Windshear tunnel launch

America’s Windshear Inc celebrated the opening of the world’s most advanced automotive wind tunnel on July 18th

The event marked the opening of the first commercially available, full-scale, single-belt, 180-mph rolling-road wind tunnel in the world.

Representatives from global automotive manufacturers, motor sports teams and local government joined Windshear employees for the ceremony. The high-tech facility was completed just 15 months after breaking ground in April 2007.

Windshear welcomed its first customer, a Formula 1 team, in June 2008, and is 95 per cent booked for the remainder of the year. Demand for test slots into 2009 remains strong.

“We are very pleased with the progress made on opening the wind tunnel to customers,” said Peter Zierhut, business manager, Windshear. “Our facility offers highly accurate, repeatable data previously only available to a select few Formula 1 teams, and previously not available anywhere in North America.”

Windshear uses a Single-Belt FlatTrac Rolling-Road system from MTS Systems. The road is a continuous steel belt running beneath the vehicle to simulate the road beneath a race car travelling on a speedway. This provides the most accurate aerodynamic road simulation possible in the automotive industry, and greatly advances capabilities for motor sport organisations, as well as automotive manufacturers.

Jacobs Technology, the advanced-technology arm of Jacobs Engineering, operates the Windshear facility. Jacobs Technology specialises in design, construction and operation of wind tunnels for automotive, aerospace and defence industries throughout the world. Other Jacobs Engineering facilities include NASA Ames Research Center, NASA Langley Research Center, a cold-climate wind tunnel for Hyundai Motor Company and the Crosswind Facility for GE Aircraft Engines.

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