Flying without wings

Browse pages
Current page

1

Current page

2

Current page

3

Current page

4

Current page

5

Current page

6

Current page

7

Current page

8

Current page

9

Current page

10

Current page

11

Current page

12

Current page

13

Current page

14

Current page

15

Current page

16

Current page

17

Current page

18

Current page

19

Current page

20

Current page

21

Current page

22

Current page

23

Current page

24

Current page

25

Current page

26

Current page

27

Current page

28

Current page

29

Current page

30

Current page

31

Current page

32

Current page

33

Current page

34

Current page

35

Current page

36

Current page

37

Current page

38

Current page

39

Current page

40

Current page

41

Current page

42

Current page

43

Current page

44

Current page

45

Current page

46

Current page

47

Current page

48

Current page

49

Current page

50

Current page

51

Current page

52

Current page

53

Current page

54

Current page

55

Current page

56

Current page

57

Current page

58

Current page

59

Current page

60

Current page

61

Current page

62

Current page

63

Current page

64

Current page

65

Current page

66

Current page

67

Current page

68

Current page

69

Current page

70

Current page

71

Current page

72

Current page

73

Current page

74

Current page

75

Current page

76

Current page

77

Current page

78

Current page

79

Current page

80

Current page

81

Current page

82

Current page

83

Current page

84

Current page

85

Current page

86

Current page

87

Current page

88

Current page

89

Current page

90

Current page

91

Current page

92

Current page

93

Current page

94

Current page

95

Current page

96

Current page

97

Current page

98

Current page

99

Current page

100

Current page

101

Current page

102

Current page

103

Current page

104

Current page

105

Current page

106

Current page

107

Current page

108

Current page

109

Current page

110

Current page

111

Current page

112

Current page

113

Current page

114

Current page

115

Current page

116

Current page

117

Current page

118

Current page

119

Current page

120

Current page

121

Current page

122

Current page

123

Current page

124

Current page

125

Current page

126

Current page

127

Current page

128

Current page

129

Current page

130

Current page

131

Current page

132

Current page

133

Current page

134

Current page

135

Current page

136

Current page

137

Current page

138

Current page

139

Current page

140

Current page

141

Current page

142

Current page

143

Current page

144

Current page

145

Current page

146

Current page

147

Current page

148

Current page

149

Current page

150

Current page

151

Current page

152

Current page

153

Current page

154

Current page

155

Current page

156

Current page

157

Current page

158

Current page

159

Current page

160

Current page

161

Current page

162

Current page

163

Current page

164

Current page

165

Current page

166

Current page

167

Current page

168

Current page

169

Current page

170

Current page

171

Current page

172

Got a small taste of the Nissan Delta Wing’s potential at Le Mans. The cars much-anticipated debut unfortunately was cut short by a crash early in the race in which driver Satoshi Motoyama was an innocent victim. But the car performed well in all departments, proving designer Ben Bowlby’s theories correct and without doubt worth pursuing.

The revolutionary car created a huge wave of interest and Delta Wing majority owner Don Panoz is determined that the car will race again this year at least at the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta in October. He also says a batch of production Delta Wings will be built later this year at Elan Motorsports Technology in Georgia, to race next season in the ALMS’s LMP2 or P1 categories. And Panoz hopes the AGO will agree to formulate a rules package for the car to race again at Le Mans as either a P2 or P1 car.

“We intend to start designing a production car tub that can accommodate the different LMP classes,” Panoz said after Le Mans. “We’ll start working to get ready to start building Delta Wings as a production race car. The real secret is we need to generate data. For people to look at it realistically and to be responsible in writing the rules to integrate this car into the sport, they will need to see all the data.”

The Delta Wing showed it could comfortably lap Le Mans in the low 3min 40sec bracket, and the drivers and Bowlby believe the car is capable of going substantially faster.

“We’re hoping the car will race in some WEC events this year and certainly Petit Le Mans,” Panoz said. “We’ll start accumulating more data and from that we’ll write the rules for the ALMS. We will provide the AGO with all the data as well and allow them to monitor and judge accordingly about what rules they wish to write for the car to compete in either LMP2 or P1 at Le Mans.” Marino Franchith, the lead test and race driver for the Nissan Delta Wing, was delighted with the car’s responsiveness.

“From the first test I knew the car would perform. You know very quickly whether a car is good or not and I knew straight away this was a very good car. The thing that hit me was how well the car changed direction. And number one on my list is the car’s aero performance the fact that it has no wings and the underfloor really works well. You can’t help being affected when you’re in the wake of another car, but I would say this car was affected less than others I’ve driven.

“We’re still in the early stages of this car’s evolution,” Marino added. “We’ve only scratched the surface of untapped performance. I believe the car has a lot still to give.”

Bowlby agrees with Era nchith . “We can improve on many fronts,” he said. “The aero package, for example, is very conservative. I would say there’s a lift-to-drag ratio improvement of between 30 and 50 per cent on the table. There’s a phenomenal amount of potential there.”

Bowlby was delighted with the enthusiasm shown for the Delta Wing at Le Mans. “You come away from an experience like we had with so many fans talking to you it says that people love innovation and technical challenges,” Bowlby said. “I’m just so glad that so many people who are interested in motor sport cared for what we were trying to do. It’s wonderful to have motor sport fans who spend time thinking and enjoying but also being challenged by new things, being concerned about the future and finding more efficient ways of doing things.

Gordon Kirby

“Motor sport fans want to see new stuff and new technology. The car is still the star. I’m so excited about that because we had all been brainwashed into thinking that the car was unimportant. But in truth, the car is still very important.”

We look forward to the next chapter in the Delta Wing’s history as Bowlby continues to develop the car and Don Panoz gets his ducks in line to build production Delta Wings to race next year.

You may also like

Related products