Aerodynamic Development of Heavy Duty Vehicles and Results 785050

The energy crisis caused the French heavy duty vehicle manufacturers and various research organizations to develop study programs to reduce aerodynamic drag in trucks. Based on past passenger car experience, SERA, in cooperation with a body manufacturer, Ateliers Ste. Catherine, and the Institute for Transport Research, initiated a two-fold program:
~ Establishment of definitions for configuration additions to reduce drag for heavy duty vehicles.
~ Study of new low drag configurations for combination vehicles.
Preliminary wind tunnel and road tests with integral deflectors, a separator screen on semi-trailers, and streamlined edges on the front and rear of vans indicated gains in the average speed of the vehicles along with improved fuel economy.
Gains of 50% in the reduction of aerodynamic drag are possible based on studies thus far.


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