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Author Topic: $200,000,000 Ford Wind Tunnel  (Read 1320 times)
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Freud
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« on: February 16, 2017, 08:30:44 PM »

This came from the Hot Rod Magazine Newsletter.
There are 7 fotos that did not copy.

Hot Rod HOT ROD NEWS
Ford To Build $200 million Wind Tunnel Facility
Written by Evan J. Smith on February 15, 2017
Courtesy of Ford   - Photographer;

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Ford Invests $200 Million On New Wind Tunnel To Improve Performance and MPG
Ford’s amazing on-track success has not come by accident. Passion, dedication and a massive engineering and testing effort has led the Blue Oval to wins in Le Mans, Daytona, Pomona and on dozens of drag strips, road circuits, rally tracks and drift courses around the globe.


Ford prides itself on winning, and it does so with production-based cars utilizing the most recent technology, and with powerplants such as the EcoBoost, that represent what millions of people drive every day. This dedication has led the Detroit automaker to invest $200 million dollars in a state-of-the-art wind tunnel complex that will be constructed near the Dearborn home of Ford Motor Company.

“This investment in new world-class test facilities underpins Ford’s ongoing commitment to advance our capabilities to continue to provide our customers with high-quality vehicles,” said Raj Nair, Ford executive vice president, global product development and chief technical officer.


This new complex will center around a aerodynamic testing facility that will house a next-generation rolling road wind tunnel and state-of-the-art climatic chamber to best match the technological development of road-going and racing Ford products. The facility can even accommodate large-frame vehicles, including Super Duty trucks.

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According to Ford, the wind tunnel complex will be located in Allen Park, Michigan, where it will absorb 13 acres and it will be conveniently located next to Ford’s current Driveability Test Facility. In addition to the wind tunnel, engineers will have the ability to work on innovative technology that can simulate real-world driving conditions to advance improvements in fuel economy and overall vehicle performance.

Dennis Paige, lab manager for Ford’s Driveability Testing Facilities, points out that advanced features, development and innovation require that testing and verification technology keep pace with the evolution of the automobile and the industry as a whole. That’s where the new facility comes into play. And Ford’s new wind tunnel complex better positions engineers to conduct testing to proves out advancements in vehicle design. A main feature will be the five-belt conveyor system designed to replicate real-world drag through a rolling road aerodynamic tunnel that enables Ford to bring the road to the vehicle, rather than the vehicle to the road.

“To test for optimal fuel efficiency, each wheel gets its own belt,” said Paige. “The massive fifth belt runs under the center of the vehicle, allowing airflow around the entire vehicle at speeds up to 155 mph. As a part of the rolling road belt cartridge system, a crane will be used to switch between the five-belt and single-belt systems—an industrial-sized plug-and-play approach bringing two testing. The single belt, which operates at up to 200 mph, opens up a new breed of testing for high-speed performance and racing vehicles.”

In addition to the rolling road, the wind tunnel can provides a full environmental airflow simulation, with speeds from 155 mph to 200 mph. “This expanded airflow will enable engineers to validate vehicle designs at a higher quality and repeatability,” he added. “This strengthens testing for aerodynamic shielding, high-speed performance and other design features.” According to Ford, the climatic chamber has a vast range of temperature, as it can swing from an arctic-like 40 degrees Fahrenheit, to 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

“This new wind tunnel facility will not only allow us to test our performance and racing vehicle line-up, but will also enable us to share innovations across all our global Ford products,” said Dave Pericak, Ford Performance global director.

Of course Ford will also use the complex to enhance performance vehicles both for the street and those slated for competition. Aerodynamics plays a huge role in most forms of racing, so we expect great enhancements in downforce and drag reduction in vehicles from the Focus RS to the Mustang and the Ford GT. Ford can also use the facility for trucks and its full line of passenger cars.

Ford has used aerodynamic aids for decades, examples include the 2000 Cobra R Ford Mustang, which utilized a clip-on front splitter (which used Dzus fasteners) and a tall rear wing, and both Shelby GT500, GT350 and Boss 302 Laguna Seca Mustangs have benefited from splitters and spoilers (or wings) as well.

The latest Ford GT was designed from the ground up with aerodynamics and speed in mind. Within one year, the program has produced wins at Le Mans and Daytona where it has trumped Ferrari and Porsche.
The latest Ford GT was designed from the ground up with aerodynamics and speed in mind. Within one year, the program has produced wins at Le Mans and Daytona where it has trumped Ferrari and Porsche.
The 2000 SVT Cobra R was an exercise in aero. It was the first production Mustang to use very large aero devices to produce downforce. The combination of the splitter and wing did it’s job, improving cornering grip and giving the Mustang excellent stability at high speed.
The 2000 SVT Cobra R was an exercise in aero. It was the first production Mustang to use very large aero devices to produce downforce. The combination of the splitter and wing did it’s job, improving cornering grip and giving the Mustang excellent stability at high speed.
The late 1960s and early ’70s NASCAR wars gave us cars like the Dodge Daytona and the Plymouth Superbird—Ford countered with the 1970 Ford Torino King Cobra and the 1970 Mercury Talladega Super Cyclone Spoiler II, unfortunately neither made it to the track or the street.
The late 1960s and early ’70s NASCAR wars gave us cars like the Dodge Daytona and the Plymouth Superbird—Ford countered with the 1970 Ford Torino King Cobra and the 1970 Mercury Talladega Super Cyclone Spoiler II, unfortunately neither made it to the track or the street.
Ford’s Boss 302 was a great street and track car with balanced handling and small aero aids.
Ford’s Boss 302 was a great street and track car with balanced handling and small aero aids.
The race version of the Ford GT wears a huge wing for downforce. The street-legal GT get a pop-up wing that deploys at speed.
The race version of the Ford GT wears a huge wing for downforce. The street-legal GT get a pop-up wing that deploys at speed.
Ford enhanced the cornering ability of the current Shelby GT350R using a low-slung splitter.
Ford enhanced the cornering ability of the current Shelby GT350R using a low-slung splitter.
The GT350R also gets a raised wing, that’s taller and produces more downforce than the duck-tail spoiler found on the Track Pack GT350.
The GT350R also gets a raised wing, that’s taller and produces more downforce than the duck-tail spoiler found on the Track Pack GT350.
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« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2017, 09:04:29 PM »

Seems to be some double-talk there . . .
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« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2017, 09:18:50 PM »

They hooked me with that "pesto provolone grilled cheese".   cheesy
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« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2017, 12:05:21 AM »

That is big money for a wing tunnel, and especially in the age of virtual modeling.  Those guys are nuts.
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« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2017, 05:42:02 AM »

That is big money for a wing tunnel, and especially in the age of virtual modeling.  Those guys are nuts.

For the speed(s) of roadgoing vehicles across the world I would agree that CFD could appear to give the positive improvement results. If FoMoCo were still in F1 or Indycar then there might be a hidden agenda for such a tunnel build, as those teams use both methods. At least the money folk seem to have bought into the desires of the engineers to have a large tunnel. Climate controlled facilities sound good but will that stop them going with cars to Norway or Death valley or elsewhere in the 'real world'?
 
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« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2017, 06:15:35 AM »

"Real world".  For as long as I can remember - and I've lived up here for about 50 years - the auto manufacturers have been sending disguised prototype vehicles up here to drive around in the real world of winter.  Funky vinyl bra on the cars, goofy camo-type paint/wraps, and so on - to give 'em some winter real world experience.  I guess modeling a winter mess isn't easy - might as well send fleets of vehicles to drive around near Nancy and Slim's house.
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« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2017, 10:15:10 AM »

There's a little bar in Beatty, Nevada, about 40(?) miles east of the bottom of Death Valley.  It's got all kinds of car parts on the walls including some that are said to be off prototypes -- from Dodges to BMWs.  I've also seen on the roads in and out of Death Valley, pickups hauling trailers with just an adjustable front wall, probably to measure the pull and heat-producing of various set-ups.

Just a couple of miles north of Beatty, there the infamous Angel's Landing (or something like that).  A trucker's whorehouse that features its own airstrip along the highway with the remains of a twin-engine plane that didn't make it home.  I'll find the photo someday.

Just a few of the rewards of traveling the roads less traveled.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2017, 11:24:39 AM by Stan Back » Logged

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