Streamlined Tails – The Effects of Truncation on Aerodynamic Drag
Significant aerodynamic drag reduction is obtained on a bluff body by tapering the rear body. In the 1930’s it was found that a practical low drag car body could be achieved by cutting off the tail of a streamlined shape. The rear end of a car with a truncated tail is commonly referred to as a Kamm back. It has often been interpreted as implying that the drag of this type of body is almost the same as that for a fully streamlined shape. From a review of the limited research into truncated streamlined tails it is shown in this paper that, while true for some near axisymmetric bodies, it is not the case for many more car-like shapes. For these shapes the drag reduction from an elongated tail varies almost linearly with the reduction in cross section area. A CFD simulation to determine the drag reduction from a truncated streamlined tail of variable length on the simple Windsor Body is shown by way of confirmation.