Piper Design Undertake Research for FIA
Aero Stability research of flat bottom Sportscars
Piper Design Undertakes Sportscar Aero Stability Research For FIA

London based design engineering company, Piper International Design Group, was recently contracted by the FIA Foundation to undertake a comprehensive study of the aerodynamic stability of flat bottom Sportscars, following a number of track incidents involving Sportscars leaving the ground and in some instances, overturning.

The research study concentrates on the overturning forces that the cars are subjected to, in a spin or high yaw and roll angle situation. Piper Design have been investigating the aerodynamic forces to enable to the FIA Foundation, in conjunction with the FIA, to consider, from a technically informed position, potential design changes which would improve the stability of Sportscars. This could include the introduction of additional aerodynamic devices within the Technical Regulations.

Piper Design has produced a generic 40% Open Prototype Sportscar wind tunnel model for the project, using its in-house model making facilities. A team of specialist design engineers is carrying out a wind tunnel test programme at the conveniently located London wind tunnel facilities used by Piper Design.

John Piper, Managing Director, Piper Design, says of the project, “We are proud to have been selected by the FIA Foundation to carry out this important piece of research. The project has given us an opportunity to use the key skills of our company within one of the most important areas – safety - and we’ve been using much of the company’s experience, expertise and facilities to carry out the work. Our preliminary report has been enthusiastically received by the current Sportscar teams, the FIA Foundation and the FIA, we are now undertaking further work as a result of the initial findings.

“We have been tasked to complete the next session of wind tunnel testing against the clock, so that it can be part of the decision making process on the new regulations for 2004, which requires World Council approval in August for publication in early September,” adds Piper. “We know that we are able to respond to this challenge and look forward to delivering the results in due course. Piper Design is flattered to have such overwhelming support from the whole Sportscar pit lane as well as the FIA for the work that we are doing.”

Piper Design is already well known for providing engineering solution for clients within various areas including motorsport, automotive and industrial design. The company has a team of highly skilled engineers with experience of the cutting edge technologies needed to meet the demands of today’s engineering environment, as exemplified by this FIA Foundation project. Over the last 3 years since its inception, Piper Design has grown to employ over 20 staff, working across a number of programmes on behalf of major automotive and engine manufacturers, leading two and four wheel motorsport companies and industrial design clients.

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