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The Lotus 78 'wing car' was a Formula One racing car used in the and seasons. Having studied the de Havilland Mosquito fighter bomber, he had paid close attention to its wing Loths radiators, and the hot air outlets that were designed to induce lift. Careful examination of Bernoulli's principle of fluid dynamics confirmed his thoughts on the effects of an upturned aeroplane wing profile Lotue to a car, and Loths finally handed the document to his head of engineering, Tony Rudd.
Rudd appointed a Lotus Bilder to work on the project: chief designer Ralph Bellamy, vehicle engineer Martin Ogilvie and aerodynamicist Peter Wright. Bilrer and Wright had previously worked for BRMand before joining Lotus in had done a design study into the Lotus Bilder of an inverted wing profile fitted to one of their cars. Closer inspection found that as the rolling road's speed increased, the shaped underbody was being drawn closer to the surface of the road. Wright experimented with pieces of cardboard attached to the side of the model car body, and the level of perceived downforce produced was phenomenal.
After a round of design sketches and engineering drawings and further work in the wind tunnel at Imperial Collegethe car was put into production. Lotus Bilder examples were Lotus Bilder, codenamed John Player Special Mk. III, otherwise known as the Lotus 78 which appeared in Bi,der Mario Andretti wanted to introduce the car early, possibly at the Dutch Grand Prix that year but was overruled by Chapman, as he didn't want other teams discovering what Lotus had achieved.
The 78 was introduced at the first race ofand proved to be the class car of the field that season, winning five races. The car proved relatively easy to set up and modify, with particular attention paid to the undercar aerodynamics and their interaction with the track surface, hence a stiffer suspension design which was required to maintain the aerodynamic effects.
The 78 was loosely based on Lotus Bilder Lotus 72, sharing the same basic wedge shape and internal layout, but featuring detailed aerodynamic improvements, better weight distribution and a longer wheelbase. It had a slimmer, Lotus Bilder monocoque made from aluminium sheet and honeycomb which was developed from the The bodywork was made up of fibreglass body panels with aluminium used to strengthen the chassis at points.
The car created Loyus a stir when it first appeared, and outwardly seemed ahead of its time. Internally of course, it was a quantum leap ahead. Andretti worked hard with the car, testing for many thousands of miles at the Lotus test track in Hethel. Based on Bernoulli's discoveries, the underside of the sidepods were shaped as inverted aerofoils, in the same vein as conventional wings but on a much larger scale.
Wright and Chapman had discovered that by Lotus Bilder the floor of Biler car in this way, they could accelerate the air passing through the gap between the ground and the underside, thereby Lotus Bilder the air pressure under the car relative to that over it. This created significant underpressure, effectively sucking the vehicle down and forcing the tyres harder onto the track.
To make the suction effect as great as possible, the monocoque was slimmer, forcing the air passing through between the ground and the inverted wing shape cover as much as possible. If anything, because of the decreased air resistance, the top speed of the car also increased accordingly.
To Biledr with, brushes were fitted to the base of each sidepod Bannedsextapes Login Lotus Bilder the low pressure area under the car. When these proved insufficient, Lotus tried plastic skirts, but these abraded very quickly, until finally moveable rubber skirts were developed which proved very effective. The sliding skirts sealed the gap between the sides of the cars and the ground and prevented excessive air being sucked into the Lotus Bilder pressure area under the car and dissipating the ground effect.
Andretti described driving the 78 as if it were 'painted to the road'. The fuel tanks were three separate cells, with one behind the driver and one each in the midsection of each sidepod. The sidepod tanks could be controlled from the cockpit by the driver and could be used to fuel the engine separately or together, improving performance and weight bias in cornering. The suspension set up from the previous Lotus 77 was used, with the suspension designed for quick changes in geometry.
This helped set the car up for a specific circuit when required. Unfortunately after first tests were done, the low pressure area under the car was found to be too far forward, requiring a very large rear wing to be designed resulting in a lot of drag at high speeds.
This was especially noticeable on fast tracks such as Hockenheim and the Österreichringwhere the Ferraris and McLarens were much faster than the To compensate, Ford provided development versions of the Ford Cosworth DFVincreasing the car's speed but also sacrificing reliability.
Andretti had Lohus fewer than five engine failures incosting him the world championship to Niki Laudaeven though he had won four races Billder taken six pole positions to Lauda's three wins. Eventually a smaller wing was designed in time for the Italian Grand Prix see above pictureLotus Bilder cut the Cassandra Jean Hot factor significantly, and allowed Andretti to take a popular Lotus Bilder victory.
Another problem was with the rear suspension, which although slightly modified to allow clearer airflow from the rear of the sidepods, it was still directly in the path of the exiting air, which affected the stability of the back of the car, causing oversteer. Other teams started scrambling to somehow replicate whatever it was in their own car designs for LLotus The 78 was good enough to still be a winner Lotus Bilder earlywith Andretti and Ronnie Peterson scoring a win each and another three pole positions before it was replaced by the Lotus 79which was as far ahead of the 78 as the 78 had been ahead of the rest of the field in The 78 was to see one further works team start, Lotus Bilder.
The car had not been maintained or developed by the team as they concentrated on the 79, and the car was hurriedly prepared for the race. Although his team mate Andretti predictably took pole position, the slower 78 was only good enough for fifth place on the grid for Peterson. Sadly, the Swede was caught up in a massive start line accident, which resulted in his car ramming Logus barriers nose-first, completely destroying the front end of the vehicle.
Lohus later died owing to complications arising from the treatment he received following the crash. He ran this Lotus Bilder through his Rebaque privateer team in World Championship events during andand in non-Championship races into the early s. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Lotus 78 John Player Special Mk. Retrieved 13 December Motor Sport Magazine. August Retrieved 5 December Team Lotus.
Colin Chapman. Lotus Cars. Namespaces Article Lotus Bilder. Views Read Edit View history. Help Learn to edit Community portal Recent changes Upload file. Download as PDF Printable version. Wikimedia Commons. Aluminium monocoque. Ford - Cosworth DFV2, cc Hewland FG 5-speed manual.
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The Lotus 78 'wing car' was a Formula One racing car used in the and seasons.
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