In the merciless world of auto racing, aerodynamics can mean last place for a car, or first place for a car.  Windshear, a North Carolina-based company specializing in wind tunnels introduced a 19,504 square foot facility that has a 10.5 foot wide treadmill for cars that can go all the way up to 180 mph – without letting the car move an inch!  It took Windshear $40 Million and two years, but the facility has been open since 2008.  This means that this wind tunnel is 100% perfect for NASCAR race cars.

Normally, well-funded teams blow colored air or smoke at a car to measure drag.  Not in THIS wind tunnel!  It’s as simple as driving the car up onto the treadmill, strapping it down, and flooring it.  Then, the team’s engineers can analyze airflow around the spinning wheels, tail, bumper, and undercarriage to get a complete picture of the drag inflicted on the car.  There are also sensors directly beneath the wheels to measure downforce, which directly affects grip.

The facility costs about $4,000 an hour for a team to drive the car for an hour.  This means that not everybody will be able to measure how fast they can get their car to go, but it IS always a LOT of fun to put an industrial fan below a custom treadmill and see how fast you can run…I know it’s not QUITE the same, but it IS a lot cheaper…

6 thoughts on “Now Just WHERE Do You Think You’re Going?

  1. Nor sure if you’re a bag of wind or full of hot air…but you sure are full of interesting information…whoosh….and love to you.

    Zayz

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