Practice English Speaking&Listening with: McLaren Substitute Teacher | Lesson 2 | Motion and Forces ?

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Hi everyone, were here in the new week and therefore have a new lesson on some of the things we learn that help us go racing.

This weeks very special guest is Marianne, shes head of the aerodynamics department, one of the most crucial within Formula 1.

They help us corner well, but also help us go in a straight line as quickly as possible

and add all these little winglets and gadgets that we have on the outside of the car.

So without further ado, over to you Marianne.

Welcome to the wind tunnel at the world-famous McLaren Technology Centre.

As you can see, its absolute huge.

So last week you learned a few things about probabilities with Randy,

and I hope youve had a chance to try the cups challenge at home.

So why are we here in the wind tunnel this week?

Well, were here to answer one simple question

To answer that question were going to need to learn a bit about basic aerodynamics.

So, what is aerodynamics?

Well, lets do a bit of a thought experiment. Please dont try this in real life.

What happens if when youre driving along the motorway, you wind down the window of your car and you put your hand out into the air?

Whats going to happen if you tip your hand a little bit up or a little bit downwards? Or turn it like that?

You can feel a force on your hands, that comes from the air flowing over your hand and pushing on it,

and depending on which way you turn your hand, the force will push in different directions.

So, lets have a look at these forces in action.

Ive brought my hairdryer with me, and a ping pong ball. Lets see if I can get this to work

There we go.

So, lets take an aeroplane wing.

As you can see, when the air flows around it, due to the shape of the wing the air flows faster around one side of the wing, and slower around the other.

Where there is a faster air flow, we get a lower pressure acting on the wing, and where is a slower air flow we get a higher pressure.

That results in an upward force on the wing.

This is an aeroplane wing, so its lifting, but on a Formula 1 car, we put the wings upside down to generate downforce.

Well, it depends on the speed.

The downforce comes from the front wing, the rear wing,

and part of the floor called the diffuser.

At top speed, which is well over 300 kph, a Formula 1 car can generate more than 30,000 newtons of downforce.

Thats the equivalent of over three tonnes, or to put it another way, about five cow's worth.

How does a Formula 1 car go through Maggots and Becketts at Silverstone so fast?

Thank you so much Evie, thats a great question.

Maggots and Becketts are very famous corners at Silverstone, theyre high-speed esses.

The cars go through them at nearly 300 km/h.

How can Formula 1 car go round corners so quickly? Well, we need lots of downforce.

Downforce pushes the car onto the road, and that squashes the tyres onto the tarmac.

When the tyres squashed onto the tarmac, they grip better, and that helps them go round the corners more quickly.

So, what is the answer to our question? Could a Formula 1 car drive upside down on the ceiling?

Well, the mass of a Formula 1 is 800 kilos. And our maximum downforce is about 30,000 newtons.

Thats the equivalent of about 3,000 kg. So yes, in terms of pure forces,

the downforce is more than enough to counter the weight of the car several times over,

and stick the car to the ceiling.

However, in practice there would be some other issues. For example, the fluids in the car

fuel, oil, and hydraulicswould all drain down to the wrong places, so the engine would stop.

The challenge for this week is to make the ultimate paper aeroplane from a single sheet of A4

and see how far it will fly. Heres my attempt!

Post a picture of your design and how far it flew to Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #McLarenSubstituteTeacher

for the chance to win a Dell XPS laptop.

Well see you again next week for another McLaren Substitute Teacher for another lesson. See ya!

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