Drag Forces Experienced by Two, Full-Scale Vehicles at Close Spacing 980396

The present study aims to document the drag reduction for a two-vehicle platoon by operating two full-scale Ford Windstar vans in tandem on a desert lakebed. Drag forces are measured with the aid of a special tow bar force measuring system designed and manufactured at USC. The testing procedure consists of a smooth acceleration, followed by a smooth deceleration of the platoon. Data collected during acceleration allows the calculation of the drag force on the trail-vehicle, while data collected during deceleration is used to calculate the drag on the lead vehicle. Results from the full-scale tests show that the drag behaviors for the two vans are in general agreement with the earlier conclusions drawn from the wind tunnel testsænamely, both vans experience substantial drag savings at spacings of a fraction of a car length.


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