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Thread: Blackbird Fabworx Atom Aero Package

  1. #81
    Ion
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    Did you do any back to back testing of lap times with and without the aero? That would be very interesting to know. Sure, track/weather conditions change, but alternating back and forth enough with and without aero and you'll soon see if the aero improves lap times by $10k worth. The aero numbers look good, not to mention that the pieces look good just standing still, but laptimes are what count.

  2. #82
    Ion
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    The silence is kind of deafening. Wings that look pretty can be had for much less than $10k so folks interested in the cosmetics of it will go that route. But my guess is that most of the track crowd will want to see some credible back to back testing showing lap time improvement at both long and short courses before writing a $10k check.

    Heck, if it's an otherwise unmodified SRA sporting the wings, just knowing its lap times from various tracks would be helpful. Those times could then be compared to lap times of SRAs with no wings.

  3. #83
    Fermion Blackbird Fabworx's Avatar
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    No deafening silence here, just have nothing to report since the car has yet to turn a wheel since our last outing and I haven't checked the thread in a while because I didn't have anything to follow up with.
    I checked the thread today because someone asked me about our kit and I figured I'd take a look.
    The part of the car not being back on track has nothing to do with us, the engine builder has been going at it for a while because much of it is custom spec and these things just take a while.

    I'll be happy to report what we found out when I have something to report, so no need to take the lack of updates as something negative.

  4. #84
    Down Quark
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    Let me say this. I don't like posting because well... I just don't like to. I'm an Atom owner myself and had my car tuned by Church and just happened to run into the owner of this car and got a chance to see the craftsmanship. With that being said here is what I will say...

    If you plan on taking your Ariel Atom to the track more so than the street you would be an IDIOT not to buy this kit. I I'm hearing people nickel and dime Blackbird. Stop. You're making a fool of yourself. It's similar to a bafoon saying that their child can paint like Picasso. This kit is not just well thought out, the level of craftsmanship is second to none. There are fine elements that come to life when you see it in person. It's worth every penny that it's being asked for in exchange.

    I personally don't track my Atom, I use it for the canyons on the weekends. I don't need this level of performance, however if you want to step your game up this is the product you need. I have never met the guy(s) that run Blackbird but I have met the owner of this Atom at Church. The owner loves the performance and he himself was an unbelievable gentleman that knows what he wants and he wants the best. This car in person is just mind blowingly beautiful. There isn't a thing on it that isn't designed for function. I wish both the owner and all of the companies that have helped the owner create this track monster the best.

    Here is what I know...

    If I decide to start tracking my Atom competitively I know where to get my aero package.

    Bravo Boys, you gone and done well

  5. #85
    Ion
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    Quote Originally Posted by turrbo View Post

    If you plan on taking your Ariel Atom to the track more so than the street you would be an IDIOT not to buy this kit. I I'm hearing people nickel and dime Blackbird. Stop. You're making a fool of yourself. It's similar to a bafoon saying that their child can paint like Picasso. This kit is not just well thought out, the level of craftsmanship is second to none. There are fine elements that come to life when you see it in person. It's worth every penny that it's being asked for in exchange.

    I personally don't track my Atom, I use it for the canyons on the weekends. I don't need this level of performance, however if you want to step your game up this is the product you need. I have never met the guy(s) that run Blackbird but I have met the owner of this Atom at Church. The owner loves the performance and he himself was an unbelievable gentleman that knows what he wants and he wants the best. This car in person is just mind blowingly beautiful. There isn't a thing on it that isn't designed for function. I wish both the owner and all of the companies that have helped the owner create this track monster the best.

    Here is what I know...

    If I decide to start tracking my Atom competitively I know where to get my aero package.

    Bravo Boys, you gone and done well
    Just because the kit is well made and beautiful doesn't mean it works on track. For $10k, evidence of performance advantage would be nice. Wind tunnel time isn't prohibitive for even a small time manufacturer at $2k/hour, which includes their crew of technical experts. Affordable Wind Tunnel Testing at UOIT’s ACE Speed Lab | Speed Academy

    Back to back comparisons of a car with and without the aero would be at least somewhat informative, though you have the problem of believing claims when a manufacturer says "we tested the Acme Speedster with and without our aero at the Ajax 2.5 mile road course and found that the car was 45 to 50 seconds/lap faster with our aero than without." Still, it would be something. Better yet, get an enthusiast magazine to do conduct the testing. That would be most helpful and you probably wouldn't have to pay them. The magazine likely would do it because it would be a good story despite the limited number of Atoms in the world.

    In short, unless you have money to burn, you'd be an idiot to spend upwards of $10k on something to improve performance when there is nothing to indicate that what you bought is anything more than really good looking and really, really well made. With some performance data, the situation may be completely different. It's been well over a year since Blackbird said a car with their aero was headed to the track yet we haven't heard any report of the result. Either the aero did not improve performance or...well, I'm not sure of the alternative. It seems logical that if the aero helped, the manufacturer would certainly let it be known.

    Blackbird: I ask once again that you provide some evidence your package improves lap times. If it does, I'm interested.
    sector: 4 likes this.

  6. #86
    Electron
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    Hi - owner in question here. So here's why Blackbird have not been able to provide performance data and it's not their fault:

    I have not been able to take the car to the track in the last 14-15 months due to an engine issue and then subsequent engine rebuild. I only took the car out to Buttonwillow for one day with the wings and I just had engine issues that meant my performance was not a fair comparison, it was at that point I just decided to retire the car and do the rebuild rather than risk damaging the engine. (I did keep the K24 bottom end.) Fast forward to now and as a result of the rebuild (K20z3 head, 3rd party internals, custom air intake, custom header and exhaust) I now have 50% more power (I expect to be at 305rwhp NA once the new air intake is complete) so my previous lap times are now utterly irrelevant. I will have to set new lap times at each track with and without the wings to do comparisons. I'm happy to do that, the wings are easy to dismount and remount whilst at the track. In the next two weeks I might be able to do this at AutoClub Speedway (where honestly top speed is more important than downforce) Willow Springs & Buttonwillow.

    If anyone is wondering why it took 14-15 months to fix the engine... well I got a lot of stuff for free but as a result I was working on someone else's timeline and they are busy people with businesses to run. At the end of the day though I now own a bit of a monster and it might actually have been worth the wait.

    I am delighted with the work Blackbird Fabworx did and in fact the car is back there now getting a few final issues resolved (non-wing related) before I start the new season. I also intend to continue to work with them on refining the aerodynamics of the Atom.

    In short, yes the wings are expensive but they are both a work of art and a great piece of engineering. They are track wings, not street wings. If you want faster lap times and you're maxing out your car and maxing out your talent you can add more power or add more wings. I just did both.

    Btw nice hanging out at Churches with you Turrbo, your car is probably the nicest Atom I've seen. I hope to see you at the track some time!

    ps. is it just me or does this forum software suck? I have to login via in incognito window or FB Connect just goes into a redirect loop.

  7. #87
    Ion
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    I look forward to more information. Thank you.

    But yours can't be the only car with Blackbird aero so even though your car has been out of commission, it's odd that Blackbird didn't enlist another of their customers to do some comparison testing. If they're interested in selling their gear, the complete information blackout is an odd sales technique. Regardless, you're right about AutoClub so here's hoping you get to other tracks soon.

  8. #88
    Fermion Blackbird Fabworx's Avatar
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    Thank you for your kind words, turrbo!
    Quote Originally Posted by Phoenix Atom View Post
    Just because the kit is well made and beautiful doesn't mean it works on track. For $10k, evidence of performance advantage would be nice. Wind tunnel time isn't prohibitive for even a small time manufacturer at $2k/hour, which includes their crew of technical experts. Affordable Wind Tunnel Testing at UOIT’s ACE Speed Lab | Speed Academy

    Back to back comparisons of a car with and without the aero would be at least somewhat informative, though you have the problem of believing claims when a manufacturer says "we tested the Acme Speedster with and without our aero at the Ajax 2.5 mile road course and found that the car was 45 to 50 seconds/lap faster with our aero than without." Still, it would be something. Better yet, get an enthusiast magazine to do conduct the testing. That would be most helpful and you probably wouldn't have to pay them. The magazine likely would do it because it would be a good story despite the limited number of Atoms in the world.

    In short, unless you have money to burn, you'd be an idiot to spend upwards of $10k on something to improve performance when there is nothing to indicate that what you bought is anything more than really good looking and really, really well made. With some performance data, the situation may be completely different. It's been well over a year since Blackbird said a car with their aero was headed to the track yet we haven't heard any report of the result. Either the aero did not improve performance or...well, I'm not sure of the alternative. It seems logical that if the aero helped, the manufacturer would certainly let it be known.

    Blackbird: I ask once again that you provide some evidence your package improves lap times. If it does, I'm interested.
    Phoenix, I'm sorry about not being to supply you with the information you're looking to get.
    Richard's car is has the only kit that was made and as you and I all know it has been down for some time while the engine builder did his thing.
    Seeing how poorly the community received the pricing of the kit I made next to no effort with the marketing of the kit, let alone sink $2K / hour on wind tunnel time.
    This isn't something that I expect to sell many more units of, and thus ROI is just not there.. This is of course in addition to the fact that $2K / Hr. is huge money, perhaps you have the wrong idea about the scale of the business, but it's definitely not falling into my definition of "affordable" at this point.
    You're free to make of it what you will, but that's where things are standing on our side... Bit of a shame because every time I take a close look at an Atom I have ideas for improvements but I doubt I'll put any of them into production beyond *maybe* a one-off here and there.

    We have all the design files and production fixtures for both the DF-500 and the DF-1000X kits available at any time and we'll be happy to replicate the kits for anyone interested of course.
    I'll be delighted to hear Richard's thoughts about the kit once his car is out on track

  9. #89
    Ion
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    I didn't know that Richard's car was down for an extended period until he told me very recently. He says that he'll soon be back on track and intends to do some back to back comparisons with and without your aero. If you've sold a grand total of one aero kit I can see why you aren't investing in tunnel time.

    But it's a chicken and egg situation. Not many folks will spend $10k without reasonable assurance that the kit will afford a substantial performance increase so you need to spend a few bucks to get some data. If it shows performance improvement, then folks will be more willing to spend some money.

    Even if tunnel time is financially not possible, you really must get some kits out there on a couple of cars to get on track comparisons. Preferably at a high speed, low speed and medium speed track. Perhaps recruiting an owner who tracks a lot to let you put your aero on his car for testing and then removal if he doesn't buy the gear would work. If mounting/demounting the aero doesn't do irreparable harm to the structure or cosmetics of the car, I'm sure you'll have no trouble finding volunteers. That's particularly true if you're there to do the work of mounting/demounting the aero. Throw in the track day entry fee and reimbursement for the tires that the test car will burn up and I bet you have more volunteers that you know what to do with.

    As previously suggested, getting an aero equipped car into the hands of an enthusiast magazine for testing with and without aero is probably ideal and perhaps even better than tunnel data because we all understand real world lap times more easily than we do tunnel data. And you'd probably not need to reimburse for tires as the magazine would almost certainly start with fresh tires to eliminate clapped out tires rendering the results suspect. They'd no doubt also pay track fees. As with the informal testing suggested in the preceding paragraph, finding someone to volunteer their car for the testing shouldn't be hard, especially if you cut them a smoking deal to buy the gear once testing is complete.

    Richard comes to mind for either scenario, although it sounds like he may already be headed in the direction of his own private testing. Regardless, you can't expect to sell $10k kit just because it looks good and is well made. Or at least not much of it. Give people a reason to buy it.

  10. #90
    Fermion Blackbird Fabworx's Avatar
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    Richard is testing today @ Chuckwalla valley raceway, and from what I heard from him so far, the results are not too shabby
    I am awaiting the full report, just like the rest of you.

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