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Old 09-05-2020, 10:19 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by aerohead View Post
Just for some insight.
In 1920s, General Motors dealerships were complaining to the corporation that shoppers were making noises about all cars beginning to look alike, with implications about the viability of new car sales. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.
In 1926, General Motors embraced design-obsolescence as official corporate policy, whereas, all cars would have a different 'look' each year, every year.
It was like BAYER HEROIN to the buying public, and since GM was the largest automaker at the time, any company hoping to compete in the market would have to buy into the 'law of the Paris dressmaker', as Alfred P. Sloan expressed.
Ever since, and to this day, the exterior design of automobiles has been driven by 'styling', not technology.
In 1963, another real nutcase, by the name of Walter Korff, presented at the annual SAE Congress, advocating for real aerodynamics, as Alex Tremulis had advocated at the close of WW-II, and Carl Breer had going into WW-II.
H. Schmude ( sp?) of GM countered Korff with the counter-argument that, if all cars were designed 100% aerodynamic, that wouldn't they all look alike and the designer have nothing to do?
We're still at this impasse today.
Foreign competition and CAFE standards have forced incremental aerodynamic improvements over the ensuing decades, at least for the US market.
This is the context of Julian Edgar's experience that there's so little in the extant literature, which might direct attention towards 'template' automobiles that, if they did find public acceptance, would spell the end of styling and the end of the aerodynamicists who work under them.
You won't see Boeing or any other aerospace company roll out a new fuselage each year. Or a new nuclear submarine hull. Rectal suppositories. Or boutique, designer ammunition.
Reality is, as reality is so often wont to be, much more complex than you suggest. As Hucho himself has written, "Low air drag is one target. Many others like styling, safety, cost, etc. have to be observed" (emphasis original).

Boeing does not use a direct-to-consumer business model, nor does the US Navy; they certainly work under similar cost and safety constraints, and when those parameters fail to hold similar influence in the product's design it can result in spectacular debacles, as the 737 MAX has demonstrated.

I'm not sure where you get the idea that cars are still redesigned every year; this has not been the case since the 1960s.

I assume you read the Mercedes S-class press release on aerodynamics that JulianEdgar posted (since you commented on the thread), but it sounds like you missed this part:

The three-dimensional airflow pattern around the vehicle was already calculated in high-performance simulation clusters using CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) in an early development phase. Shortly after this project started, during the dimensional drawing phase, several extensive DOE (Design of Experiments) studies were carried out on the basis of the preceding model, with up to 250 calculations per body area. In this process the aerodynamic engineers specify the parameters for certain components, e.g. the possible height of the boot lid.

Several hundred simulations were carried out over several days, fully covering the scope of the prescribed parameters. These simulations can be used to calculate a global or local optimum or, far more importantly in this phase, establish the influence of the individual parameters on the drag coefficient. Using the DOE method, specific aerodynamic requirements were reported to and discussed with personnel working on the dimensional concept and design in a very early phase.
(emphasis added)
That doesn't sound to me like an "impasse" between style and technology; rather, cooperation.

Originally Posted by IRONICK View Post
Aerohead, someone has to stop and it's not you.
I very much disagree.

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