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T O P I C    R E V I E W
mikeamerica84 Posted - 27 Apr 2019 : 20:28:47
IndyCar has finally come forth with cockpit protection for their drivers. It is a device called the Advanced Frontal Protection (AFP). For the articles I read, this is just the first step in this direction of driver protection. The goal, obviously, is to prevent debris intrusion/head contact.


Advanced Frontal Protection units debut on cars at Indy test
By Mark Robinson | Published: Apr 24, 2019

INDIANAPOLIS – The NTT IndyCar Series open test Wednesday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway provided the perfect place for sanctioning body INDYCAR to unveil its latest driver safety development, the Advanced Frontal Protection debris deflector.

The small titanium piece, bolted on the Dallara chassis centerline of all cars just in front of the cockpit, is designed to push flying debris away from the driver and becomes mandatory on all entries beginning with practice for the 103rd Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge and continuing through the rest of the season.

The AFP weighs only 2.8 pounds but has passed the same load testing as the Indy car roll hoop that sits behind and above the driver. Explaining the benefits of the AFP on Wednesday morning, INDYCAR President Jay Frye called it the first of several phases that are planned to improve cockpit safety.

“If a piece (of debris) comes toward the front of the nose, toward the driver,” Frye said, “this will deflect the debris away from the driver.”

Frye added that five-time NTT IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon virtually tested an AFP on a racing simulator and had no issues with its implementation. Along with other items on team checklists, the open test served as the chance for drivers to become accustomed visually to the AFP.

“It’s something now that’s in front of them that wasn’t there before,” Frye said. “We’re excited to hear what they say. … It’s something they’ll have to get used to, but that’s part of what today is about.

“They know why we’re doing it. We’re doing it to help them.”

INDYCAR continues work behind the scenes on development of a windscreen. Dixon and Josef Newgarden tested a prototype last year in separate tests at ISM Raceway in Phoenix and Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but series technical and safety officials said the windscreen requires further development before it could be implemented.

“There’s a cause and effect to everything, so we wanted to make sure we vet it out before we put anything on the car,” Frye said. “That’s kind of what happened last fall with the other piece we were working on at the end. There were some things that didn’t like at the end.

“It’s an evolving process; we work on safety every day. (The AFP) is just the next evolution of what we’re doing.”

The AFP has been on INDYCAR’s radar since 2012. Including the reinforcements built into the monocoque for support, the entire unit adds less than five pounds in weight. Frye and INDYCAR are sold on its benefits.

“We have a very thorough (development) process,” Frye said. “We wouldn’t put it on a car if we weren’t confident it would do what it’s designed to do.”

And, Frye added, there’s more to come in regard to cockpit safety … soon.

“This will be Phase 1 of our solution,” he said. “Sometime in May, we’ll announce what we’re doing next.

“This is Phase 1, it’ll do X. The other things we’re working on will be Y and Z in the process.”


A third image from another site:

I am glad IndyCar has FINALLY stepped up to the plate on this. I can't wait to see what is next in this line of driver safety. It cannot come too soon in my opinion.
8   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
mikeamerica84 Posted - 07 Oct 2019 : 00:50:08
Gone is the little fin. Now we have advanced to a full halo and a full windscreen to encase it. The article also notes how when tested, other aspects vice aero were discovered, like driver hearing and possible cockpit temperature control.


Aeroscreen's first on-track test deemed a huge success
By Curt Cavin | Published: Oct 2, 2019

INDYCAR, in collaboration with Red Bull Advanced Technologies, staged its first on-track test of a revolutionary Aeroscreen on Wednesday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and the officials and drivers involved couldn’t have been more pleased.

Five-time NTT IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon of Chip Ganassi Racing and 2014 series champion Will Power of Team Penske – both Indianapolis 500 winners – combined to run nearly 650 incident-free miles around the iconic 2.5-mile oval.

Power ran 129 laps at a top speed of 224.591 mph while Dixon completed 128 laps with a best of 224.501 mph. Neither reported issues with visibility, head buffeting or car handling, all positives for the Aeroscreen that will be fitted to all NTT IndyCar Series cars for the 2020 season.

“We had pretty high expectations, and we’ve probably exceeded them already,” INDYCAR President Jay Frye said. “I think it’s done everything we thought it would do and then some. Obviously, we’ve learned a lot.

“I think the most important thing is the foundation is right … and it’s been a very turn-key event, so we’re really proud of that.”

The Aeroscreen has been developed by Red Bull Advanced Technologies to reduce the risk of driver injury from debris or other objects striking the cockpit area. The driver safety innovation encompassing the cockpit is comprised of a ballistic Aeroscreen anchored by titanium framework.

The RBAT design consists of a polycarbonate laminated screen that includes an anti-reflective coating on the interior of the screen, an anti-fogging device through an integral heating element and tear-offs, all of which will be produced by integrated third-party companies. Another feature for the drivers will be a cockpit-cooling duct designed by Dallara using its Computational Fluid Dynamics.

The titanium framework mounts in three areas around the cockpit: the chassis centerline, two rear side mounts and roll hoop integration to provide enhanced load-bearing capabilities. The load bearing is expected to be 150 kilonewtons (kN), which equals the FIA load for the Halo design currently used in Formula One. A kilonewton is equal to approximately 225 pounds.

Dixon tested an Aeroscreen prototype on a simulator July 2 at the Dallara Research Center in Speedway, Ind. Dallara is an official INDYCAR supplier and a partner in the Aeroscreen project.

“I'm so impressed with how quickly all this came together,” Power said. “To have the first run in and really no major issues … it’s just little things that need to be worked on.”

“It’s been an intense project and one that I think a lot of people have done their due diligence on to get it to this point,” Dixon said. “Today’s been pretty much seamless.”

Dixon said he was surprised how quiet the cockpit is with the wind deflected. He said he could hear his team radio for the first time than ever before.

“There’s actually a lot less load on the helmet,” Dixon said. “Visually, there’s been no (issue). Some of the areas with tear-offs and where they seam in the middle will be sort of fixed down the road to make it better.”

Dixon and Power said they could have raced with the Aeroscreen this weekend, if necessary, and they are ecstatic INDYCAR, RBAT and others have taken these instrumental steps to further protect drivers.

“I'm so happy that we have it,” Power said. “It's really a huge step in safety, and I think it's the best of both worlds. You've got the halo and you've got a screen, so I think that you'll see other open-wheel categories follow suit. When you've driven it for a day, you're going to feel naked without it.”

Andy Damerum, Red Bull Racing’s Commercial Development Officer, appreciated what he heard from the drivers.

“For me, today was all about the drivers’ feedback and seeing what their response was to the device because we knew it was going to work as far as from a structural perspective,” he said. “We've still got a few more tests to do, some rig testing, but it's all looking really good.”

INDYCAR has scheduled additional Aeroscreen tests at Barber Motorsports Park, a permanent road course, with Team Penske’s Simon Pagenaud and Andretti Autosport’s Ryan Hunter-Reay on Oct. 7; Richmond Raceway, a short oval, with Dixon and Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden on Oct. 15; and Sebring International Raceway, a road course which can simulate a street circuit, with Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports’ James Hinchcliffe and Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan’s Sebastien Bourdais on Nov. 5. Aeroscreens are to be delivered to all NTT IndyCar Series teams prior to Christmas.

“This is a total industry-changing driver safety solution, so we couldn’t be more proud of it,” Frye said. “This is, to me, a game changer – this is big. This is something that will really change the complexion of the sport for a long time to come.”
bludvl Posted - 28 Apr 2019 : 22:26:20
Originally posted by Sonic

why not just go with the thong like in F1?

Because the bits that connect the thong to the central strut will affect visibility on the ovals, where cars are physically above (and across from,) each other.

Also, because while it has become 'normal' now, the halo is still goddamn ugly.
Fast by Ferracci Posted - 28 Apr 2019 : 12:49:58
If they have to have something, the aeroscreen is the much better solution.

They've already polluted the S5000 car with the halo, hate to see it ruin the look of the Indycar too
CP Posted - 28 Apr 2019 : 12:22:13
It's more of a stop gap and hopefully effective measure until the aeroscreen is fully developed.

Being a non FIA series (yet eligible for SuperLicense points) means that Indycar can go their own way with this. They have done more development with the Aeroscreen than F1 ever did with it.
mikeamerica84 Posted - 28 Apr 2019 : 06:32:50
Originally posted by Sonic

why not just go with the thong like in F1?

Good point, but as the article stated, this is the "first step" in a protection device. Whether the next step is a windscreen, or halo, or what have you, this device by itself does not appear to be as protective as the halo. We'll see what they come up with next.

I do know that visibility on ovals was an issue and the center post in front of the driver here is much thinner than the center post in F1.

To be continued. Just thought you guys would want to see what going on over here.
skaifeman Posted - 27 Apr 2019 : 21:56:20
Originally posted by Sonic

why not just go with the thong like in F1?

If effective, this looks miles better...
Can't see it saving something coming from above (ala Le Clerc @ Spa), but front on... seems like it might do the trick.

Sonic Posted - 27 Apr 2019 : 21:48:24
why not just go with the thong like in F1?
Trickyonne Posted - 27 Apr 2019 : 20:47:36
Ummm.....ok.....I don’t get it

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