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Firgelli Auto Linear Actuators used for or Attivo Designs Lamborghini airbrake wing

Imagine for a moment sliding into the cockpit of one of the world’s most aggressive supercars, you reach up and close door downwards, reach over put on your seatbelt and for a brief moment before you start the car take in the reality that surrounds you. Then, almost as if you are about to fire the engines on a military fighter jet you reach midway down the centre console, lift the little red cover and push the start button, for just a split second nothing and then it happens. There is a decidedly angry whining as the starter turns over that 6.5 litre, V12 monster perched mere inches behind your head, only separated by the carbon fiber tub you are sitting in and it roars to life.

You move slowly across the tarmac and as you approach the runway you are directed to a starting point on the center, looking down at the heatwaves rise off the 3.5 kilometre surface and centering your tunnel vision for one singular purpose, to push man and machine to their absolute limit. Then the flag drops and with a tinge of tire smoke and near a single rotation of the rubber before they hook up, you are catapulted forward in an ungodly fashion. 60 MPH happens in just a hair over 2.5 seconds, 100mph in just under 6, by the time you hit 10.7 seconds you rocket past the quarter mile at a mind numbing 135MPH (to put this in perspective for the metric folk, that is 217 Km/h) and the ride isn’t even half over yet. By the time you hit the 22 second mark you are going 180 MPH and have travelled 4000 feet (that’s 290Km/h and 1.25KM for our non-imperial friends). Most sane people would stop at this point, but some of us live for the absolute thrill and so it continues, to a mind numbing 220MPH before you realize that the end of the runway is nearing. You hit the brakes, hard, the nose drops slightly as the 4 massive tires clamour for grip and they try and haul 3476 Lbs to a halt but the end of the runways is coming much faster than anticipated. You shoot past your last turnoff and grasp onto the wheel of the car, foot planted on the brake pedal and the binders searing as they finally bring this monster to a stop. You turn around, drive back the few hundred feet to the to the taxiway and back to your pit, adrenaline racing, wide eyed and smiling ear to ear like a child on Christmas morning. Now imagine that this wasn’t a figment of your imagination, instead put yourself in the shoes of Professional Engineer, Gearhead and the President of Attivo Designs Robbie Dickson and what would you do? The answer is simple, you find a solution, a solution that allows you to go faster by way of stopping more efficiently once you get there. As a result Robbie and the team at Attivo designs began to brainstorm on ideas that would allow him to push his car faster, brake harder and make a stunning visual impact in the process. What they came up with borrows heavily from the aerospace industry, as well the Italian car maker’s French cousin Bugatti by way of an adjustable wing that can play double duty as an active air brake under heavy braking loads at speed.

The team worked tirelessly to develop and engineer the active airfoil, specifically the mechanics behind the actuation and control software that integrates with the vehicle to deploy the airbrake. This involved endless hours of airflow simulation to understand the dynamic effect the wing would have in its regular lowered position, as well how it would interact at different angles of attack with regard to braking efficiency, aerodynamics, drag as well actuation speed and durability. What they created was a multi piece wing that was built from aerospace grade carbon fiber, aluminum, stainless steel then they integrated linear actuators and control units from Firgelli Automations for the motion control. Firgelli was the obvious choice for automation as they build an incredibly high quality actuator based on unique motion control technology and it didn’t hurt that Robbie was intimately familiar with the company as he also owns it.

Attivo’s wing deploys from a horizontal plane to a near vertical 75 degrees in the span of approximately 1 second and adds a substantial increase to braking power (especially at speed). As an added benefit as the angle of attack increased under braking, the car became increasingly stable and eliminating any lightness in the tail as the weight shifts forward. The Firgelli components performed flawlessly time and time again under varying loads and in the most adverse conditions and the Attivo designed and manufactured carbon fiber wing showed no signs of deflection or stress under load. The product concept was incredibly successful, and all that was learned will be carried forward into future products.

Attivo is in continual development of innovative supercar solutions and an updated variant of this active airbrake is in the cue to be put back into development and production in the near future. Keep watching


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