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NACA official insignia

First, a bit of history:

The National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) was a United States federal agency founded on March 3, 1915 to undertake, promote, and institutionalize aeronautical research.
NACA official seal

On October 1, 1958 the agency was dissolved, and its assets and personnel transferred to the newly created National Aeronautics and Space Administration -
The act of Congress creating NACA, approved March 3, 1915, reads, "...It shall be the duty of the advisory committee for aeronautics to supervise and direct the scientific study of the problems of flight with a view to their practical solution...."
In 1922, NACA had 100 employees. By 1938, it had 426. In addition to formal assignments, staff was encouraged to pursue unauthorized "bootleg" research, provided that it was not too exotic. The result was a long string of fundamental breakthroughs, including "NACA engine cowl" (1930s), the "NACA airfoil" series (1940s), and the "Area rule" for supersonic aircraft (1950s).
The name NACA remains familiar in the automotive world for the NACA duct, a type of air intake, or to those in the aircraft industry, as several series of NACA airfoil and NACA cowling are still being used in new design.

NACA ductNACA duct

If you think drag is a bad thing for a race car, talk to an aeronautical engineer. Every bit of drag on an airplane, rocket or car creases the amount of fuel needed to stay in flight and limits the maximum speed achievable. That's makes minimizing drag critical. The NACA duct brings air into a vehicle with minimal increase in drag. The NACA duct or NACA scoop is a common form of low-drag intake design, and when properly implemented, it allows fluid to be drawn into an internal duct, often for cooling purposes, with a minimal disturbance to the flow. The design was originally called a "submerged inlet," since it consists of a shallow ramp with curved walls recessed into the exposed surface of a streamlined body, such as an aircraft. It is especially favoured in racing car design.

NACA duct on Ferrari F40

The purpose of a NACA duct is to increase the flow rate of air through it while not disturbing the boundary layer. When the cross-sectional flow area of the duct is increased, you decrease the static pressure and make the duct into a vacuum cleaner, but without the drag effects of a plain scoop. The reason why the duct is narrow, then suddenly widens in a graceful arc is to increase the cross-sectional area slowly so that airflow does separate and cause turbulence (and drag).

NACA ducts are useful when air needs to be drawn into an area which isn't exposed to the direct air flow the scoop has access to. Quite often you will see NACA ducts along the sides of a car or engine bonnet. The NACA duct takes advantage of the boundary layer, a layer of slow moving air that "clings" to the bodywork of the car, especially where the bodywork flattens, or does not accelerate or decelerate the air flow. Areas like the roof and side body panels are good examples. The longer the roof or body panels, the thicker the boundary layer becomes (a source of drag that grows as the layer thickens too).

NACA duct on  Nissan Skyline GTR

This design is believed to work because the combination of the gentle ramp angle and the curvature profile of the walls creates counter-rotating vortices which deflect the boundary layer away from the intake and draws in the faster moving air, while avoiding the form drag and flow separation that can occur with protruding inlet designs. This type of flush inlet generally cannot achieve the larger ram pressures. However it is common for engine and ventilation intakes.

The original goal of the NACA duct was not applications requiring maximum pressure recovery (ram pressure), unlike the prominent ram-type intakes seen behind the driver's head in Formula One cars. The application was intended for applications where is desired to minimize the parasite drag added to the aircraft or car. This works well for air vents and such as the drag remains low whether the vent is opened or closed. It is not very useful for engine air intakes, bur is useful for cooling air supply. They are low-drag intake channels used mostly for a variety of cooling requirements such as brakes, engine, and for driver cooling intake. Distinctive geometry includes a widening mouth at the inlet, with the duct floor slightly opening up the flow area.

Sometime, to increase air supply, constructors can use a small scoop as on the picture of Bentley LMP car below. Extensive wind tunnel testing of various designs has resulted in the best compromise of flow rate to drag. In the case of this GT car, the NACA duct on the hood feeds small airboxes that direct cool air into the front brakes. Sharp wall-edges effectively generate vortices that help keep the flow attached to the diffuser-like slope floor. These edges have to be sharp (unlike many aftermarket parts copies), otherwise the flow would separate, reducing the duct's efficiency.

NACA duct drawing NACA duct

NACA duct drawing
NACA duct drawing

NACA duct with scoop

A few words on implementing your own NACA duct as a means of induction to your race car.

-1: design is very important. The duct is designed to be efficient with the correct wall angles (sharp), base slope, and width-to-depth ratio in relation with speed.
-2: The duct needs to be installed in an area of high pressure. A leading edge of a car is a great place.
-3: Don't buy garbage. Edges on the slopes have to be sharp, otherwise the flow would separate, reducing the duct's efficiency.
NACA duct on Lotus 72 with Rindt behind the wheel, 1970 -4: NACA duct is only useful in applications where you really don't want much air, at least not as much as you hoped, and certainly less than you expect.
-5: If you want any air at all, make sure the NACA duct is placed in a region with a positive pressure gradient; i.e., put it where the air sees the body as increasing in size, not constant or decreasing.
-6: They don't work well, or at all, when placed on the negative pressure area.


Athlete coverpic
The sporty new Triton Athlete which is based on the international Triton Adventure X-development, boldly stands out in any famous crowd. This new Special Edition lifestyle double cab bakkie is assembled in Mitsubishi’s Thailand factory and shares the underpinnings of the top-of-the-range Triton double-cab 4x4 automatic derivative.

The new Triton Athlete with its bold orange and black highlights and exterior design cues with matching interior trimmings, caters for individuals and families who live life to the extreme, participating in adventure and sporty lifestyle activities such as surfing, mountain biking, paragliding, show jumping and even motocross or off-road motorcycling.

However, the new lifestyle-orientated Triton Athlete does not only look sportier and more athletic than its double-cab siblings, but also offers an upgraded towing capacity of 3.1 tons to tow any lifestyle equipment, as well as increased safety features such as 7 airbags and Isofix child seat anchors for increased passenger and child safety.

Triton athlete front 1 700x320

The new Triton Athlete is as nimble as an obstacle course athlete thanks to its manageable size which makes it easy to drive around town, great to manoeuvre in tight spots on and off the road and can be easily parked in most garages and parking bays. The Triton’s innovative design results in a class-leading turning radius of only 5.9 metres and makes it a pleasure to drive in congested urban areas and harsh off-road conditions.

The new Triton Athlete was designed to match the ride quality of an SUV without compromising the workhorse qualities that have made lifestyle double cab bakkies so popular in South Africa. Numerous noise insulators as well as noise absorbing and damping materials are applied in many parts of the Triton to further reduce NVH levels, resulting in a smooth and quiet car-like driving experience. The dynamic and sporty suspension enables car-like ride comfort and superb driving stability which also reduces body roll, provides quicker handling response and ensures a safer, quieter and more comfortable ride.

The latest version of Mitsubishi’s unique Super Select II four-wheel drive system is fitted to the new Triton Athlete which makes it the ideal extreme sport partner. The highly capable Super Select II 4WD system, which also improves cornering performance and manoeuvrability, provides the Triton Athlete with four drive modes to give the driver more control in challenging weather conditions or on difficult surfaces:

2H (2WD High range) gives quieter running and better fuel consumption during normal on-road driving;
4H (4WD High range), selectable at speeds up to 100 km/h, distributes torque in a 40:60 ratio between front and rear axles via a centre differential (CD) – the latter permits safer on-road driving in slippery conditions;
4HLc (4WD High range with CD locked) improves traction on sand, dirt and snow roads by distributing torque equally between the front and rear;
4LLc (4WD Low range with CD locked) provides greater torque for extreme off-road conditions.
Excellent axle reticulation, combined with Mitsubishi’s legendary Super-Select II four-wheel drive system, class-leading approach angle of 28°, departure angle of 22° and break-over angle of 25°, make the Triton Athlete a mean off-road competitor, which can be your ideal partner in all your extreme adventure lifestyle activities.

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FIA World Rallycross SA - FIA World Rallycross of South Africa

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Timmy Hansen: It's an all new territory for World RX. I think the South Africans are going to love our sport; fast cars and tough battles! And as it is the final race of the World Championship I'm hoping to leave Cape Town with that ultimate prize in hand!

Andreas Bakkerud: As a rallycross enthusiast and also a driver I love showing WorldRX to a new crowd. 0 - 100 kilometers in less then two seconds is crazy and I'm sure the people in South Africa will love it! I'm also bringing a bunch of #BakkerudBLUE supporters to Cape Town to make sure that they learn the correct supporter songs first! Ha.

Kevin Hansen: Finally a FIA World Championship is back in South Africa! To finish off the 2017 championship in Cape Town will be a true diamond in the season calendar. I believe the crowd will go nuts when they see their first World RX race, and especially when it's the season finale, everyone wants to win it! See you in November, Cape Town!

Petter Solberg: "I expect South Africa to become a fantastic event. What more would a motorsport loving crowd want than a full World RX display of the roughest and fastest cars on the planet racing each other? I will for sure be there fighting for the season finale win!"

Don't miss out - book your tickets today

A weekend of exhilarating wheel-to-wheel race action on mixed surfaces (dirt and asphalt), the FIA World Rallycross Championship delivers serious indulgence for fans of speed and cars. High profile drivers are equipped with RX Supercars with over 600bhp and the ability to accelerate from 0-60mph in less than two seconds – faster than a Formula One car.

Killarney International Raceway, Cape Town, will host the World RX season-closer and bring rallycross to the continent of Africa for the first time.

With superstar drivers including Sebastien Loeb, Petter Solberg, Mattias Ekstrom and Ken Block on track and entertainment throughout the weekend in the fanzone including an exclusive flying display, this is one event you cannot miss!

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fia president jean todt 010717db 050

In a bid to tap the growing influence of gaming and technology on the world of sports, the FIA Formula E Championship Saturday pitted motorsports’ leading racers against Sim—or simulated—racing competitors who have honed their skills behind steering wheels connected to sophisticated computers.

The competition took place not on a track, but in a Las Vegas convention hall hosting the 50th annual CES, the world’s largest consumer electronics and consumer technology tradeshow. The $1 million total purse awarded in the VISA Formula E Vegas eRace made it the richest in esports racing history.

An enthusiastic gathering of media, exhibitors, industry analysts and the FIA President Jean Todt watched history in the making as the drivers and sim racers went wheel-to-wheel on the famous Las Vegas Strip.

Bono Huis, the Faraday Future Dragon Racing sim racer, clinched victory in the inaugural Visa Vegas eRace and with it the biggest prize in eSports racing history - walking away with $200,000 and securing an additional $25,000 for pole position.

Huis, who topped every session throughout the event, made a clean getaway from the line and held on to his lead throughout the first stint. Following the first round of pitstops, the Dutch driver dropped to second place behind Olli Pahkala (Mahindra Racing). Huis eventually inherited success from Pahkala who was handed a 12-second penalty following a post-race investigation for having gained an unfair performance advantage caused by a software issue. Pahkala took the lead mid-way through the race, but was later found to have suffered a technical glitch with a sustained power delivery of FanBoost over and above the limit for five laps during his second stint. Pahkala was demoted to third place following the application of the time penalty and rounded out the podium finishers.

Despite entering unknown territory, the Formula E drivers demonstrated that driving ability is comparable across both a real and virtual world. Felix Rosenqvist (Mahindra Racing) showed his natural ability for sim racing and versatility putting in a strong performance to finish second as the best-placed Formula E driver.

Jose Maria Lopez (DS Virgin Racing), Sam Bird (DS Virgin Racing), Daniel Abt (ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport) and Nelson Piquet Jr. (NextEV NIO) finished in the top-10, again highlighting the close competition between the drivers and sim racers. David Greco (Renault e.dams) crossed the line in 15th place, but picked up fastest lap and $10,000 in the process.

Just as it pioneered electric car racing on city streets around the world, Formula E created the groundbreaking CES event, which attracted and retained a large crowd during the four-hour qualifying round and race and the 20-lap final contest. The format largely mirrored a traditional Formula E race.

Formula E incorporated iconic elements of the Las Vegas Strip into the specially designed virtual e-course, which drivers were not able to experience until practice sessions that began Friday. Drivers sat in individual simulated cockpits in Playseat gaming setups running rFactor 2 software. The software offered strikingly realistic views of the course on both the competitors’ individual consoles and on the massive screens on which the throngs of fans watched inside the convention hall.

Unlike the commercially popular arcade racing games, professional sim racing software simulates the real-world considerations professional drivers must master, including energy usage, damage, tire wear and suspension. It ensures that sim racers understand the challenges of real-world racing.

Earlier in the day at a CES panel that was part of CES’ Sports Business Innovation Summit, FIA President Jean Todt and Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag gave a nod to the importance sim racing may play in expanding the motorsports fan base. “Clearly, this new technology, this new way of allowing people to access motor sports, is a new opening,” Todt said.

After the panel, Todt visited CES’ Eureka Park, home to more than 500 start-ups companies looking to launch new products, services or ideas. While there, he spent time surveying the booths of French start-ups.

Todt also visited CES’ Self-Driving Technology Marketplace, which showcases technology advancing autonomous-automated driving (including parking assistance), collision avoidance and emergency braking. The marketplace touts the statistic that advanced vehicle technology could eliminate more than 90 percent of U.S. road traffic deaths. While in the marketplace, Todt experimented with a driver-less BMW.