You are on page 1of 4


The following document will be the first of three posting which explain the theory behind
aerodynamic components, as well as their design, testing, and manufacturing.
Note1: Information contained in the second edition of the book Competition Car Aerodynamics:
A Practical Handbook, written by Simon McBeath, are used to explain some of the theoretical
concepts. The book is also an advised reading for current and future members interested in race
car aerodynamics.

2. Wings - Theory (brief) and Nomenclature:

The purpose of a wing is to reduce static pressure below the more cambered surface, and to
raise static pressure on the opposite surface. Two forces are produced: lift (negative), and drag.
The lift to drag ration is used to compare the aerodynamic efficiency of different airfoils
configurations. The goal is to maximize lift, and reduce drag.

3. Design Phase I - Front Wing:

3.1 Choosing the airfoil
There are countless variables in the design of a race car wing. Through research,
comparison with other teams decisions, and consulting experts, the inverted airfoil s1223 was
chosen for both elements of a dual-element front wing.

3.2 Testing
First a model of the front wing configuration was created in solidworks. The floXpress
analysis tool was used to test the different wing configurations. Below the list of variables
utilized to create the first model wing, and environment:

In creating the model, it is very important to remember that the design needs to be easily
modifiable. Hence, constructions similar to the one below might be helpful in reducing the time
spent modifying various assemblies.

2 tests were designed to determine the preferable configuration for the front wing. The
first test consisted in variation the slot gap (see nomenclature above). The slot gap varied
between the dimensions of 3.83%c and 4.3%c. The %c unit is used as a standard to report the
measure as a percentage of the chord length. (Example: a slot gap of 3.98%c = 0.0398*20.85 =
0.83 in).

The results where graphed, and the best configuration advanced to the following test. Below a
graph showing how configuration Test A (3.83%c) outperformed the other configurations.

The second test consisted in varying the angle of attack of the front wings between 10
and 15. Again the result were obtained using the solidworks floXpress analysis tool. The results
were then elaborated in excel, and proved configuration Test A (angle of attack 10) to be the
most performant.

At the end of the tests, the front wing was fitted with endplates. The purpose of endplates is to
block the migration of air from the top surface of the wing (high pressure) to the lower surface
(lower pressure). Hence, maintaining the optimal condition to generate downforce.

Note2: A similar approach it is being used for determining the best configuration of the rear

4. Analysis:
The test run on solidworks are not as accurate as the results that software like star-ccm+ can
provide. These preliminary test were run to determine what configuration perform better than
others. The following step in the design phase will be to model the complete aero package in
star-ccm+, and refine the initial configuration created using solidworks floXpress analysis.

Elia Zinetti