University of Waterloo Formula Motorsports Vehicle Aerodynamic Wing Design

Michael A. Armstrong and David Effa
Case revision date: 
6 pages

The University of Waterloo Formula Motorsports (UWFM) team competes annually in the Society of Automotive Engineer’s Formula SAE Michigan competition. The competition goal is to design and build a single-seat open-wheeled race car to compete against other university students in a series of static and dynamic events which are arranged to test a broad range of engineering skills and vehicle performance. In 2013, the UWFM team aimed to increase its vehicle performance and competitiveness by adding an aerodynamic wing package in the car. Aerodynamic wings on race cars create down force and increased normal force on the tires so that the tires produce a greater lateral force, allowing the vehicle to corner at higher speeds and lateral accelerations. Figure 1 shows the 2012 Monash Motorsport vehicle with a well-developed aerodynamic wing package.

Michael A. Armstrong, a third year mechanical engineering co-op student from University of Waterloo, is a member of the team and took the lead in the design of an aerodynamic wing package for the 2013 Formula Motorsports vehicle.

Learning objectives: 

The primary teaching objective of this case is to illustrate 2D computational fluid dynamic (CFD) simulations and the application of Navier-Stokes equations in real world problem. This case could also be used to illustrate kinematics and dynamics of inviscid flow; airfoil dynamics including thin airfoil theory and finite wings.

Key words: 
CFD; Navier-Stokes equations; Tunnel Testing
CEAB attributes: 
Problem Analysis; A knowledge base for engineering; Design
Module 01 – Case Study
Module 02 – CFD Design Analysis
Module 03 – Experimental versus Computational Analysis
Module TN – Teaching Note

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