AUTO INDUSTRY NEWS

Ford invests in US$200 million state-of-the-art wind tunnel

Ford invests in US$200 million state-of-the-art wind tunnel image

Eric Tipan / Ford | February 16, 2017 11:23

Ford's soon-to-be-built wind tunnel can produce winds of up to 322 kph

In the effort to manufacture more greater fuel economy, Ford Motor Company has made an investment on a new aerodynamic testing facility that comes with a rolling wind tunner and climate chamber to replicate real world conditions on both production and racing vehicles from the automaker.

Construction will begin this year on the new aerodynamic testing facility that will be put up on a 5.2 hectares lot in Michigan right beside the Ford's Driveability Test Facility.

In order to simulate real world conditions and to keep pace with the evolution of the automobile and the progess of the industy, the new facility comes with cutting-edge technolgy. It comes with a five-belt conveyor system to replicate real-world drag using a rolling road aerodynamic tunnel.

The setup is basic. Each wheel gets its own belt plus a massive fifth belt that runs under the center of the vehicle to allow airflow under and around it, simulating winds of up to 250 km/h.

Switching from the five to single-belt systems is easily done by a crane installed in the all-in-one rolling belt cartridge system. Using the single-belt system simulates winds of up to 322 km/h for high-perfomance and racing applications.

Included in the facility is a climatic chamber that can go as low as minus 20 degress Celsius, which is colder than the Arctic and as hot as 60 degress Celsius, hotter than the Sahara.

“This investment in new world-class test facilities underpins Ford’s ongoing commitment to advance our capabilities to continue to provide our customers with high-quality vehicles,” said Raj Nair, Ford executive vice president, global product development and chief technical officer.

"This new wind tunnel facility will not only allow us to test our performance and racing vehicle line-up but will also enable us to share innovations across all our global Ford products,” said Dave Pericak, Ford Performance global director.