The MIA Motorsport to Aerospace Initiative
It is well known that, when it comes to aerodynamics, a racing car essentially operates as an aeroplane in reverse. In fact it is often said that an F1 car produces enough downforce that, theoretically, it could overcome gravity and race upside-down along a ceiling. Downforce and drag levels are such important performance differentiators that racing teams commit large amounts of their research and development resource to improving the aerodynamic performance of their cars.
Given the financial rewards that victory brings, motorsport engineers have become some of the most advanced aerodynamicists in the world. Race teams build their own windtunnels and, in the case of F1 teams, run them in shifts on an almost 24/7 basis. The motorsport industry has also been at the forefront of the development of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software and associated super computer hardware.
In this area, the synergies between motorsport and aerospace design are immediately apparent and many aerospace companies are already turning to motorsport businesses to provide assistance in the aerodynamic design of aircraft.
|Aerodynamics are a key performance differentiator in motorsport and windtunnel use is commonplace||
Wirth Research is a world-leader
The manufacturing demands of the aerospace industry are also similar to those of motorsport: Top-end motorsport habitually uses aerospace-grade metals, and the level of metrological inspection required means that many component manufacturers already have the ISO accreditation necessary for supply into the aerospace sector.
By volume, over 80% of an F1 car is made from composite materials, and the advanced use of composites for both structural parts and aerodynamic appendages has been the norm in motorsport for over two decades. Lola Group - a racing car manufacturer with a long history of success in single-seater and sportscar racing - has recently diversified into the aerospace market, completing composite design and manufacturing projects for BAE Systems' Mantis UAS; Thales' Watchkeeper UAV; and Meggitt Defence Systems' Voodoo and Banshee UAVs.
Windtunnel model of Lola's IndyCar proposal, with a Voodoo UAV in the background
|BAE Systems Mantis UAS||
To help motorsport companies find business in the aerospace sector, the MIA has taken its members on a series of aerospace industry site tours and organised a Motorsport to Aerospace pavillion at the Farnborough International Airshow.
Some Motorsport to Aerospace testamonials:
“Thanks to the MIA’s visit to Airbus, I have had the opportunity to visit somewhere that would not have been ordinarily possible. The visit was interesting and informative, and also
gave me the initial contact into Airbus direct.”
“Many thanks to the MIA team, I found the Airbus visit and tour very interesting. Lola is very much involved in the supply of tooling and composite parts for the Aerospace industry so I found the presentation and tour of the assembly and manufacturing facilities very useful.”
Motorsport to Aerospace News:
Upcoming Motorsport to Aerospace Events:
Past Motorsport to Aerospace Events:
For more information please call the Carrim Bundhun on +44 (0)2476 692600
or email firstname.lastname@example.org