Aero, is. One. Of if not the major. Factor. Behind that, and, tires are having the same the. People. Have started actually they start making more power recently to build engines have made a difference but I mean, that's not adding, up to 9 second server I, think. There's probably a general, belief. Out there in the market, that if. You want to develop real. Aerodynamics. Packages, for your cars you're, looking at spending huge amounts of money and this may be off-putting I think obviously, aerodynamics.
When We think of it from a layman's perspective we're, looking at the f1 teams and the sort of budgets these guys have but. It's, possible, to, to actually achieve. A really, effective aerodynamic. Package even the Clubman, lever would that be fear financially, yeah, I mean I don't think that's the case at all and I think when we first started doing Aero for, Time Attack it. Had. That misconception, and people were like all this has all gone too far and I completely. Disagree with that because you've, compared to what teams spent on engines I think aerodynamics. Certainly. Can be inexpensive and I can give a few concrete examples, of that, you. Know like the first time attack car that, I ever did was this NSX. In the States that ended up becoming the champion at ticking this year see our lap record and that, car had. A Aero, build, budget of I think $350, a sheep alloy in a shed, and we ended up going three and a half seconds quicker like that and, so and that was there was no CFD, it was just like what the team knew and what I knew and a. Fabricator didn't sleep very much and that's. What we came up with so, you, have to I think you first have to wipe out your head that, there. If there are shapes that, have to be perfect, like a wing is a really fine-tuned shape and then there's some things that are like taking, a sledge hammer to the car and making a really big impact, just, because people don't understand, how it works and bringing that knowledge level, up and. Training. The team's about how to use. That arrow will, make a big difference as well so. I think another. Example would be like Nick Ashwin or under, Suzuki, or even. Andy Forest where they've built their own arrow so, they've taken so, much of the cost like the raw material, cost is not that much and the, design cost is not that much it's, it's, getting, it built that's expensive and if, you. If. You take, on that attitude you, know I think composites, are new to this group everyone's, been fabricating, for a long time like, Andy Forrest and their team they got, on YouTube and they, got videos about how to make carbon fiber a long list of teams that learned how to make their bodies on YouTube, and. That's I think. That the point here is I am the arrow you, you, offer. Consultation. Service, so it's, not a full house well it doesn't have to be a full house service where a to drop off a car and come back write out a massive check and pick up the car finish with a full aero package.
Attached, You can work in and multiple different ways including just, providing, some consultation. Are telling the teams what they need to do and then allowing the teams to actually implement. Those changes themselves. And that can be quite a cost-effective, option yeah I mean we have an entry-level package, designed for those teams so that was the point, of what we wanted what, I wanted to do when we founded this business with. My partner was, that we wanted to grass level people to be able to do Aero and, for. It not to be this thing that it built, a bunch of stuff that didn't do anything but to, give them proper, air build of some, kind and we wanted to do that for every budget so we, started you know $2,000, we have Tigers for $2,000, and there's. Another there's a customer, that had that made a video it's not there on the internet as well and if. You search about that you can find a lot of stuff but then we've also got mid-range, stuff you know 7,500. $15,000, and if you want to be in the like under Suzuki, MCA. And forest. Level of stuff yes, that's a significant. Design cost but. It still pales in comparison to the production, I think. Straight away those numbers you're talking about studying it in two thousand US dollars for some consultation, is probably, a lot cheaper than most. People are thinking I mean that probably is comparable. To what our team is spending on a set, of tires, and. You're getting a real-world, advantage. From Iiro a Niro package that then they can go and implement themselves. Let's, talk a little bit about your. Actual design process, when you're, faced with a fresh car one they haven't worked with before so what's the first step if you've got a team that has a reasonable budget and they, want you to develop something, that's actually going to be really effective, and maybe the pointy end of the pro class here at world timer Tech yeah so, I think. The fundamental principle of the design will all be catered around the. Team, firstly. Who's, building it who's, driving it. Who's managing. The program and, it's. Quite. Custom, to each of those factors like, we could do two of the same platform in a row and the car will be very different because we, think very much about what's. Realistic, for the steam to build and, if. We go and design something that an f1 team can manufacture and, it's, some, guy in a shed with his mates that's, not gonna happen so you, have to be I think. Really diligent, about catering. It that way and. That's why you see such a big diversity of our packages, like you'll see us go from Nemo, to scorch and there's they're so different you know one. Anyway. That you basically really, customize, it to those factors and we can even tune the arrow to be more or less sensitive so it's got more peak, downforce harder, to drive because a pearl might be able to do that but an amateur cannot, and we have so. Many things we think about that way in. Terms of dealing with developing. That package or giving the team a model, to work with all the shapes to work with and sizes, etc you're, starting by actually. Digitizing. The car correct yeah yeah so it with you. Know the entry-level package is more just what we call best practices, where we look at the car and we, help them figure out to make sure it cools and works better in Amethi and then, from the mid-level package, on up, which we call our Time, Attack pro racer package, obviously. We have packages outside of Time Attack book so. Those are where, we start scanning the car so, usually I'll fly in myself because I want to spend time with a team and teach them about arrow and, the. Same time we do that with 3d scan the car and then, take that back to the office where we process that and turn it into the, 3d model that we use for CFD or or, Windtunnel or whichever thing they're gonna do so.
Talk To us a little bit about CFD. Because that's something, that's obviously, become. More prominent as computing, power has increased. Obviously, reduce. The the cost and development, time of arrow so how does that process work yeah. That's actually I mean, I don't maybe going, off topic a little bit but that's been so fascinating, to watch because the way compute. Power has changed over the last 10 years is what's made that now accessible so, that's really changed the landscape of CFD, now because now these small companies can spring up that are able to do this high-end development, that used to be totally impossible because, you have a you. Know data center sized supercomputer. - do I need to even dream of it and so. So. That's that's what's, possible, now and we've, become half, an IT company in a way because we're just constantly, building machines and you. Know maintaining, them and but. CFD is very, powerful it has its weaknesses, but it has its, strengths, that the cost is there and you, can if you can dream up a shape you can draw it and you can test it you don't have to physically build this thing in real life like you do in a wind tunnel so, massively reducing. The development, cost because when you finally go. Through the process of making a physical part you can be pretty confident, from the, CFD results, that that part is going to give. You the results you're expecting, oh yeah, and and the quantity. Of tests you can do so, I mean there's some things that are fast to do in a wind tunnel like adjusting, a wing angle for example you know CFD that's another run but, if we, could test. So. Many parts in a week in CFD that you could never dream to do in a winter just, stuff that's out you think of something out there and you learn from it and not. That's still, impossible. In went on without a team of you know 50 model builders and it's. A get. Out of here if you tried to match I think how many crazy. Things we can test in a day you'd need a hell of a model team and it went on in. Terms of validating. The results, that you're getting from, CFD. When. You do have the opportunity to, work with a team that has a budget for Windtunnel testing I mean. Typically how how well do the results from the CFD, analysis. Line up with real-world down force results I, would, say that our CFD. Is lining.
Up Probably, with. One exception that we're still getting to the bottom of but. With, the exception of that one car historically. We've. Been, closer. Than the wind tunnels were to reality so. Far most wind tunnels now there are very good wind tunnels out there you know $20,000. A day wind tunnels but, there's. A lot of wind tunnels that are so, so but the those, things are actually not important, and we don't worry, so much about that unless we find a hole in what, that wind tunnel sees we, look at relative, accuracy not absolute, accuracy absolute, figures I believe. Should only be draw from a measurement on the real car we. Look at a CFD, gain. Value, and we've learned, to trust that and there, are some things that we've learned about CFD, we know yeah, that's kind of the boundary of CFD but the wind tunnel is the same way there are certain things that wind tunnel will tell you wrong and there, are times when they'll, contradict, each other even and, having. That depth of knowledge that experience, you. Can just stay away from that kind of a design and that doesn't mean that you're, giving up something because you just spend your time developing all the things you know are, accurate. And you yeah I want. To delve a little bit further into the wind tunnel but, first, of all if. You, aren't, using the wind tunnel to validate your designs and how do you validate those in the real world how are you getting the, results off the car at a racetrack yeah well we do we do do wind tunnel validation. If the customer budget allows but, most. Time attack teams we've only had a few exceptions, to this did. Not have the budget for CFD to wind tunnel to John track and we were the first to do all three together but. That's. Quite rare so we do rely a little bit on the data we've gathered from one, car that's managed to do that sort of a correlation project, and we. Have to sort of apply it everywhere because the budget just doesn't allow for that but. We do push. Really hard for all of our teams to instrument. In the car at least in some way so that we can validate, the data so, we're talking here load, cells and, the English and the suspension system yeah load cells shock pods right, height sensors and there's, there's, ways like I mean there are really primitive ways that you can do this if you've really, not got a budget I mean when, I started out racing.
My Own car, and Bonneville, stuff, you, know we'd go out on the dry lake and we stuck zip ties on the shock shaft and did a coast down test and we, could you know it's it's rough it's rough data but data's data and you know we. Were able to make a car that was unstable stable, that way so, that's a win and so there's you. I don't think I would never tell a team to not, test because you don't have the, ultimate, way to test you've, got a validate any way you can afford to do but it's not really, that expensive in the picture of building a car to put four crock pots on it but, that the really important thing is the. Process, I, cannot. Stress enough how, difficult, it is to do that process properly even, if you have the centers we get customers come back with data and they're, like oh the downforce isn't there and then this. Happened really recent with a customer and we've. Just forced them to put it on the scales and then load up the car incrementally, and then see what the actual curve laid, out as and it was drastically, different it actually lined right up to CFD where for a year they'd thought they were missing down for us essentially. If you don't know how to analyze the data that you've got then you're, just guessing so, so that's a that's a big part of what we try to do is to get teams to measure as good as we can, it's. Ideal, when you can sit, you know sit with them through the testing but that's not always realistic so you try to train them and we give documentation. To them about how to do that the best they can okay. Let's just move back to the wind tunnel testing, because obviously that's another area where we've. Grown up seeing that being sort of related to if one that's, sort of level but. You're, talking to me earlier about models. Sort, of part scale testing, that, can be, affordable, for the. Teams who are at the pointy end of a semi professional motorsport such as world timer tech he talked us through how how that works yeah, so there's a technology. That we kind, of I hope, I hope we pioneered it I don't know if we kind of know else is doing this but we, I mean, suzuko my. Partner, slash mentor was, had this idea, that most of motorsport, was using too big of a scale for what they were doing and I, think, that this was all based on what. Markets, they're selling to like if you've got a okay. 50 percent scale. Wind tunnel that's 60. Percent let's say that's a standard kind, of scale winter well just, to, pay there so for those who don't know we're what we're talking here is a scale, of the size of the car so I one-to-one obviously we're taking the actual car running on the wind tunnel but that gets very costly the wind tunnel needs to move a huge amount of here here's the wind tunnel becomes more expensive so, it becomes cheaper if you're using a scaled-down. Tunnel, with a scale model of the car so that's what we're talking about yeah exactly and it's. The cost of building the, models and the parts to test me can you talk about if, you into a full-scale wind tunnel one to one you, have to physically build in full-scale every single part you're going to test how many parts can you test in a day, that's, really hard and you have to plan out ahead to. Build all the parts you're gonna test you can't be guided by testing, you can't get feedback for the testing and so that. Becomes very very, difficult to do now if you move to smaller scales, you start getting new, technologies, coming in such as 3d printing you, can 3d print parts or. They. Take less time to construct. For various means they don't have to be as rigid because, they're taking less load in the smaller scale so, the. Cost of wind.
Tunnel Goes. Up at the cue of the scale so. It's it's really a high you. Know it gets really nasty at the high end of it and, when it comes to that, small-scale, testing, though the accuracy. Of the, model becomes more and more important. You're talking, to me earlier one of the issues, one, of the important issues with gyro, is the ride height and of course when you scale down the model those, ride height changes become more and more precise, okay tell us how that works yeah I mean all every. Single dimension of the thing becomes more and more high-precision as you get to the smaller scale so that part's difficult, and that, is part. Of what you accept, as your. Plus/minus. Allowable, plus/minus, and how, true you think this model shape is to the real car well, you know we, integrate 3d scanning back in so we have like a smaller scale, really, high accuracy, scanner we scan the models back in so we get. A better feel for how far off these things are but you, still you. Still struggle, with those kind of things at small scale so you it's, you, know what the problems are what the shortcomings, and the difficulties, are and then, you use it for what it's good at and when, it's not good anymore you move on to the next thing and that is a much more efficient process if, you do it that way now, you mentioned that some, of the the large one to one scale professional, went on OCA sort of talking twenty, thousand dollars a day will more, if we're looking at some of these cheaper scale wind tunnels okay you have some indication, of what, a date is doing on that wind tunnel might look like oh you. Mean like cost-wise, oh there's a there's a bunch, of like I don't know in Australia, but I know like in North Carolina and they have some of these ones like the NASCAR guys use and they're, really inexpensive you, know you can, go there for like two or four grand but, they're no there's no moving belt in them so, there. Are some things you can trust on it and some things you can't when you don't have a new moving belt then if, your team is looking at trying to make this figure out the cooling system, or the rear wing you know you might you might get you. Might make major improvements in a tunnel like that so you never rule, it out and say all that testing SPAD testing, forget. It but you got, to know what it's good at okay. I want to move on and talk a little bit about the, Aero balance. Of the car so, I mean again from a layman's perspective it, seems like it would be a relatively easy task, to go and put a big wing on the back of a car and make a ton of downforce, at the rear of the car but, of course that's going to affect the balance of the car because we've only looked at the rear so obviously. In order to make the car work correctly. It's important, to balance the downforce from the front to the rear so, how do you go about doing that and obviously. CFD, you've got some ideas there what. Can you do to allow that to be adjusted, in the real world to suit the car and the driver yeah. I mean there's so, many strategies for how you do this and it we cater it a lot, to the car and the team but the, basic concept in time-attack is we give them an adjustable, rear ring and then, we, have. A CFD value, that we've found that. Most. Drivers are happy with and we sort of float around that, percentage, and it's based around the weight distribution in the car so there's a there's, a percentage, variance from that which, is a driver, preference, or a team preference, or there's. A lot of complex factors going on like how the car, is actually changing its attitude.
Dynamically. Like what it's doing in your role. Pitch, and there's, so. Much complexity, that we're learning we. Learn everyday, about, this today, especially we're, still learning right and and, that's, the point why we come out here is to, try. To find out those kind of things but we. Get that percentage smaller and smaller every time so, and the tighter we're able to make that adjustment window, as we learn more then. The. More we size the wing appropriately. And then they end up being more efficient that's one of the ways we can make the wing, drag less because we don't have to make it able, to have an extra 20% rear, you go no no this is fine-tuned right for this number. The. Other thing. We see with the high, downforce cars, is has. Adds. A complexity, to the suspension design, because, you've, got a car that has, obviously zero down force we know sitting stationary, as the speed increases the downforce also, increases, which tends to compress the, suspension so, particular when we're getting cars here that are getting, sort, of two hundred and eighty kilometres an hour at the end of the front straight going to turn one as, compressed as the suspension down so, how, are, the teams best to deal with this do, we run higher. Spring rates and compromise, the, the. Suspension, system run. On the bump rubbers or third spring and damper setups what's your preference, well, I to, me I mean obviously a third spring is is a much. Better situation because you're having it you have a heave heave, control, system and that's, really what you what. She'd I'm sort of an active suspension, or. Something like what Andy Scott any forces, got where he's got an actual you. Know he's affecting, the length of the push rod, dynamically. On, the third I don't, you. Know we we looked at Andy's, car he's got a little air canister, I believe, that it's actually using it yet but ultimately. We'll be able to change. The ride height at. Speed. Essentially, but yeah, in most instances, that. The third spring or the heap spring is the, best arrangement if we don't have that what's your second beast the. Second best is gonna be you're enough to use some combination, of bump stop in spring right because what, you've got is that if you if you make the car rigid enough to endure. Turn. One without using any bump stop whatsoever, then. To what the kind of air loads we've got now you're gonna wind up with this spring. Rate that's way. More than the tires may rain which, means that all the energy being fed into this car on the racetrack is going into the tire and you see the teams now, are. Working. On trying some of the teams that have more downforce are working on trying to ride this limit of tire. Burst failure and either, one of those things will contribute to it because they both feed feed, energy into this tire and, cause. It to overheat or, to damage. The sidewall and come apart so. With. The third spring set up like a nice that's just letting you, control. That so you're able to make a car that's softer, for a greater percentage of the lap and the time, when the car is really rigid it's less and that's. And. That's the basic concept and bump stops you, can do that but not as well because. Inherently. Let's. Say you tuned it you said okay I want to use the bump stops only on the straightaway, then. You can you. Have to have a ramp rate like you can't make it just instantly go to one or the other cars difficult, to handle so. You. Know like it high-end, of motorsport you'll, sit in a room full of Engineers and this is all you do all day is looking, at an error map and, looking at the suspension and going how, do we get more air out of this car and not. Blow up tires and not, make it difficult, to handle and that's how air how. Prioritized, arrow is at. The top level but and this is becoming that way so, there's no there's no solid answer about this it's gonna be you've. Got to get somebody good that, knows what they're doing with that stuff and they're gonna be constantly. Tweaking that or changing it tractor track no. So it's a, long. Story short there we're, always going to be focusing, on a compromise, if you want to get there there arrow and make the suspension, and the arrow work. Together yeah, yeah and then you got to have good area to like if you if, you have no idea what the air is doing what. Are you doing with a suspension so, it's, some it's, important, to to, make. That rook as a package that's what the top end of the field will be doing.
Moving. Forward and you see that you see that happening now another. Common, myth. Though I don't know if it's a myth I wanted to get some answers on this another common thing I hear is that. Eero doesn't. Really produce any downforce, until the cars perhaps up, around 100, mile an hour so to 160, kilometers an hour is, the truth in that obviously, the Eero downforce. Does increase, with speed about what sort of space can we start getting really useful increases, in down force that depends on how. Much downforce you've got right, if you got a car that's got mega, mega downforce, at in the slowest corner in this track so, like our highest, downforce track out here today in the, slowest, corner here has twice as much downforce as a GT car does in a high speed corner you're. Gonna feel that right, and, if you look at the trend people, have that misconception and. The. Evidence I would give to disagree, with that is if you look at the top-end autocross. Hill, Climb all those cars massive. Massive Aero and it's, really important, for them so, yes the speeds lower but then they put low speed air on it and it's. Just as important as anywhere else and if you look at even, really, tight courses you look at like Formula SAE pull, the tightest courses are super. Low power super. Tight courses, mega. Air and if. It's a percentage. Of the lap time for them if they gain to three tenths on air it's the same thing as gaining a second and a half here because, the course is only thirty seconds long so as you say the speed you're. Just designing the package to suit the speeds that the cars going to be sick yeah it just changes your drag curve and we look at that in simulation, now, as we as we go through our test, runs and we. Look at it and are in our database then, we see how. Much drag we're picking up and we run simulations, on the change in downforce and change. We, make sure that we're always, on the right side of that curve and sometimes. We try to be a little low drag more than the computer predicts. That. We think that's the right way but. You. Have to calculate these things. Andrew. Thank you for that insight yeah I think hopefully this dispel. Some of those myths their, proper. Arrow is, only, in the league of those, were million. Dollar budgets, and if, people, do want to find out more about you maybe work with you how can they get in touch yeah. You can just go onto our website it's it's a mb, - arrow, com. Yeah, all right thanks for the Ted enjoy any problem if, you liked that video make, sure you give it a thumbs up and if you're not already a subscriber make. Sure you're subscribed we. Release a new video every week and if, you like free stuff we've got a great, deal for you click, the link in the description, to claim your free spot to our next live lesson, you'll, learn about performance, engine building and EFI, tuning, and you also have the chance to ask questions which I'll be answering live, remember. It's a hundred percent free so follow the link to claim your spot.