Blogs

Formula Hybrid

The inaugural Formula Hybrid International Competition was held May 1-3, 2007 at the New Hampshire International Speedway, Loudon, NH, USA. College and university students from the US and Canada took up the challenge to construct and race gasoline-hybrid powered, open-wheel racecars.

2007 Formula Hybrid Teams2007 Formula Hybrid Teams and CarsImage courtesy of Doug Fraser, Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College

Secrets of Underbody Tunnels, Rear Diffusers and Venturis

Underbody tunnels, rear diffusers and venturis are common terms used to describe the contouring of a racing car's underbody. While largely hidden from view, these devices are the secret weapons in an arsenal of aerodynamic features for generating downforce on racing cars.

Racing-Car Rear DiffusersRacing-Car Rear DiffusersPressure coefficient contours, where red is high and blue is low

Automotive X Prize

The Automotive X Prize will award substantial cash prizes to the winning teams of a long-distance stage race. So is it replicating the World Rally Championship then? Not quite. The vehicles competing for the Automotive X Prize have to be environmentally friendly, production-capable and exceed 100mpg. I doubt any World Rally Cars will qualify!

Peugeot 206 WRCPeugeot 206 World Rally CarEven on two wheels it's still unlikely to qualify for the Automotive X Prixe
License: CC BY-SA 2.0, Christopher Batt

Introduction to Aerodynamics

Merriam-Webster's online dictionary definition for aerodynamics is "a branch of dynamics that deals with the motion of air and other gaseous fluids and with the forces acting on bodies in motion relative to such fluids." So what is aerodynamics again?

2001 BAR Honda Formula 1 Car2001 BAR Honda Formula 1 Car

April Fools - Fake Wired Cover

April 1st is April Fools' Day and so I thought it was an opportune moment to try my limited Gimp skills to fake a Wired cover. Maybe one day Caedium will be featured on the cover of Wired – I have a design ready!

Wired Cover Featuring CaediumFake Wired Special Edition Cover

Caedium on Cover of Wired Magazine

An image created by Caedium with our Professional add-on and rendered in POV-Ray will adorn the April 1st, 2007 special edition cover of Wired magazine. The magazine will also feature articles taken from our blog.

Wired Cover Featuring CaediumPreliminary Wired Special Edition Cover Proof

Why Use a Panel Method?

Panel methods can calculate the gas or liquid flow around complex 3D configurations, such as aircraft, with relative ease. However, that ease comes at a price: panel methods are incapable of modeling the viscous effects that are evident in all real-world flows. So why would an engineer use a panel method?

Panel Method Wing-Body CalculationPanel Method Wing-Body Calculation

Navier-Stokes Equations

Readers of Physics World, published by the Institute of Physics, voted Maxwell's equations and Euler's identity the greatest equations of all time. I guarantee if you posed the same question to mechanical engineers the Navier-Stokes equations would figure near the top, probably second to Newton's F = ma.

Competition Spurs Innovation

Competition spurs innovation like nothing else. It appears that a new golden age of engineering and science competition is upon us, with substantial monetary prizes going to the victors.

If necessity is the mother of invention, then competition must be the mother of innovation. The motivational power of monetary prizes in engineering competition is well proven, just look at the aerodynamic innovation in Formula 1 racing from 1967-2007 as an example.

Stanley in the 2005 DARPA Grand ChallengeStanley in the 2005 DARPA Grand ChallengeOfficial press photo released by the VW Press Department

Formula 1 Aerodynamics

One of the most dramatic examples of an aerodynamic device is a Formula 1 racing car. It wasn't always so, in fact pre-1967 F1 cars made very little use of aerodynamics. The thinking at that time was to optimize cars for straight-line speed, i.e., minimize drag.

1967 Honda Formula 1 Car, pre-wing era1967 Honda Formula 1 Car, pre-wing era

Syndicate content