With the changes in F1 technical regulations this year to small capacity hybrid turbo engines, placing the emphasis on resource efficiency, innovations in F1 will increasingly filter down into the automotive and other industries and this will be an important story for the sport to tell.
Today, however, we saw a good example of existing F1 technology being repurposed for applications which have no connection with automotive, but which also aim to reduce environmental impact; in this case in aviation.
McLaren Applied Technologies (MAT), part of the McLaren Group, are to work alongside a consortium of technological development companies to improve the efficiency and infrastructure at London’s Heathrow Airport, it has been announced today.
Using its simulation and real-time data assessment tools developed through F1, MAT will focus on improving the World’s busiest airport’s movement on the ground as live stand reallocation and traffic updates make for a shorter turn-around time.
MAT will also make use of their simulation equipment, providing CAD representations to develop long-term plans and ascertain the most efficient layout of the growing site.
The consortium, which is to be led by the global leader in air traffic control and airport performance NATS, is under a four-year contract to deliver capacity management as the airport currently sees 191,200 passengers touch down and take off every day.
It is well known in Formula One, however, that on the Sunday morning of the British Grand Prix, Silverstone acts as the busiest airport on the planet with the endless line of helicopters entering the Oxfordshire circuit.
“The combination of Formula 1 and one of the world’s busiest airports may seem unlikely, but at both Grand Prix races and Heathrow Airport we are seeking to achieve very similar goals – to increase efficiency, maintain the highest levels of safety and continually improve performance,” said Geoff McGrath, Vice President of McLaren Applied Technologies.