Firing cannons in the quest for F1 cockpit safety

Firing cannons in the quest for F1 cockpit safety

This F1 wheel and tyre are about to be fired into a forward roll hoop at 140mph, for the latest open-cockpit safety research. F1 Racing reveals what happens nextÂ…

There's something brutally beautiful about the hard, black, defiantly mechanical object pictured on these pages. It has what might be called singularity of purpose. It's a cannon – albeit of a highly specialised kind – whose starkness is writ large against the blue-sky backdrop of this Suffolk airfield.

It was designed, like any of its genre, to fire things at things, but not, in this case, to destructive effect. Rather, it shoots scientifically calibrated objects, within strictly controlled parameters, into other objects, to discover what happens when scripted collisions occur.

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