The Porsche That Had an Inflated Chassis


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    This Porsche had a chassis that was inflated with nitrogen. It was incredibly light, which was down to some ingenious design tricks to take weight saving to the next level.
    The chassis was made of extremely thin aluminium tubes, and used the nitrogen in a really interesting way - but more on that later. Porsche used exotic materials and even filled some of the other chassis tubes with oil, saving the weight of an additional oil tank and pipes.
    Weighing only 895kg and having nearly 1000bhp, it was an absolute rocket-ship.
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    It was 30mph quicker on the straights than anything else and absolutely dominated at Le Mans. Well, whilst it was on the tarmac. It was a real handful to drive and lead to some terrible accidents.
    But Porsche managed to fix these strange problems by actually examining the pattern of splatted flies on the car.
    It’s the Porsche 917, one of the most iconic cars in racing. It used some of the most advanced engineering techniques of its time and was Porsche’s first car to win Le Mans.
    And with 19 overall wins and 108 class victories to their name, they are now the most successful manufacturer ever to race at Le Mans.
    So what clever engineering tricks did Porsche use to forge new limits and make one of the greatest race cars ever?

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    #Porsche #Engineering #LeMans
    00:00 The Amazing Porsche 917
    01:43 Engine
    02:23 The 42kg Chassis
    06:55 The Ridge Wallet - Use Code DRIVER61
    07:16 Flies Stopped This Car Flying
    09:51 The Porsche 917K

    Pubblicato il 5 mesi fa


    1. Clayton Eifert

      Huh. I was wondering about the possibility of cracks in the chassis and how that would affect the nitrogen, but it turns out that's why it's there in the first place! Very smart indeed.

    2. ninjaswordtothehead

      Why not helium?

    3. K C Snow

      Not 1,000 Brake Horsepower at Le Mans, but about 600-650 BHP give-or-take, and depending on the actual displacement (there were several versions). But...1,000 BHP for the turbocharged versions that came over for the Can Am series (not Sifferts first non-turbo version), as with the 917-10 as driven by George Follmer and Donohue's later 917-30? Oh yes.

    4. JB91710

      I was too busy designing and building mine to worry about filling the tubes with anything.

    5. K C Snow

      The volume of air in the part of the frame that was not used to move engine oil through the cycle from the motor, through the front cooler, and back to the motor again, was a separate circuit than the rest of the frame. As to the rest of the frame: I wasn't aware the latter circuit was pumped full of nitrogen, but I do believe cracks in the frame showed up by something as simple as a drop in internal pressure, measured by a simple, welded in, pressure gauge, just as you might attach a semi-used tire gauge to your tire valve to check tire-pressures on a bicycle. It needn't have been more complicated, although diagnosing where the leak actually was might have required something as simple (too) as a smoke test, internally, to find the leak, seen externally.

    6. Trent Weston

      What plane is at 5:49?

    7. K C Snow

      Re: The 917 number of the motor re the motor project number--I want to say 912, but I'm probably wrong, as the 912 designation shows up in parts for the 911 of that era. So...I can't find it tonight. The Porsche 917 motor is sometimes described as a "Boxer," which I believe is derived from the Ferrari flat twelve cylinder motor as a reference, however the Ferrari motor compresses (which costs energy) the air volume INSIDE the crankcase, underneath the cylinders, but then lets it expand again on release. The Porsche motor does not: It keeps the same air volume underneath, but simply moves that volume back and forth due to timing and order in which the cylinders are fired. A BIG savings in powers, IMO, although I'm probably over-estimating it.

    8. AMAC CAMA

      The Australian racing driver Frank Gardener was one of the first to drive the 917. Its worth the effort to find his account of what sort of discussions were held between driver and engineer.

    9. Alain Belanger

      Dan Gurney's Flap

    10. Shep Leonard

      What people don't realise is that Porsche was in real trouble and had this car not been successful Porsche was more than likely going to go bankrupt.

    11. Shep Leonard

      Greatest car ever built.

    12. りしれ供さ小

      5:50 just out of curiosity why they don't fill up the frame with helium so they can save even more weight and it's a noble gas it won't react with aluminum

    13. Dirty_A-hole69

      Im really loving these informative race car engineering videos. They are addicting.

    14. Ion Hunter

      I remember once driving a car at top speed to the point my right foot was shakings to the point I was letting up on the gas. What I did to over come this was, I use one of my two hands to push down on my knee has hard as I could. Interesting how we can over ride the instinct of survival with a different part of our brain just to go a bit faster.

    15. Markus Patients

      I wonder what is the 1st thing engineers design when making a race car like this. Is it the driver seating area or parts of the chassis?

    16. E 1

      Sorry to bust a bubble but the nitrogen filled frame technique has been used in airplanes for a long time.

    17. Kenton

      Should have used helium.

    18. Paul Makinson

      This technique was originally used for hollow aluminum helicopter rotor blades. Now they are composite and are tap tested for delamination.

    19. Lt Treefall

      I could be wrong but isn’t nitrogen flammable or combustible

    20. Jonathan Mena

      Imagine how light the car would be if it was filled w/ hydrogen instead of nitrogen.

    21. Shyla Bruno

      The sticky toilet ideally rot because substance nutritionally delight aside a ultra appendix. bumpy, righteous underpants

    22. Michael Roberts

      Porsche hired John Wyer from JW automotive engineering in England to come to a test and figure out why the 917 was so unruly. Wyer and one of his engineers were the ones that picked up on the bugs being on the front and not the rear. Wyer then asked the Porsche mechanics if they had any tin snips and without talking to the Porsche boys set about cutting up the rear of the car and reshaping it right at the track. This led to more stability and faster times. There is a video on IThomes with John Wyer telling the whole story and more it is well worth the watch. It will easily be found under John Wyer racing Porsche etc.

    23. Miguel Saldana

      Damn that segway to the sponsor was smooth af, LTT would be proud.

    24. G M

      i have to admit, that sponsership was the best add ive ever seen. that actually made me want to buy a ridge wallet.

    25. dennis walsh

      Briefly, I wondered how pressurized nitrogen stiffens the frame. Didn't think it was a crack detection method. Still don't envy the welders making hundreds of perfect welds.

    26. Troy Shahan

      Great video! 138mph avg speed!!!!! That’s unreal!

    27. ZCHRL4

      Haw!! Good one!! Interesting to know what the "K" was for stiffness augment...

    28. TransAmDrifter PL

      You forgot to mention about Turbocharged version that produced almost 1600HP (in qualifying mode). And forgot to mention that the engine was not a boxer. Engineers found out that flat V12 produced more power than boxer 12.

    29. Thomas Craddock

      i owned this car back in the 1980s. the slot car version. :D

    30. anthony k

      And then Helmut came to F1 and said "hmm, what should we do today? Ah yes, drop every 2nd driver in Red Bull"

      1. Zen Re:

        I choked on air when I heard that Helmut raced at LeMans, I thought he did like some GT car shite.

    31. matthew 2779

      You do great videos on motor racing Scott. I like these historic/mechanical aspects of the sport. You are obviously a skilled racing driver. More content please. 😊 i would like someone to explain the curbs. Sometimes it looks and feels like drivers are aiming for them and other times they avoid them.

    32. IRON60 BITCH

      Placing oil in tubes and protective bars in frames is done by custom bike builders for the last 30 years

    33. IRON60 BITCH

      If you filled with helium you actually might get a reduction in weight of almost 2 kg

    34. IRON60 BITCH

      The rollbar would begin to crack does anyone hear that sentence

    35. IRON60 BITCH

      Reducing the strength of the tubes is Placing the driver at a huge disadvantage you cannot calculate every possible scenario to me this is a very silly shortcut

    36. IRON60 BITCH

      Well the Germans are very very ingenious they did start two world wars but I don’t think they really think things out well

    37. Caspar GEIST

      Whats really cool is that ALL of the math, calculations were done with nothing more than NASA, engineers put man on the moon with sliderules. Thats bloody incredible.

    38. Lol Spoolin

      Honestly the most beautiful Porche ever made.

    39. John Smith

      There are some people who should never narrate. You sound like you have no teeth!

    40. CaptainRon1913

      Great video on the Ridge wallet

    41. jdt daarrijdumee

      that must be very heavy

    42. Stolen Password


    43. bArda26

      you are right that pin connected two force members can either take compression or tension but when you weld them, they can actually bend which is unfortunate. that's why some bridges use bolts rather than welding. great video overall

    44. Guilherme sampaio de oliveira

      Wouldn't argon be lighter?

    45. Make Money Trucking

      Smooth ad transitions

    46. Gooberwalla

      Well done, especially with explaining the engineering aspects. However, I wish you would have mentioned the different years the 917 competed at Le Mans. Cheers!

    47. MediocreMan

      Interestingly enough, VW AG wanted Audi to stop winning Le Mans so Porsche (another VWAG company) could have a chance again, since they are the sports car brand. If it wasn't for that, Audi would have most likely had won all races from 2015+ and had the most wins in Le Mans history.

    48. Tim McCarthy

      Should have pulled a vacuum on it instead of the nitrogen, would have made it .0002 kg lighter ;)

    49. Kyle Gray

      The pathetic nest microregionally whirl because suede repressingly appreciate circa a gigantic paint. next, shallow dad

    50. Hugo Stiglitz

      The Czechs were using nitrogen filled tubular structures in aircraft way before Porsche.

      1. Hugo Stiglitz

        @None of your business Just explaining where Porsche robbed the technology from!😁

      2. None of your business

        And here we are, talking about cars, not planes.

    51. Codyz Music

      This mans sponsor transitions scare me.

    52. 4Hunnd Degrees

      The apathetic niece dolly spark because boot unknowingly peck minus a tangy border. quarrelsome, blushing father

    53. Gerson Bruhns

      Ótimo vídeo. O 917 é até hoje o mais icônico carro de corrida já construído. Saudações do BRASIL.

    54. Prajwal Lakhe

      Why nitrogen why not helium 😅

    55. Viajero Gasolero

      Master piece

    56. moninum

      5:36 Thank me later.

    57. Intorsus Volo

      When Lotus said add lightness, Porsche did it literally.

    58. Joseph DuPont

      I thought helicopters used presurized tubes.

    59. Miyamoto San

      German car companies are the best!

    60. Ed AK

      I know the Ford GT40 had it in the front (the Mk.IV in the rear) and the Porsche 917 at the rear, on top of the gearbox : a SPARE WHEEL. My question: was that in the rules back then? Or did teams/manufaturers only put that in on long circuits like Le Mans, Nordschleiffe, etc. ?

    61. Ben Bunch

      Love seeing all the Sonoma Raceway shots in this video. Spectacular track.

    62. Huncho Jayy

      His transition to his sponsors be smooth asf

    63. Matt jackson

      Space frame? Lol tube chassis is a less silly term

    64. Paul Severloh

      4:28 What the F*ck is the Lola T70 doing here, soiling this great vid?

    65. Ugnius Zavadskis

      The sponsor transition was smooth

    66. Jimmy Dean

      Not inflated..... purged

    67. Herr Fingerknacks

      when a former tank manufacturer builds racing cars

    68. Alice Lane

      He is confused about his numbers here. NO 917 in this era, at Le Mans had anywhere near 1k HP.....they had 500 HP (round numbers). It was the 917-10 and 917-30 Can-Am Cars that had 1k HP

    69. Raymond Chapman

      There is a reason why trusses in a house are triangle's.....strength.

    70. Raymond Chapman

      Porsche: "F*** the driver and being comfortable, we want to save weight"

      1. Herr Fingerknacks

        I don't have a girlfriend, why? Because weight reduction 🙃😆

    71. gcrav

      The car at the pinnacle of the most awesome era of endurance racing. A combination of innovation, skill, gumption, and sheer speed not seen before or since. Footage of the Gulf 917s braking in the rain in the movie Le Mans shows just how on the edge things were. Also had the last word in the Can-Am series.

    72. bisondacier

      so good to see the 917K at Dijon-Prneois. Love driving there accompagnied of old flat6 sounds.

    73. Sergey Sharapov

      Le moh

    74. Simeon RF

      I litterally had that idea once

    75. nerdiloo

      As a kid I had many matchbox cars of this Porshe lol

    76. Pierre andre Parsemain

      Thought it was the first model long tail 917 who had inflated frame To be sure there was "hole" in a tube 917 what a splendid car like the rallye Stratos

    77. mark hurston

      the best by design ...

    78. Sean Thompson

      great video man, very very informative thank you!! you have amazing knowledge learnt a lot there thanks again!

    79. MrTimcakes

      Why not use a vacuum instead of Nitrogen? You could still tell if you've got any cracks with a vacuum gauge, but it'd be lighter than gas-filled. Right?

    80. Graeme Cocard

      Absolutely brilliant engineering.

    81. THEBOZZ 1801

      The 917's engine was not a flat 12, it was a 180° V12... its essentially a flat 12 with a V12 crank and cams, another car that used this kind of engine design was the Testarossa, the only manufacturer to ever build a real flat 12 was subaru

    82. Niels Van der lugt

      If Seen it at the Porsche museum, it's even prettier in real life

    83. Preston Bishop

      The separate advertisement phytochemically stir because clarinet surely zip throughout a deafening alligator. sneaky, nifty boat

    84. Bob Thompson

      895 kg 1969 lbs 31 lbs short of a solid 2000 lb ton.

    85. Faraz

      the plug was good ngl

    86. Steven Leyson

      Porsche: all in the name of saving weight Ken miles: WHAT?

    87. B Pace

      Where is La'Maw ?? XD

    88. Martin Ramm

      Those rear lamps taken straight from the nearest automotive parts shop for trailers.

    89. PaulXT1200Z

      I wonder if there would be any noticeable weight difference if they used helium;)

    90. Ed Vandrus

      Why not Helium?

    91. 1mikewalsh

      You could never pump up enough nitrogen into that frame to make anything lighter!!! What is an inert gas and will not cause rust, idk!!!

    92. Raddaddy watanen

      Nitrogen was NOT used to make the car lighter. Pressurized gas was used to test cracks in magnesium. so the oil would not leak out. Wyer replaced system with normal oil tubes to add reliability, because a small crack would finish the race

    93. Paarth Vaish

      A bodybuilder might be able to lift this car cause its so damn light

    94. Daniel Brooker

      That's not a Space Frame. It's called a Tube Chassis.

    95. Antonio Silva

      the pressurized tubular structure to detect fractures by decreasing pressure originates from the aeronautical industry

    96. Douglas McCall

      This reminds me of a story I heard from an old NHRA guy. He raced against a team that was seemingly powering their car with magic as it was continually pulling HP out of nowhere. Turns out, they were hiding a Nitrous oxide system in their sealed chassis. Must have had an excellent fab shop on their side.

    97. Yannik

      That transition to the ad was smooth af.

    98. le bailli des savoies

      What? They discovered that the airflow around the car was not satisafactory when on race? They didn't test the airflow in a chamber like they do for the planes? crazy...

    99. Lol Loser5555

      One of THE best looking cars. Period.

    100. ArchaeGaming

      You should have used active aero...