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Do the rear wings which come on the cars serve any functional purpose?

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  • Do the rear wings which come on the cars serve any functional purpose?

    Just wondering.

    The ones on the cars are so fragile and fall off so easily. I want to keep them off permanently and was wondering if they serve any purpose.

  • #2
    This question usually brings up some interesting answers, and a few deep thoughts...but I can categorically state, that they do not add anything to the performance of the car, nothing, nada, zilch! (as it applies to down force created by airflow over the wing)

    Unless we start talking about some of the high wings e.g. Slot It Chapparal, then one can perhaps make a case for the wing contributing to raising the CoG and helping with the transfer of weight.

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    • #3
      Yes, just take them off so that they don't break off, which is what will happen when you run with magnets at high speed.

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      • #4
        Yes they serve a purpose!!!!! With out a doubt they catch the guard rails lol. I take mine off

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        • #5
          Regarding the Scaley cars with wings, some are stronger than others but for anything other than looks they are non functional. Most I leave on until a crash removes them. I keep the ones that won't stay on in a box so if at some future date the car is retired or someone wants to do a trade I will have it.

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          • #6
            they serve the purpose of making the 1:32 scale car look like the 1:1 scale car. many clubs have requirements that wings are present on the cars at the beginning of a race, and some even force you to stop and repair damaged wings in the middle of heats.

            they do not provide downforce. our cars are too small and too slow to generate any meaningful downforce. but certain cars, like the slot it chappy mentioned by F1fan, drive noticeably better with the wing in place due to it aiding in body roll.

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            • #7
              Interesting! I have a chappie (think it's Fly) that came with 2 wing set ups- the car had a high wing with skinny struts, and a lower one with thicker struts included in the box. The wing was loosely press fitted, probably to make it easy to remove to prevent racing breakage. Early last year, I was running a bunch of cars down a 24' straight, to get a handle on how magnetic grip plays against acceleration, and had an interesting observation with the Chaparral: the wing would consistently come off the car about 2/3 of the way down the straight. Not vibrate off, or just fall off, but actually fly off the car, raising a few inches! It was obviously creating lift rather than downforce. I can't remember if I looked at the shape in detail to see if it was an upright rather than reversed airfoil, but I did make a note to myself to run the chappie wingless, if run in anger. So at ludicrous speeds you can start getting some aero effects, but it may not be what you want/expect!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by ixwa View Post
                Interesting! I have a chappie (think it's Fly) that came with 2 wing set ups- the car had a high wing with skinny struts, and a lower one with thicker struts included in the box. The wing was loosely press fitted, probably to make it easy to remove to prevent racing breakage. Early last year, I was running a bunch of cars down a 24' straight, to get a handle on how magnetic grip plays against acceleration, and had an interesting observation with the Chaparral: the wing would consistently come off the car about 2/3 of the way down the straight. Not vibrate off, or just fall off, but actually fly off the car, raising a few inches! It was obviously creating lift rather than downforce. I can't remember if I looked at the shape in detail to see if it was an upright rather than reversed airfoil, but I did make a note to myself to run the chappie wingless, if run in anger. So at ludicrous speeds you can start getting some aero effects, but it may not be what you want/expect!

                Thanks for the input.

                I gather you run your cars with magnets?

                I just removed all the magnets on all my cars and am having my son and daughter learn to drive them without the aid of any magnets. I too am learning and find that without magnets not only are the speeds slower, but the way the car corners seems more real. Another side benefit is as the speeds are down, you can actually see the cars more and get into the 'feeling' of competition.

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                • #9
                  Of course the wings serve a functional purpose. They function as a reminder to slow down for the curves.

                  Unless you're one of the guys who giggles when he breaks someone elses toys.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by monquispot View Post
                    Of course the wings serve a functional purpose. They function as a reminder to slow down for the curves.

                    Unless you're one of the guys who giggles when he breaks someone elses toys.
                    Agreed! One of my cars was damaged and needed goop to fix as an %&*^^*^&*(^ decided to use the set as a smash up derby.

                    Gave my son hell for that LOL

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                    • #11
                      Actually those wings do serve a very functional purpose.

                      I use them all the time for engaging "the hook" so I can retrieve them from the far side of the layout and return them to the slot.

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                      • #12
                        they are functional.....

                        .....if only to a small degree. If you hold your hand near the track you can feel air movement when the cars go by. That air, however miniscule its effect, is still there, having a small effect. A slot car can easily run 15/fps, which is about 10 mph, so would a 10 mph breeze have some small effect on the car? Surely.

                        TOJ

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                        • #13
                          A 10mph wind certainly would have an effect if these cars were 1/32 scale weightwise. Less than 30 grams for most of 'em.
                          Don't forget the magnets.

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                          • #14
                            I run both mag and magless. My liking for magless is based on the driving experience, less damage on de-slots, and being able to enjoy the behavior and detail of the cars at lower speeds, so I'm turning several of my groups of cars in that direction. In spite of my observations with the Chaparral, at this scale I'd much prefer to be able to see the wing on the car, rather than to feel it have an effect.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by The Old Jaybird View Post
                              .....if only to a small degree. If you hold your hand near the track you can feel air movement when the cars go by. That air, however miniscule its effect, is still there, having a small effect. A slot car can easily run 15/fps, which is about 10 mph, so would a 10 mph breeze have some small effect on the car? Surely.

                              TOJ
                              An aerodynamic effect surely exists, but it appears to be miniscule on the home set type cars this thread is all about.
                              One way of looking at it is applying aerodynamic scaling formulas to compare these cars with much quicker slot cars. The difference in lap times due to aerodynamics is measurable with high performance 1/32 cars, and is much larger in the fastest 1/24 cars. The answer is that the aerodynamic effect on home set type cars is indeed miniscule.

                              The original question was "are they functional". I guess you could say too small to make a measurable difference is non-functional.

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