News on the Engine Manufacturing
This is more a tiny update just to keep the blog rollin. There will be more progress on the car when I’m back to uni finishing my mechanical engineering degree at the beginning of October. So look forward to that time!
As the engine is a fully stressed member of the car it’s very important to get a stiff and reliable connection between the engine and the monocoque as well as the gearbox. These connections I achieve with steel pins of 1.2mm diameter. On the real cars, the regulations dictates six M12 bolts to fix the engine to the monocoque as well as to the gearbox. Regulations around the engine cover bore, distance between cylinder axes, crankshaft height, bank angle, CoG, etc. With a bit of understanding of some engineering subjects and this data, it’s not that difficult to redesigned this engine from paper. It’s actually a bit like reverse engineering.
A bit belated, but finally this great video, which resulted from the great work of Video Director David Betteridge in cooperation with Siemens and Red Bull Racing, shows my rise from a simple model builder to a proper Formula 1 car designer.
I just want to say a huge thank you to all the people who supported me on my way into Formula 1. Enjoy!
Front Wing Design and Manufacturing
A long time passed by since my last blog. Lot of work at the factory, some holiday and other stuff went on. Last week I restarted the work on my Lotus. So, building the Front Wing was great fun as usual and if you compare the result with the RB7 FW two years ago, you can see a huge step in detail work, in manufacturing quality and also in some minor engineering skills.
In general I’m very satisfied with the result of the FW. The surface quality could be a bit better in some places. But that’s more a problem with restricted access as it’s like under the small Front Flaps. The FW-Nose Assembly is with 49g pretty heavy. That’s about 8.5% of the car weight. As you can see on a picture below, the stiffness of the wing is incredible. I did a simple deflection test where the wing resisted over 500g load which would be equivalent to 500kg(!) at the real car. I didn’t measured any deflection of the wing, but the regs are telling you, that the wing should not deflect more than 10mm at a load of 100kgs. Maybe I do a proper deflection test on a rig somewhen. Just for fun (This statement is a bit sensless considering this is my hobby and should be fun all time).
Anyway, except a few dimension overrides conflicting with the front bodywork regulations, I’m pretty pleased with my new Front Wing. I hope the guys from Lotus are too.
Engine Manufacturing and Nosecone
Over the last few weeks I was working a bit on the engine and finished off the nosecone. Of course, all beside RB10 troubleshooting.
The nosecone was actually not planned to build that early, but some circumstances forced me to build the nosecone now. This circumstances are some kind of a “secret project” which I’ll show you in a few weeks. Target date is first week of April. Wait and see…
Engine: Front wall of the engine block is almost finished. Mounting points to the chassis are all done and looking very stiff. Not much to tell about the engine any more. Apart from the to expect ultra high grade of detail.
The nose is also a huge improvement compared to the RB7 one. The laminate thickness is much more realistic (not that fat as it is at my RB7). However, the nose is very stiff and the nosepins are very rigid. The front wing pylons were also a bit of a weak spot at the RB7. On this nose, I reinforced the pylons with a steel wire each side and provided another tube for picking up the FW mountings. The shape of this nose was highly complex. Especially the bulge under the nosetip and the step were very difficult to get properly done. But everything worked out quite well without any big problems. The nose is probably a bit lower than the original, but at least it’s within the regulations.
Chassis finishing off
As reported in the last post, the chassis was in the paint process over the last few days. This car is the first one, where I created a really planed paint process. There were four steps:
- 1st Step, paint preparation: Sanding every single surface of the car and especially cutting edges up to 1500 sand paper. After sanding, all sponsor labels were added as quick as possible to avoid damage or whitening. Quick clean of the main surfaces to get rid of big dust particles or similar contamination.
- 2nd Step, prime coat: Tape all surfaces that need no highly polished surfaces (means monocoque inside, chassis sides behind side pod intake). Applying first coat of clear lacquer immediately after finishing with the first step. Applying 9 layers at all. Waiting at least half an hour between applying next layer.
- 3rd Step, main coat: Add all missing non highly polished surfaces to the chassis (monocoque underside, front bulkhead, radiator ducts,…). Applying additional five coats of clear lacquer and drying it on a radiator. Waiting at least one hour between every single coat.
- 4th Step, subsequent improvement: Inspect painted surfaces and apply another few spray dots to faces where no polished finish yet.
And the result of this process is astonishing! I never got such a nice surface quality and highly polished finish of the car. I will apply this process from now on at every car with probably a few improvements.
After the paint process it’s obviousely very critical to work on the car (avoiding surface containment). When I’m working on a specific area on the car, I have to cover the surrounding surfaces with some tape stripes. What I also detected during working on the car shortly before the paint process is, that the monocoque is fucking extremely stiff and rigid. I was hardly struggling to get the holes for mirror assembly and nose pins done. With a hammer and a scriber and nail I was working for several minutes to get this four holes onto the car. That means, that the implementation of my thoughts about how to get the chassis stiffer and not significantely heavier has taken full effect. I guess I was never so satisfied with a chassis as I am at the mo. Although there could be some minor improvements, but that can wait till the next car.
During the paint process, which contains a lot of waiting (which I partly bridged by drinking beer), I also started the manufacturing of the engine. The manufacturing of the engine block is one of the most annoying parts of the car. Machined metal parts, the most time consuming work in paper modelling. It’s a pain in the ass!
Here are just some pictures to show you the incredible surface finish of the car:
Chassis ready for Paint Shop
Just a short, but reasonable update. Chassis is now finished for 1st stage painting! During paint process I’ll start off with the engine.
Side Pod and Airbox Manufacturing
Nice progress in the past few weeks. After bonding together the two halfs of the monocoque I immediately started designing the side pods. Always one of the most challenging things. The shape of a modern F1 side pod is such a masterpiece this days that it’s really hard to model it from paper. As the proper pods surface is bent in two directions and paper is basically not drapable and just able to be bent in one direction, I had to simplify the shape to a developable, just in one direction bent surface. It actually worked out well with the usual problems at this stage.
Second big point of progess is the airbox. The E21’s airbox is the most car typical airbox since the Merc 2010/11 fin style airbox. The two PDRS (Passive Drag Reduction System) floppy ears were a bit of a pain to do and the right hand one did not got perfect, but it’s acceptable. This is also my very first airbox, I did with full details like roll hoop inside, profiled leading edge and so on. The car will propably get a bit too high (it’s already very close to the 950mm limit). I will propably measure it at RBT with a more adequate measuring tool than a set square.
Another huge improvement is the surface finishing of the car by sanding every single surface up to 1500 sand paper. This will help strongly during the paint process. The paint process itself will be 2 stepped. With a first stage lacquering of all the painted (means red’n’black surface with the sponsor labels on it) surface by approximately 7 or 8 layers and second stage will be with all aditional features like bodywork fixing flange, carbon fibre texture, etc.
Quick forecast over the next weeks. On 28th of Jan, RB10 will be launched. Hope it’s as good as the 9 end season car. :) I expect finishing off the whole stuff on the monocoque next weekend to get started 1st stage lacquering the car. And starting parallel with the engine, which shouldn’t be that a big challenge as I have already built the same one for the RB7 and have seen the engine in flesh now for many (very many) times – but didn’t took any drawings, sketches, dimensions or anything else with me. Just the stuff which I was able to memorize in my head.