Browse Publications Technical Papers 2005-01-0867

The Influence of a Horizontal Pressure Distribution on Aerodynamic Drag in Open and Closed Wind Tunnels 2005-01-0867

The influence on aerodynamic drag of a non-uniform, streamwise pressure distribution over the wake of an automobile model in both open-jet and closed-jet wind tunnels is considered in this paper. It has long been an unsolved issue in the theory of open-jet interference and is usually not important in closed-wall wind tunnels unless the model is very long. A new, semi-empirical approach is presented that is based on the observation that the drag changes due to a pressure gradient over a wake correlate with the empty-test-section pressure-coefficient difference between the base of the vehicle and the position of wake closure. A method is demonstrated that is able to remove the effect of the pressure gradient and that is not buoyancy related. This method is applied to a range of simplified and detailed automobile shapes at model scale and at full scale in various wind tunnels, as well as to normal flat plates. The paper presents a revision of previous approaches to the estimation of nozzle and collector blockage. Finally, and most importantly, the paper demonstrates that the differences measured between configurations in a wind tunnel with a gradient over the wake will be in error unless a correction is made for the wake distortion induced by the gradient.


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