Olympic bobsleigh team calls on BAE Warton

The GB four-man bobsleigh team has been spending time in the wind tunnel facilities at the BAE Systems jet-building facility in Warton as part of its preparations for the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

The team of experts, who are usually found testing the performance of fighter jets at wind speeds of over 200mph, looked in great detail at how kit worn by the team along with their racing position effected their aerodynamics on the track.

Speaking before he jetted out to the Games, he said: “When it comes to the Winter Olympics you need a bit of luck with the right conditions, but there are a lot of things you can do to make your own luck.

Jackson added: “A lot of nations have done this and we need to be sure the equipment we are using is up to the right specification to ensure we get the best from it.

The wind tunnel, which reaches speeds of 240mph when testing jets, battered the team with speeds of nearly 80mph winds to recreate the speeds they will reach in competition.

He said: “We need this type of world-class facility if we are going to compete at the highest level. We can do everything we can do to get our guys to their peak but there is no question aerodynamics play a huge part in this sport, and that is where the experts come in.

Mark Spore, group leader for aerodynamic testing, said the testing took place in the four-metre Low-Speed Wind Tunnel at Warton, one of the largest facilities of its kind in the country.

The team are the latest visitors to the wind tunnel, which has previously hosted Lytham girl Shelley Woods and her racing wheelchair prior to her winning silver at the Paralympic Games in London in 2012, and Nicola Minichiello two-man bobsleigh world champion. The testing is delivered in partnership with the English Institute of Sport, the science, medicine and technology arm of UK Sport.

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