Used throughout a variety of different motorsport classes, aerodynamics has rapidly become one of the key factors in reducing lap times and increasing race car performance and handling characteristics. One such class of motorsport that has begun to place emphasis on the benefits of including of aerodynamic aids is the international student motorsport competition Formula SAE (FSAE).
The University of Queensland’s FSAE team (UQR) is yet to develop an aerodynamic package for their vehicle. Currently there is need within the team to begin investigation into the design and development of an aerodynamics package for the team’s car in order to remain competitive within the FSAE competition as aerodynamics becomes more common. UQR has requested the design of a front wing for the 2012 vehicle, UQR12. This thesis covers the design and development of an adjustable front wing that can be implemented onto the UQR12 vehicle.
Through the review of literature, prior art, and the UQR12 vehicle, an initial design was created. The design was further developed and refined using computational fluid dynamic (CFD) methods. In order to develop the most suitable front wing for the vehicle, a s1223 aerofoil geometry was altered so that it was optimised for FSAE applications, and a direct iterative approach using numerical optimisation via 2D CFD methods was employed.
The final wing design consists of two elements, with the flap being adjustable so that it can be set at different angles of attack to ensure the best downforce vs drag ratio for the variety of dynamic events in the FSAE competition. The final design was able to generate 232.03 N of downforce in the high downforce setting and 213.98 N in standard downforce setting at 50 km/hr. This has allowed the team to increase its lateral acceleration when cornering by 0.2G (11.8%) at 50 km/hr.
A structural analysis and materials selection process was undertaken, and carbon fibre was selected as the most appropriate material to manufacture the wing skins and end plates from, with medium density polyurethane rigid foam to be used as the wing core. The method used to develop the final design has been thoroughly documented throughout this report, to ensure that future research into the development of aerodynamic aids by UQR, or any FSAE team, has a good foundation from which to base their work from.