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Electric Prototype Design: It’s All About Aerodynamics!

October 25, 2016

The first rule about aerodynamics is it’s a sub-field of fluid dynamics.

And we talk about it; a lot.

In the prototype class aerodynamics are the rule. The entire body of the car is made with the aim to decrease air resistance. We want the air to go right over our driver’s head, down the tail of the car and behind it (where our opponents will be)

The outline of the car body is based on a classic ‘tear-drop’ shape; the most aerodynamic shape for anything slower than the speed of sound. We use that shape to tell the air where to go.

teardrop-2

Telling the air where to go

The air should flow easily around the car. The upper streams should meet the lower streams at the tail to smoothly glide away.

Here’s the first draft of our Team’s car:

bodyfirstdraft-1

The shape is similar to a passenger airplane, or the perimeter shape of an airplane wing; and a bit like a shark without fins (sharks can keep their fins)

coolshark

So Streamy!

That’s the short and fun explanation of why that body shape is chosen. Next post we’ll be sharing more about the Electric Prototype class and its design constraints. Check back soon and often!