The Impact of Aerodynamics on Vehicle Performance in a Formula SAE Racing Style Vehicle 2001-01-2744
Aerodynamic drag is the force that restricts the forward velocity of a vehicle. Sources of drag are form drag, interference drag, internal flow drag, surface friction, and induced drag. Aerodynamic drag directly impacts the fuel economy attainable by a vehicle. In the Formula SAE competition (FSAE), fuel economy is a factor during the endurance phase. This paper will focus on the effects of aerodynamic drag and how it impacts the fuel economy of a FSAE racing style vehicle. Using the Lawrence Technological University (LTU) 1999 and 2000 cars to study and evaluate various methods to reduce drag and optimize fuel economy. Theoretical and experimental methods will be used and the study will be limited to the effects of form and interference drag.