INDYCAR and PPG announced that PPG's ballistic, canopy-like windscreen, a key component of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES' Aeroscreen, will make its official motorsports debut this week.
Developed by Red Bull Advanced Technologies and tested multiple times since its first on-track assessment in October 2019, the Aeroscreen will appear on all cars competing in the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on the city streets of St. Petersburg, Fla., on Sunday. The Aeroscreen is INDYCAR's latest safety innovation to reduce the risk of driver injury from flying debris or other objects striking the cockpit area.
"I don't think any stone has been left unturned, but we will continue to fine tune it," said Jay Frye, INDYCAR president. "The Aeroscreen is an industry-changing, total driver safety solution."
The Aeroscreen consists of the PPG polycarbonate-laminated ballistic windscreen that is attached to a titanium frame produced by Pankl. The entire Aeroscreen assembly can be fitted on or removed from an NTT INDYCAR SERIES car in less than 15 minutes.
The PPG windscreen will include an interior anti-reflective coating, an anti-fogging device using an integral heating element and up to eight exterior tear-offs that can be removed during pit stops if the screen gets dirty. Weighing 17.3 pounds (7.8 kilograms), the windscreen can withstand a two-pound object striking it at more than 220 miles per hour.
Pankl's titanium frame weighs 27.8 pounds (12.6 kilograms) and can withstand 34,000 pounds (15,422 kilograms) of force, which is equivalent to 17 tons.
"As an innovative industry leader in aerospace transparencies, PPG is proud to play an important role in ensuring cockpit protection for drivers throughout the NTT INDYCAR SERIES season," said Brent Wright, PPG global director, aerospace transparences.