Free talk to ‘lift’ the lid on the aerodynamics of airliners and racing cars

A free lecture in Perth next month will offer an insight into the aerodynamics of airliners and racing cars. Andrew Rae, Professor of Engineering at the University of the Highlands, will explain how air flow is used to help a 575 tonne Airbus take off and allow Formula 1 cars to corner at high speed.

Professor Rae, an academic based at Perth College UHI, is an expert in aeronautical engineering and aerodynamics. He has worked for on projects for Airbus, Boeing and several Formula 1 teams.

Speaking about his forthcoming talk, Professor Rae said: “The Airbus A380 can weigh 575 tonnes at take off, but defies gravity by manipulating the flow of air around its wings and a Formula 1 car generates downforce to corner at high speed. In my lecture, I’ll explain the physics of how lift and downforce are generated, how our understanding of aerodynamics has developed through time and how designers exploit that knowledge to improve performance and increase efficiency.”

Perth College UHI’s Aeronautical and Aircraft Engineering Department offers a range of courses including an honours degree in aircraft engineering. It has a range of specialist equipment including wind tunnels, a flight simulator and a gas turbine rig and attracts students from all over the world. As well as teaching, department staff carry out research and consultancy, working with companies such as the Sahara Force India Formula One team.

Professor Rae’s inaugural professorial lecture, ‘What Goes Up, Might Come Down: the aerodynamics of airliners and racing cars’, will take place from 6pm to 7:30pm at Perth College UHI, Crieff Road, on Tuesday 2 June. It will also be available by video conference. Find out more and book a place.