1996-02-01

Wind Tunnel Investigation of an Inflatable Aerodynamic Boattail for Tractor-Trailers 960908

The objective of this research was to initiate the development of a design procedure to optimize the shape of a drag reducing device to obtain a significant drag reduction on the rear end of a trailer of a tractor-trailer rig. To meet this objective, four wind tunnel experiments were conducted. An optimized shape has not been determined as of yet; however, it was found that the aerodynamic drag could be reduced as much as 17.4 percent, and that there are several important parameters that influence the drag reduction, such as: device length, device edge curvature, and the device-to-trailer attachment angles.

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