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Riblets and Motor Sports

In motor sports fractions of a second decide between victory and defeat. Restrictions coming from the rules or the technical conditions limit performance and speed. The aerodynamic opimizations through equipping with riblets lead to an increase in efficiency and speed with the same power input. Riblets can be used on land, in the air and in the water and in all cases there is a crucial advance for the pilot or driver.

Through various projects in different motor sports classes bionic surface technologies has a wide-spread experience in motor sports. In the past there was a distinctive aerodynamic effect of the riblets visible in several tests. Additionally this effect was seen in the results of the races driven with riblets.

In air racing the Shark Skin has been successfully established. It is possible to increase the efficiency of Air Race planes up to 4% by adjusting riblets. That’s an increase of speed up to 1.56%.

Since 2010, we have been working as aerodynamic partner of the Swiss Air Racing Team and have increased the maximum attainable speed significantly by using riblet structures that are specifically designed for the racing aircraft. Our partner Vito Wyprächtiger therefore was able to repeatedly achieve top results in the Formula One Class at the prestigious Reno Airrace in Nevada.

The highlight so far was the victory as first European team at the 50th Reno Air Race in Formula 1 Class in 2013. Vito Wyprächtiger won with his “Scarlett Screamer” – equipped with Riblets – the race in a time of 06:22.092 just 0.431 seconds ahead of the favorite Steve Senegal with “Endeavor”.

The results of the use of riblets are a reduction of the total drag, a higher glide ratio and a better handling of the aircraft. Furthermore more speed with the same energy consumption can be achieved. You can find an extensive documentation of these projects in our magazine as well as on the homepage of our partner CEI Software.

Riblets are not only used in the air and on land, they are also show drag reducing effects on surfaces which are in contact with water. Everywhere were a high velocity is found in different fluids or gases, riblets can reduce the drag of the object. In different races the drivers of high speed boats (e.g. power boats) profit from the aerodynamic optimization that is gained in the use of riblets.

We gladly provide you with consultancy to show you the possibilities of the use of riblets and which benefits you can gain with specific regard to your field of use.

Riblets are used in different classes in motor sports.

Riblets are used in the Red Bull Air Race.

Riblets on speed boats.

Riblets on a plane at the Reno Air Race

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