We’ve all seen those tiny little RC cars that can climb walls thanks to the suction generated with fans. Their principle is essentially the opposite to that of a hovercraft. [Engineering After Hours] wanted to build his own RC car that could do the same, driving upside down and generating huge amounts of grip.
The build is based on a Traxxas RC car, but heavily modified for the task. An undertray is crafted, with ducts feeding a pair of twin 50mm electric fans. A skirt is fitted around the edge of the undertray, helping create a seal to maximise the downforce generated. This skirt is the area of much engineering effort, as it must form a good seal with the ground, particularly over minor pertubations, without creating undue levels of friction. Suspension components correspondingly need to be beefed up to stop the car bottoming out with the huge downforce generated by the fan system.
After much experimentation, the kinks are worked out, and the car is able to drive upside down successfully. It generates far more downforce than earlier wing experiments from [Engineering After Hours], as expected – with a tradeoff of higher weight and complexity. With the plan to create an RC car capable of huge lateral acceleration, we can’t wait to see what comes next. Video after the break.
Continue reading “Driving Upside Down With An RC Fan Car”
Motorsport became obsessed with aerodynamics in the middle of the 20th century. Moving on from simple streamlined shapes, designers aimed to generate downforce with wing elements in order to get more grip between the tyres and the track. This culminated in the development of active aero, where wing elements are controlled by actuators to adjust the downforce as needed for maximum grip and minimum drag. Recently, [Engineering After Hours] decided to implement the technology on his Traxxas RC car.
The system consists of a simple multi-element front wing, chosen for its good trade-off between downforce and drag. The wing is mounted to a servo, which varies the angle of attack as the car’s pitch changes, as detected by a gyroscope. As the car pitches up during acceleration, the angle of the wing is increased to generate more downforce, keeping the nose planted.
The basic concept is sound, though as always, significant issues present themselves in the implementation. Small bumps cause the system to over-react, folding the wing under the front wheels. Additionally, the greater front downforce caused over-steer, leading to the install of a rear wing as well for better aero balance.
Regardless of some hurdles along the way, it’s clear the system has potential. We look forward to the next build from [Engineering After Hours], which promises to mimic the fan cars of the 70s and 80s. If you’re looking to improve aero on your full-size car, we’ve got a guide to that too. Video after the break.
Continue reading “Active Aero For A Radio Control Car”