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Thread: Proposed delay for 2015 rules to 2016

  1. #21
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    Charles,

    Not to try and be too much of a smart-arse but maybe using Detroit product development processes wouldn't be the best idea

    For the Australian teams the rules release date allows them only 3 months before the first comp the car will be run in. Oz teams use their 2014 car for 2015. this is true for other travelling teams as well. As far as I am aware most of the European teams do the same to compete in the US.

    For most of the history of FSAE travelling teams wasn't an issue, and the rules release date probably had no problems. For Australian teams they get about 15 months between the rules release and the local comp. FSAE programs in Unis were smaller (which meant less students engaged) and often not well integrated into coursework. Add to that the rules were quite static for a large period of time. I remember speaking to people on the rules committee who were frustrated because the rules were difficult to change.

    Now with a large international focus, larger teams, better integrated programs (all of which improve the outcomes) and rapidly changing rules there may be a basis to change this practice.

    I agree that Ann Arbor did a good job of development. It wasn't a "mockery", just good engineering design. FSAE is full of innovative and hard working people. Throw enough of them at a problem and you end up with unintended consequences of the rules. This is one of my main issues with ensuring there is time to get feedback from teams on the implications of the rule changes.

    I will remind everyone of this thread:

    http://www.fsae.com/forums/showthrea...for-2011-Rules

    At the start of the era of big aero there were quite a few people saying "treat this seriously" and "everyone will be doing it". This was met with comments about loss of points in cost, fuel, accel etc. In the end I'm not sure we ended up with what the rules committee had fully intended when they made the first big aero change. Just as now there will be implications to the rule changes that are not fully appreciated, and there is no time to discuss and revise them if there are big loopholes.

    Not to side track this post, but I actually agree with limiting the performance of aero, and the EVs. I just think for such a major change it was far too late before teams were informed of what sort of changes would be made.

    Regards,

    Dr Kevin Hayward

    Faculty Advisor
    Edith Cowan University (2008-present)
    Team member at UWA Motorsport (2001-2005)
    Last edited by Kevin Hayward; 08-20-2014 at 12:32 AM. Reason: added emoticon to try and stop flaming

  2. #22
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    I think the same people complaining about wings being reduced now are the same ones cheering when the wings were made massive 3 years ago. There has been a lot more talk of the aerodynamics this year than there was back then IIRC. Back then the rules came out and suddenly MASSIVE WING AREA. This year, a month or 2 ahead of the rules coming out the rules committee released the rules so everyone had extra time to plan for it. This should not be detrimental to anyone. If you wish to compete in FSAE-A this winter, the 3 months after that competition before Michigan should be more than enough time to chop your wings down and retune for it. Your base car already exists, and the aero rules will already have been out for several months. Consider FSAE-A your last hurrah and then move on.

    And the same thing does happen in the real world. Just happened to us coming to a test for next year's rule package. 2 weeks lead time on what the changes would be for the test, and half an hour to get the setup "right" before a simulated race. At over 200 mph. That's about as extreme as it can get, but the moral is you'll face sudden changes. As far as sudden changes go this is pretty far in advance.
    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.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by AxelRipper View Post
    And the same thing does happen in the real world. Just happened to us coming to a test for next year's rule package. 2 weeks lead time on what the changes would be for the test, and half an hour to get the setup "right" before a simulated race. At over 200 mph. That's about as extreme as it can get, but the moral is you'll face sudden changes. As far as sudden changes go this is pretty far in advance.
    Oh come on dude. Comparing what we can do in NASCAR in respect to FSAE is just ridiculous. We have far more money, far more people, and far more tools and knowledge to pull it off. Plus we don't have to go to school as well when this is all happening. This is an extreme case in respect to FSAE.
    Trent Strunk
    University of Kansas
    Jayhawk Motorsports
    2010-2014

    Now in NASCAR land. Boogity.
    Opinions Are My Own

  4. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by theTTshark View Post
    Oh come on dude. Comparing what we can do in NASCAR in respect to FSAE is just ridiculous. We have far more money, far more people, and far more tools and knowledge to pull it off. Plus we don't have to go to school as well when this is all happening. This is an extreme case in respect to FSAE.
    On the extreme flip side, the auto industry has a hard time dealing with regulations that come out 2 years before they go into effect. With a lot more money and people than a NASCAR team. On one project in particular, we were concerned with meeting just-released model year 2016 emissions (in early calendar year 2014), because making engine hardware changes, recalibrating, and validating takes so long. So I don't think asking for at least 9mos for changes that can completely change an FSAE concept are unreasonable, especially when they drastically change a lot of team's concepts.
    Andrew Palardy
    Kettering University - Computer Engineering, FSAE, Clean Snowmobile Challenge
    Williams International - Commercial Turbofan Controls and Accessories

    "Sometimes, the elegant implementation is a function. Not a method. Not a class. Not a framework. Just a function." ~ John Carmack

    "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic" ~Arthur C. Clarke

  5. #25
    Sure late change changes requiring quick action do occur in reality, but it is usually the consequence of poor planning or a mistake being rectified and that reflects poorly on the competition. Especially from an organisation which is supposed to be mentoring and teaching future engineers.

    Further, the results for 2014 show that the majority teams cannot reliably produce a car in 12 months with unchanged rules as it stands. FSUK, Michigan and FSG the enduro completion rate was 24%, 32% and 36% respectively. Late changes will only hinder the competition further. A poor finishing rate such as this does damage the respect and credibility of the competition too in my opinion.

    Westly.
    Curtin Motorsport Team
    2011 - 2014

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Westly View Post
    Sure late change changes requiring quick action do occur in reality, but it is usually the consequence of poor planning or a mistake being rectified and that reflects poorly on the competition. Especially from an organisation which is supposed to be mentoring and teaching future engineers.

    Further, the results for 2014 show that the majority teams cannot reliably produce a car in 12 months with unchanged rules as it stands. FSUK, Michigan and FSG the enduro completion rate was 24%, 32% and 36% respectively. Late changes will only hinder the competition further. A poor finishing rate such as this does damage the respect and credibility of the competition too in my opinion.

    Westly.
    But at the same time if you reduce the aero packages to make it less tempting for teams to just slap another untested thing that might fail onto the car so they can focus on the basics (which they *SHOULD* be doing anyways, but everyone knows doesn't happen because we're engineers and OOH SHINY) then shouldn't reliability increase? I seem to remember a few years ago the completion rate at MI being around 40%. What changed? And this rule isn't really a shock to the system. It has been in the cards for a while, and most schools are barely back in session yet. If the program is a senior design project at a certain school, the planning phase may not be started yet. Yes some of us went year round, but you could still start making the chassis, suspension, and many other components on the car before the wing rules come out.

    Has anyone done an analysis on the new aero package to see if it is still beneficial? It is still bigger than the old rules package, which if I remember correct seemed to be a pretty even split of points gained vs lost.
    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.

  7. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by AxelRipper View Post
    ...and most schools are barely back in session yet....
    This is your Northern Hemisphere talking. Understand that Formula exists around the entire world and ideally will continue to have co-mingling in the future.
    Jay Swift
    Combustion Powertrain
    Global Formula Racing 2013-2014

  8. #28
    I believe the following does reiterate some points others have raised already; sorry for where that is the case.

    I personally support the proposal to delay the rules changes, on the grounds that there is insufficient clarity in the proposed rules to give a fair playing field between teams, and that revisions around August 31st do not leave sufficient time for many teams to perform a normal vehicle design process.
    My concerns about fairness are because the upper limit for front wing packaging will have a noticeable impact of achievable technical performance, and is regulated by "intent of rules" and subjectively assessed requirements regarding driver egress. Without significant changes in the revised release, we will likely see teams designing around individually given and non-transparent rules clarifications; which is certainly a far from ideal situation- how will you feel when a design you wanted to develop but considered illegal is allowed out on track a from few pit bays down? And did the RC really intend to encourage use of 9.8" OD tyres???

    With significant changes to close these loopholes, much conceptual design will have to restart and we will see a significant reduction in the total design time available to US and Euro teams.
    Perhaps it does add some challenge, but given that the majority of teams are limited by human resources and completion schedules, it is unlikely to be beneficial for the competition. We will see a widening gap in the technical options that can be developed between teams of different levels of resource maturity, and reduced emphasis on conceptual design and innovation vs. completion schedule, driver training and vehicle tuning, as the demands of project lead-time overwhelm teams' ability to commit to exploring a range of solutions.

    Scott and Kev, I cannot agree however, that in our our case there is much of a disadvantage for Australian teams planning to compete internationally in 2015. As axelripper suggests, I would be confident in being able modifying our aero package to a compliant but non-optimal package in under a month, and achieving similar net DF to our 2013 design (60Kg@60kph). We can probably chuck the now-pointless DRS system straight into the bin as well and the points disadvantage most to US and Euro teams will still be trivial unless we are trying to beat GFR. Should we target top 10 finishes at FSG, all we really have to do is good reliability engineering and driver training- especially if all of next year's design finalists fail to finish again.... (You would think this is something, along with the number of flaming vehicles and marshals hit by loose wheels we see each year, that probably should raise more concern than the wings being too big..)

    At this point I should probably add that these comments are my own and in no way reflect represent opinions of the team I am a part of or its members.
    I am in no position to make commitments or representations on their behalf, but would like to add some further thoughts of my own regarding the processes (or perhaps lack therof) in place to develop FSAE via the RC.

    Glancing at the world ranking lists, there are about 500 teams competing per year in this competition. Based on some rough cost estimates we are seeing an average of perhaps $100,000 pa committed from universities (**including workshop space costs), sponsors and team members. Additionally considering work hours per team, averaging aprox 25 members and 5h per week through the year I would put the total yearly costs of our competition at around $50 million and 3 million work hours. I should note I have tried to be conservative here (our work hours and costs are higher) and I would not be surprised if actual average costs committed are more than twice those figures.

    It should follow that all teams are very significant stakeholders in the Formula-SAE and Formula Student competitions. They have the right to demand excellence from our competition organizers and expect continuous improvement of the competition through best practice in leadership, management and organisation. If this is not forthcoming they have the right to demand change or should seriously consider options to take investment elsewhere.
    My current understanding is that the RC operates as a distributed voluntary group whose actions and reasoning are generally without transparency, without oversight, and, if some of the comments on this forum are true, have no interest in taking on-board views or offers of assistance from some of the most highly respected competitors.
    I cannot help but think this is highly inappropriate for a competition of this scale and value to engineering industries. (anyone, please correct any mistakes here on my part. I am very interested in knowing how the RC actually operates behind it's shroud of mystery)

    I look forward to the final release of the FSAE rules, hopefully with change to other areas more relevant to improving the performance of the series itself.
    There has certainly been some forward progress this year- particually in discussions regarding opening up of ETC and capacity regulations, as well as wing structural test requirements.
    However I remain worried that the process of developing rules changes is being done without consideration of the competition's intent, and without appropriate incident reporting, statistics, simulation and input from competitors.
    All of these are required to intelligently propose changes that will lead to positive outcomes in line with competition goals, and ensure issues are spotted well ahead of their release.
    (Again, I would love to have all this proved completely wrong by the RC providing data and reasoning to back up their rules changes!)

    Tim

  9. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by AxelRipper View Post
    I seem to remember a few years ago the completion rate at MI being around 40%. What changed? .
    Memories apparently.

    Year / # teams that finished all laps at MIS
    '06 34
    '07 37
    '08 33
    '09 34
    '10 43
    '11 36
    '12 46
    '13 41
    '14 46


    So you are saying that more restrictive rules help because less risk of competition failure, but more uncertainty and less time to adapt is good?There is a flaw in the logic there.

    How about less restrictive rules to promote learning and risk management and more reasonable rules and release timing to exemplify good business practices.
    If the lesson is to accept illogical regulation and vague instructions then the proposed rules are doing a great job. I would really like to see the opportunity taken to demonstrate and foster good practices and management techniques in developing engineers. Justifying with, "It's fine because it happens in industry" just insures the future engineers will continue down that path. See you in the unemployment line at the next recession...

  10. #30
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    So many other interesting subjects to talk about. (I would love to add some thoughts to Geoff's new "Psych..." thread, or talk about dampers, etc...)

    But, unfortunately, the really pressing issue right now is THE BABOONS IN THE COCKPIT!
    ~o0o~

    Quote Originally Posted by TimS View Post
    Glancing at the world ranking lists, there are about 500 teams competing per year in this competition. Based on some rough cost estimates we are seeing an average of perhaps $100,000 pa committed from universities (**including workshop space costs), sponsors and team members. Additionally considering work hours per team, averaging aprox 25 members and 5h per week through the year I would put the total yearly costs of our competition at around $50 million and 3 million work hours. I should note I have tried to be conservative here (our work hours and costs are higher) and I would not be surprised if actual average costs committed are more than twice those figures.

    It should follow that all teams are very significant stakeholders in the Formula-SAE and Formula Student competitions. They have the right to demand excellence from our competition organizers and expect continuous improvement of the competition through best practice in leadership, management and organisation. If this is not forthcoming they have the right to demand change or should seriously consider options to take investment elsewhere.
    Agreed 100%!

    I suggest that as many Teams as possible make the above very clear to this (self-elected?) "International Rules Committee". A good starting point would be to draft a new set of "Formula Student Rules" that would form the basis of any future competitions. And a good starting point for these new Rules would be an early copy of the "FSAE Rules", say, from the early 1990s.

    The just completed smaller European competitions of FS-Czech and FS-Austria have shown that (apparently) very enjoyable and educational competitions can be run by bodies with little or no connection to "The SAE". I am sure those comps would be at least as good, if not better, if they worked with a much better written RuleBook.

    The only way that you students can ensure a good future for these competitions is by letting the IRC know, in no uncertain terms, that THEY ARE NOT THE ONLY GAME IN TOWN.
    ~o0o~

    Originally posted by AxelRipper:
    Has anyone done an analysis on the new aero package to see if it is still beneficial?
    The point of all these discussions is ... WHICH NEW AERO PACKAGE???

    Is it the one suggested by the wording of the new Rules, that says you can have an unlimited number of front-wings stacked above the nose, all with razor-sharp trailing edges?

    Or is it some curious interpretation of "the intent of the Rules", that might suggest that only one low mounted front-wing is legal (with the TE radii decided by a roll-of-the-dice at scrutineering)?

    As Mumpitz said, just because some fools in some industries can make some cock-ups, that does not make STUPIDITY universally acceptable. On the other hand, ... see the movie "Idiocracy". Sighhh .....
    ~o0o~

    For the record, these new aero Rules shave about 4" off the overhangs allowed for aero stuff. Total aero-platform AREA is hardly changed at all (ie. add 4" to the wheelbase for the same total area). And the best aero comes from the underbody. So total potential downforce from the underbody is hardly changed at all.

    So I have NO DOUBTS AT ALL that 3G in Skid-Pad is still available (ie. SP-time = ~3.5s). Some hints here.

    Z

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