Home of Wasabi Air Racing

Elliot Seguin and Jenn Whaley's Formula One class air race team based out of Mojave, California. Pylon racing at the National Championship Air Races in Reno Nevada. Eight airplanes racing head to head around telephone poles in the desert. Mojave is the best place on the planet to build and modify a race plane, and Wasabi is lucky to have the best support in the business.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Oil Flows / Klaus is awesome!

Hey Guys,

I assume everyone has seen it already, but just in case.  You need to check out Lynne Wainfan's article on Klaus Savier and the Determinator (December Experimenter).  Prepare to have your mind melted.

Anyway in the article Lynne describes Klaus' secret recipe for oil based flow visualization.

"...special dark colored oil is put on the airplane before flight.  After landing the oil tracks show where the air was, or was not.  Klaus has a finely tuned mixture for his oil: He starts with carbon black, the fine powder that is added to paint to make it black.  Carbon black is available on the Internet and in paint shops.  To this, he adds motor oil which is viscous - a handy trait that helps it not fall off the airplane.  Then Klaus reduces the mixture with diesel fuel or kerosene, but this combination has too much surface tension.  To counteract that problem he adds a lot of dish soap...One begins to understand exactly how obsessive engineers are about visuaizing airflow.  (I have found that the dishsoap has made the carbon black cleanup a breeze)."

I was really impressed by the combination of Lynne's engaged and researched writing and Klaus' willingness to share.  I ended up all pumped up about the topic, luckily with Justin Gillen doing all this Cassutt flying to get up to speed for PRS it seemed an opportunity we were missing.  So we ended up getting out the oil again and doing some visualization work.  Below are some pictures of what we found.  Yes we are intentionally leaving out the most interesting pictures :).

Elliot and Jenn

Tangotimemachine separation at cooling exhaust

Tangotimemachine separation at cooling exhaust, opposite side

Miss Demeanor cowling above inlet

Miss Demeanor belly cooling exhaust