Pitsco Racer Glossary of Terms

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Aerodynamics – The properties and forces produced as an object moves through the air, or a steam of air moves around an object.

Aesthetic – Describing an object’s visual appeal or attractiveness.

CO2 Cartridge – A small, sealed, metal tube that contains compressed carbon dioxide. CO2 cartridges are used to propel race cars down the track.

Coping Saw – A small hand-held saw with a narrow blade, useful for making curved cuts in wood. Good for rough shaping race car bodies if a band saw is unavailable.

Decelerate – The act of slowing a moving object. In CO2 racing, a car must be safely decelerated after it.

Drag – Force that resists an object’s movement through the air. The more the object disrupts the laminar

Dragster – A race car that races a short distance on a straight track. CO2 race cars are often referred to as dragsters.

Friction – Force that resists relative motion between two objects in contact.

Hybrid Car – A CO2 race car design in which two wheels are housed inside the body and two are mounted externally.

Inertia – Property or tendency of an object at rest to remain at rest unless acted upon by a force.

Lift – Aerodynamic force that pushes upward on a body as it moves through an air stream. Airplane wings generate lift; race car bodies may also generate lift, positive or negative (downward force) as they move down the track.

Power Plant – The CO2 cartridge onboard a race car. The power plant housing is the body material that surrounds the cartridge.

Thrust – Force that propels an object, sets it into motion, or keeps it moving.

Thumbnail Sketch – A small, quick sketch used to rapidly communicate ideas.

Tolerances – An acceptable variance from a specified measurement. Used to determine the minimum and maximum measurements.

Traction – Friction between a car’s tires and the road surface. Traction allows the wheels/tires to propel a car forward without the wheels spinning in place. In CO2 racing, the wheels do not propel the vehicle, so increasing traction is not necessary. –

Turbulence – Property of an air stream moving in a swirling or tumbling fashion.

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