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Jack Olsen Jack Olsen is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 13,135
Poor Man's Aero: Building Your Own Wing (many pix)

For those of you who haven't been following along, this was my dilemma: I decided my 3.8RS tail and 58-inch wing was too ugly for long drives to the track, and that I'd rather have something that did as much for my car on the track (where I don't care so much about looks) but would allow me to drive to the track itself looking like a normal widebody early 911.

Yes, I know. A widebody early 911 ain't exactly normal. But I prefer the look of a ducktail on it to the huge apparatus that I would previously put on for track weekends:

Plus, the 3.8RS deckild is heavy (45 pounds, with the wing and extensions), and it's not the right decklid for my era of 911.

Now, I know what you're thinking. Who really cares about what their car looks like on the drive up to a track? Well, I don't care that much, honestly. But once I get an idea in my head, I often have a tough time stopping things. Plus, it appealed to me to run the same decklid on the street as I do on the track.

Everything got its start in this thread. And this was my rough sketch:

I got lots of feedback, and I did some wool tuft testing, and things evolved into this thread, where we worked out an idea for an airfoil to use.

So the goal was this: build a full-size wing that I could take apart and put inside the car pretty easily. I don't care how ugly it is at the track, although I have to admit I thought the previous test wing, at 42-inches wide, looked a little goofy and maybe a little too 'girly' for my tastes:

This was the profile that Pelicanite Peter Bull worked out for me:

I ordered up some aluminum and did some tests with different adhesives. I'd never built anything like a wing, previously, so I kind of made it up as I went along. I'm going to post a whole bunch of pictures showing the steps I used. I'd appreciate it if the guys who know about this sort of thing let me know where I screwed up (or, if it happened, what I did right).

I'm reasonably happy with the end result. It's big -- since my thinking is to find the point of diminishing returns with this and then back off to a smaller wing down the line. But it's surprisingly strong. I don't think it will have any problems with the forces involved once it's up to speed.

Final size: 70 inches wide, 10.25 inch cord length
Final weight: 4 pounds 12 ounces for the wing itself.
Final cost: About $75 for the materials, and $50 of that was for the Scotch-Weld DP460 structural adhesive. It's expensive stuff.

For most people, a pre-made wing from a fiberglass/carbon fiber place is probably a smarter way to go. I was limited to a straight wing, and it will no doubt get more damage over time than my old carbon fiber one did.

Comments? Questions?
Old 09-01-2006, 05:47 PM
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