Ford To Spend US$200 Million On Wind Tunnel

Feb 16, 2017 10:40 AM EST | JP Olvido

Ford Motor Company decided to spend $200 million on a new wind tunnel. The company is building this in Allen Park, Michigan in a 13-acre facility.

Aerodynamic Wind Tunnels. Wind tunnels are used in aerodynamic research to study how air moves past solid objects. A wind tunnel uses a tubular passage with the tested objected mounded in the middle. Air then passes through the object with the use of a powerful fan system or other similar methods.

Forbes reported that a wind tunnel is not a new concept. It was used as early as the 1870s when the Wright brothers used one to help them design their original Flyer. Automakers have been using this concept since the 1970s.

Basically, the company aims to test all of their vehicles' aerodynamics. Usually, automotive aerodynamics involves reducing drag, wind noise, noise emission, and eliminate any and all instability at high speeds.

Fortune reported that the new complex was designed to create more fuel-efficient vehicles. President Donald Trump has since been very strict with major automakers, including Ford, concerning fuel efficiency rules. While they are lobbying against the rules, it is still a good idea that they are trying to comply with them.

The new wind tunnel complex will be built on 13 acres of land in Allen Park, Michigan. It will be situated beside the company's Driveability Test Facility. It will have simulation equipment including a five-belt conveyor system which aims to replicate real-world drag.

CNET reported that the rolling road wind tunnel can subject cars to airflow simulations blowing winds between 155 and 200 mph. The company claims that this will lead to more efficient and more thorough design validations. They aim to test all vehicles even full-size pickup trucks because aerodynamics would help all of them.

Ford will officially start construction of their new aerodynamic test facility soon. What do you think about the new wind tunnel complex? Share your thoughts below.

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