1994-12-01

Application of Computational Methods to the Aerodynamic Development of a Prototype Race Car 942498

A three-dimensional computer simulation technique was combined with wind-tunnel testing during the aerodynamic development of an enclosed-wheel prototype race car. This approach proved that valuable time can be saved by investigating some of the important design parameters before a vehicle is built. One of the major advantages of a computational approach is that it contains information such as pressure or velocity distribution on and near the whole vehicle. This abundance of data is essential for understanding major design trends and sensitivities, and can steer the design toward fruitful modifications. Once the vehicle's body plan is finalized, the method can be used to further modify local details and to design and position a complicated rear wing cluster. At this phase of wing design, the availability of the pressure distribution on the entire wing surfaces is vital to a successful design. Since such information is readily available from computational tools, valuable wind-tunnel time is saved, and vehicle development cycle is shortened.

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