Automobile accessories such as wings, spoilers, and aero foils have long been popular automobile components often made from composite materials, especially in motor sports events such as Formula One and the factor of down force has rapidly gained importance in the eyes of automobile manufacturers from around the world.
Making use of aerodynamics accessories is claimed to reduce cuts town on travel time, and causes down force to remain perpendicular to the plane of the wing. This reduces the risk of the rear end from breaking away through the generation of centripetal force. However, active aerodynamics goes one step further by not remaining stationary, and actively adjusting various components to optimize the driving experience based on the driver behavior.
Research and Development for Aerodynamics Gains Increased Investment
Manufacturers around the world are increasing their focus towards expanding their facilities for research and development of aerodynamics. This includes state of the art wind tunnels that include smoke systems for display purposes, treadmills to mimic on road activity.
In addition, major automobile manufacturers also make use of advanced sensor technologies and supercomputers to simulate fluid dynamics, which increase the speed of detection for problem areas to engineers.
In terms of active aerodynamics, researchers focus on increased functionality such as rear spoilers that move up during cornering to boost down force, and compacts itself in high speed operations, or alternatively flips upwards to work as an air brake.
Active Aerodynamics Provides Solution to Homogeneity
The principles that govern aerodynamics are universal and do not change from brand to brand. Consequently, auto manufacturers have to manufacture similar components and body panels to maintain optimal performance. However, such automotive trends creates a major issue of homogeneity among the automobiles being created, further creating challenges related to intellectual property.
Active aerodynamics is a key to solving this issue, as automobile manufacturers can design variations in how their vehicles manipulate the airflow to generate an advantage in performance. Active aerodynamics are rapidly gaining the interest of automobile designers and aerodynamicists as these components and systems are very effective in improving on road performance, while they can also be retracted into the body of the vehicle, thereby minimizing the impact on aesthetic appeal.
In addition, solutions that have displayed promised in sports automobile are gradually tricking down to mainstream passenger automobiles, which will boost the scope of growth for this sector for the foreseeable future.
Two Wheelers Enter Active Aerodynamics Arena
With strong activity in terms of research and development in the field it was only a matter of time before two wheeler manufacturers also integrated active aerodynamic systems into their products. Currently, Aprilia is one of the first in the industry to test active aerodynamics in their Concept RS660 Super sports bike.
The bike is equipped with a frontal aerodynamic profile, which actively changes its angle during a ride to balance out the factors of down force and drag. This creates a substantial improvement in terms of on road performance and fuel efficiency for the automobile. Since the motorcycle is a concept model, the business is aiming to experiment with the various aspects of motorcycle aerodynamics, without the burden of restrictions that are usually imposed by road laws or racing regulations. These innovations in the industry are expected to bode well for the future of the global automobile aerodynamics industry.