Formula 1 car contrails

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megasyxx
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Formula 1 car contrails

Post by megasyxx » 17 Jul 2009, 17:56

howdy guys, i'm kinda tired of searching for images of formula 1 cars with contrails on the sides of the rear wings or just behind the front wings.

just post pics here of f1 cars with the contrails on the aero wings like these;

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many thanks :thumbsup:
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phil1993
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Re: Formula 1 car contrails

Post by phil1993 » 17 Jul 2009, 19:01

they're not F1...

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Re: Formula 1 car contrails

Post by megasyxx » 17 Jul 2009, 19:09

i know, but i can't find any....i just used them as visual reference. :)
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Re: Formula 1 car contrails

Post by sejtur » 18 Jul 2009, 12:41

well today I don't see them anymore in the TV coverage. I think in the late 90s-early 2000s they were very visible so maybe you should look up pics from that period

Here you see slightly one at Hakkinens rear wing.
http://autopinionsbyvolk.files.wordpres ... macher.jpg
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Re: Formula 1 car contrails

Post by coup » 18 Jul 2009, 14:40

you could see some on the BMW's rear wing during germany practice, don't have any pictures though :(
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Re: Formula 1 car contrails

Post by megasyxx » 18 Jul 2009, 19:43

thanks for that one sejtur :)
don't worry coup, we'll find one (hopefully many) one of these days.... :thumbsup:
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Re: Formula 1 car contrails

Post by megasyxx » 11 Oct 2010, 17:23

found one.....

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Last edited by megasyxx on 22 Sep 2011, 19:48, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Formula 1 car contrails

Post by Ferrariman60 » 12 Oct 2010, 11:21

They still happen on today's cars for sure. They seem to be most visible in very humid or conditions in which rain is imminent. I think the contrails are caused by the wings exerting massive pressure against the air as it flows across the wing, sufficient pressure to actually squeeze the tiny water droplets present in the air closer together causing them to condense into a vortex-shaped cloud behind the wing. Maybe Bar555 can elaborate more...
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Re: Formula 1 car contrails

Post by Denorth » 12 Oct 2010, 11:46

technically speaking those are note contails but something similar to wingtip vortexes and the vapour is the result of water condensation due to differences of preassure and (as the result) temperatures. To see them we need to have the low temperature of the vortex to be lower than the local dew point. Ideally the best climate to check for them - warm and humid (very high dew point). But of course only if the car actually creates those vortexes. From things I know the likely point to see them - high g-maneuverses and high-downforce settings
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Re: Formula 1 car contrails

Post by Ferrariman60 » 12 Oct 2010, 11:51

Reading up on trusty ol' Wikipedia, the phenomenon is called a wake vortex. It is caused by a wing generating lift (in this case, downforce) creating a severe low pressure zone within the region just behind it. Inside the low pressure zone (just as at higher altitudes in meterology) the air temperature drops sharply. If the temperature in this vortex of air coming off the wing drops to below the duepoint, the water inside the air column condenses making a visible cloud. It is even possible for the temperature to drop below freezing and cause air to freeze inside the vortices, which can cause major problems for aircraft.
When large commercial aircraft are approaching and landing, they also extend wing flaps on the leading and trailing edges of their main wings. These flaps enable the wings to generate maximum lift in order for the aircraft to slow down sufficiently for landing while still remaining airworthy. At this point, the wings are generating enormous amounts of lift (more so even than during level flight), and the vortices they form can be very large and persist in the aircraft's wake for several minutes. This is why airports leave wide gaps between planes on approach for landing, as flying into one of these vortices can cause major disturbances in the aircraft's flight attitude.

Applying this to F1 again, because aircraft appear to generate these vortices mostly during times when their wings are at a very high angle of attack, I think it would also be logical to expect F1 cars to produce the most vortices when the teams are running very high rear downforce (probably why they were seen mostly during the '90's because the teams had not yet seen the full potential of their diffuser designs). That said, wouldn't be surprised to see some of them coming off of the slower cars in Korea, and perhaps most of the field in Brazil, as Korea could be a high downforce circuit for the smaller teams, and Brazil we all know is a medium to high downforce track.
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Re: Formula 1 car contrails

Post by Denorth » 12 Oct 2010, 11:59

wikipedia... what happened to school physics? :O actually I think it was in the uni...
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Re: Formula 1 car contrails

Post by Ferrariman60 » 13 Oct 2010, 02:29

Denorth wrote:wikipedia... what happened to school physics? :O actually I think it was in the uni...

Math and physics were my worst subjects...
I can understand theory, but tell me to deal with numbers and I pull out an epic fail...
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Re: Formula 1 car contrails

Post by megasyxx » 15 Oct 2010, 14:44

thanks for banning my tinypic account.....whoever it may be :p
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Re: Formula 1 car contrails

Post by megasyxx » 22 Sep 2011, 19:48

megasyxx wrote:found one.....

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