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Technical Paper

Experimental Analysis of the Underbody Pressure Distribution of a Series Vehicle on the Road and in the Wind Tunnel

Underbody aerodynamics has become increasingly important over the last three decades because of its vital contribution to improving a vehicle's overall performance. This was the motivation for the research conducted by BMW Aerodynamics, concerning the determination of the overall pressure distribution on the underbody of a series-production vehicle. Static pressure measurements have been taken under various test conditions. Real on-road tests were carried out as well as wind tunnel experiments under application of different road simulation techniques. The analyzed vehicle configurations include wheel rim-tire and body modifications. The results presented include surface pressure data, drag and lift coefficients, ride heights, pitch and roll angles. The acquired data is used to examine the underbody flow topology and determine how the diverse attempts to represent the real on-road conditions affect its pressure distribution.
Technical Paper

Needs and Possibilities for the Correction of Drag and Lift Wheel Forces which have been Derived by Integrating its Static Pressure Distribution

Knowing the wheel forces on a vehicle under various circumstances and configurations is essential for its aerodynamic development. This becomes crucial when dealing with a racing car. This was the driving force for the initial research conducted in the BMW Aerodynamics Department [1] concerning the aerodynamic forces of an isolated 1:2 racing wheel. The latter were determined for various arrangements with the use of a system equipped with pressure transducers distributed on the wheel surface. While the pressure wheel is adequate for revealing flow structures surrounding it as well as highlighting its physics, it is nevertheless insufficient for the prediction of the wheel forces with high accuracy. As will be shown, this is mainly the consequence of the absent contribution of skin friction, the mathematical method engaged in post–processing and the restricted number of pressure transducers.
Technical Paper

Aerodynamic Forces of Exposed and Enclosed Rotating Wheels as an Example of the Synergy in the Development of Racing and Passenger Cars

The aim of this report is to present the results obtained from the wind tunnel tests performed in the BMW wind tunnel regarding the pressure distribution on a rotating wheel. The acquired data is used to examine its flow topology for the “open” and “enclosed” cases and determine the wheel drag, lift and side forces by integrating the pressure distribution on its surface. The investigation concerned such measurements on a half scale model wheel. Its pressure distribution was identified with and without the presence of a racecar body. The wheel was also mounted on a half scale passenger car body and pressure measurements were taken with and without a wheel spoiler. After the pressure distributions were known for all configurations, the aerodynamic forces generated were determined. The influence of boundary layer thickness on them was also investigated. A better understanding of the forces the model wheel is subjected to is gained.