The Honda R&D Americas Scale Model Wind Tunnel 2012-01-0301
This paper describes the new Honda R&D Americas Scale Model Wind Tunnel (SWT). To help address Honda's ongoing need to improve fuel economy, reduce the driving force of a vehicle, and decrease product development time, the wind tunnel was developed and implemented to achieve high accuracy aerodynamic predictions for product development and a significantly improved capability for vehicle aerodynamics research. The SWT can accommodate model scales up to 50%. The ¾-open jet test section has a top speed of 250 km/h, a 5-belt moving ground plane with a long center belt for proper wake simulation, a test section designed specifically for very low static pressure gradient, three separate dynamic pressure measurement systems for state-of-the-art blockage corrections, and an overhead traverse for specialized measurement activities. This paper describes the decision process that led to the SWT, key commissioning results, and performance validation results with models installed. In addition, the paper describes a concurrent program within Honda to design and build scaled vehicle models that have spinning wheels, realistic engine cooling and underbody flows, and excellent geometric accuracy.