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Thread: Xfsaer wants to build a fan car type FSAE car for autocross type demonstrations

  1. #1

    Xfsaer wants to build a fan car type FSAE car for autocross type demonstrations

    As per title ... I am thinking of making it also an open source type projects for all those fsaers who are dreaming of being part in a similar project-so polite input and ideas exchange is welcome
    I am searching for photos from the Cornell 1990 fan car for starts - maybe people who designed it and raced it can offer some insights since this tech has been banned for more than 2 decades from FSAE
    Thank you in advance and congratulations for this beautiful forum , tool for knowledge , been a long time lurker
    Last edited by Xfsae; 10-27-2013 at 12:51 PM.

  2. #2
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    I would start with looking up the Cheaparral Corvette that competed in the Grassroots Motorsports $2007 challenge. There is a nice PDF of the how's and why's of what they did along with a bunch of pictures. I was thinking of doing a similar setup with my Impreza. Anyone know where I can get a surplus Abrams blower fan or the manufacturer of one?

    http://www.cheaparral.com/
    Last edited by rjwoods77; 10-27-2013 at 08:24 PM. Reason: added link

  3. #3
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    I know we had a program in our office that had a picture of it. I think it was pretty straight forward as you didn't have to try to get around any rules against it at the time. These days if you were going to play by the rules I don't see why you couldn't duct the cooling intake of your air cooled engine to the diffuser.
    Any views or opinions expressed by me may in no way reflect those of Stewart-Haas Racing, Kettering University, or their employees, students, administrators or sponsors.

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    There can only be one...

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    Quote Originally Posted by exFSAE View Post
    There can only be one...
    Sue for breach of copyright! ;-)

    Pat
    The trick is... There is no trick

  6. #6
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    Xfsae,

    Here is an earlier discussion (2005) from the Off-Topic section...

    Z

    (PS. Xfsae vs exFSAE?
    Hmmm..., an "X" is that mysterious, unknown factor, like in those "X-Men" movies. But an "ex" is just a "has-been", innit??? )

  7. #7
    It's true, it's true... I'm a has been.. my student racer career is all washed up. Several years in it and not a 1st place in any competition event - not even the push bar contest. It's a tough life, but guess I'll have to settle on all these wins at the pro level instead.

    Back to the original post.. interesting idea. I think a variety of people have had similar concepts. Some thoughts...
    • Why look for inspiration from a 1990 FSAE car? Or any FSAE car for that matter. I feel like you might be better off just starting completely ground up, open mind (and also being very familiar with the rules for whatever SCCA class or whatever you intend to run)
    • If you intend to make a group or "open source" project - gotta think about a suitable design software (or series of softwares). That may be particularly difficult.
    • Likewise, need to have some lead designer to orchestrate everything. Really, I my gut feeling is that just doing the whole car yourself would be much easier than trying to do group/"open source" route.

  8. #8
    First of all - apologies to the exFSAE - had no intent to have any confusion with you - if it really puts you off let me know and i will ask for a new account. I chose it for fun X designates an old(er) fart that has been away from FSAE for a while and misses the enthusiasm and brainstorming associated with it but also it is X-branded by Formula SAE rules - banned stuff , the what ifs that we all dream about (if FSAE was like a dream race car competition and not strictly educational tool etc - i try to sleep but i dream of a Chapparal running upside down etc and no disrespect for FSAE rulemakers or anything - i believe they have done a good job throughout the years and an immense contribution educating new engineers)

    At this point I wanted do something like an FSAE car with no restriction on active aerodynamics for several reasons-i enjoy a lot the design and analysis side of things and thats why i posted here also - i like the exchange of opinions with others and the enthusiasm associated with Formula SAE

    I wanted to have info on the Cornell car because it was a succesful execution of the concept

    I wanted to have it opensource type of thing because i want to avoid the single acceptable solution - that there can be only one acceptable solution - if through brainstorming , design and analysis come out more than one concepts thats ok. I wanted also to provide a vehicle to people who might base thesis or class projects on it (doesnt mean i will necessary follow their solutions but i love to see what they come up with and maybe help in optimising key components such as fans, ducts, sealing skirts etc)

    I liked to keep it FSAE power limited because this means that the components ,their weight etc must be more carefully selected

    I also dont want to do an anything goes type of vehicle - something based on FSAE safety rules, engine limits (maybe we can simplify things by avoiding hybrids or electric solutions for main propulsion at the moment) is ok

    Also i was thinking about open source because some key components such as custom designed fans or ducting could be manufactured anywhere by rapid prototyping methods - other can adapt them to karts , older Formula SAE cars or other similar single seaters of they want to do research of active aerodynamics themshelves but they see it kind of pointless or a step too far since they are banned from almost any type of formal competition

    Z - i have seen the thread before thank you and great for fsae.com to have you onboard . I have been reading about the interconnected suspension stuff here-fascinating

    I was thinking of the second solution you proposed in the "Build my own sucker car" thread but a slightly different way : instead of having a separate engine with ducts why not have 2 separate electric motors ducted fan style . I was thinking also about a concept you proposed somewhere else (solid axle thread please provide a link if you can because i cant recall where exactly) where you drew a solid axle car front and rear pivoting on 2 points on the chassis for each end . Maybe solid axles are a good idea for the FSAE type fan car we are contemplating as the 2 ducted fans can get attached to the 2 subframes supporting the solid axles so the problem the Bowlands had with the compression of the suspension due to vacuum is gone

    What do you think? (what do you all think ?) I am thinking of how the incoming air in the front fan can be ducted away cleanly if the front axle is behind the drivers feet as in most FSAEcars -do you think it is necessary to move the axle in front of the drivers feet as the old beam axle Brown cars?

    Also-multi wing optimizer link as provided by John Bucknell in the Build my own sucker car thread didnt work for me

    This did : http://www.multi-wing.net/downloads/optimiser/

    @ Z about the doghouse solutions around each wheel:
    How are you thinking of supporting it in a double wishbone type suspension? (only one sided from the upright or also with a second bearing on the outer side of the wheel?

    if solid axle Z concept is used maybe they can be molded in a single piece with each of the 2 subframes in composite with molded in ribs for stiffness

    active aero is exciting....

    and what about the poor tires? are they going to hold up

    People from Cornell ... join in - we want to see this famous 1990 skidpad terminator machine - any photos or input?

    Also Z - about the doghouse concept for the front , the outer sphericals must be bolted on the outside of the doghouse to prevent complex sealing arrangements for preventing vacuum loss inside each doghouse ? Or you have something more clever?

    Scrub radius is what had in mind when i wrote the last comment about sphericals on the outside of the doghouse-but i guess old FSAE concordia with sliding pillar and karts can do well with a lot of it (speaking of high performance 4 wheelers of the size of vehicle we are contemplating)
    Last edited by Xfsae; 11-03-2013 at 09:36 AM.

  9. #9
    I still feel pretty confident that if you're a graduated, working engineer now.. that you can do significantly better than a 1990-ish FSAE car. I'd still say, don't look to student built stuff for inspiration. Just blank slate it. I find that blank slating and focusing on fundamentals tends to yield better results with fresh perspective than trying to copy something else as a starting point. Often much easier too!

    Not to take anything away from students who have done well in student competitions... but I'd say that shortly after graduating, working professionally, and then looking at student cars afterward - any "wow" factor of what used to be really impressive equipment just evaporated for me. Bottom line all these cars are design and built by folks without engineering degrees [yet] and without much experience. Sometimes surprisingly good stuff emerges, but it could all be better. For what it's worth, upon quick Google search, that "active aero" Cornell car only finished 5th overall of 45. That's not even top 10%.

    With regard to everything else you're covering, all these little specifics, it comes across as way too scattered. If you're serious about doing this then maybe pump the brakes a second and start from absolute basics. Start design at a high level conceptually and all the specifics of piece parts will fall into place. Much better approach than what I feel is typical of FSAE kids or young engineers of being focused on the parts and pieces and trick gizmos first.

  10. #10
    This thread looks like fun! XFsae, it seems like cost doesn't scare you away (you have listed things like 3D printed fans and composite structures, I would expect it much more "down to earth" since it is a personal build). Anyway, welcome to the forums!

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