November 2013: CFD Takes Flight
This month we shine a light on wings with Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) studies of racecar wing mounts and maple seeds, which are also known in aerodynamic circles as mono-wing seed delivery systems.
Surface velocity magnitude contours
A growing trend among racecar designers is to use a 'swan neck' wing mount that attaches to the pressure surface of a wing. Historically wing mounts have connected to the suction surface of a wing. What difference does the wing mount strategy make to overall car downforce and drag? Let's investigate using CFD on a BMW Z3 - the same model I used in a previous CFD study to show how effective adding a wing is to increase downforce. Read more >>
Looking to nature for inspiration (biomimicry) is nothing new. I've already covered turbine blades inspired by humpback whale fins and drag-reducing textures that mimic shark skin, so next up we have the elegant spinning maple seed. Read more >>