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Old 09-29-2009, 01:58 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Air deflectors on trucks/lorries

I've seen air deflectors on the front corners of trucks for years and have always wondered whether they really work.



The above picture shows deflectors not only on the sides, but also above the windshield. Does this help by deflecting towards the rear air that would normally be pushed to the side, thereby gaining forward momentum (sort of like a sail), or is this outweighed by the penalty of extra drag? I've also seen deflectors/scoops on the rear of vehicles, scooping air into the lowpressure zone immediately behind the truck. Would this make sense, or would it act more like a parachute?

I'll add that trucks aren't the only places I've seen side deflectors:

German-built Ty2-50 steam loco.

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e·co·mod·ding: the art of turning vehicles into what they should be

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Old 09-29-2009, 05:16 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I seem to recall seeing discussion on these things here before. They're supposed to keep airflow attached instead of fanning out and making a virtual parachute (like when you hold a spoon under flowing water)
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Old 09-29-2009, 06:45 PM   #3 (permalink)
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The Plymouth Superbird and Dodge Daytona had something similar on its' A pillars. ( That is the chrome piece that you can see in the picture :



http://aerowarriors.com/jpgs/88rd30.jpg

I found it interesting that they were removed when the car was run for top speed at Bonneville. Strange, since when raced on the speedways, they kept them on.

Bobby Isaac and his Dodge Daytona at Bonneville-1970 on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

( The above picture is a poor example, but I saw a better picture that clearly showed that there was no chrome deflector there. )

I wonder if the visor style extention did anything good at all for aero. :



Thanks for posting this question - I've wondered the same thing for years.

Last edited by Cd; 09-29-2009 at 07:16 PM..
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Old 09-29-2009, 07:11 PM   #4 (permalink)
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That visor has a much smaller outlet than inlet. It takes energy to compress air.


I wonder why they took the things off the Dodge to do the speed run. Obviously they had them on for a reason
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Old 09-30-2009, 02:17 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I wonder why they took the things off the Dodge to do the speed run. Obviously they had them on for a reason
Maybe they only work up to a certain speed, above that there's more drag than gain?
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e·co·mod·ding: the art of turning vehicles into what they should be

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Old 10-05-2009, 05:23 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I looked into my little book and found a short paragraph on deflectors. It states that these deflectors have the same effect as increasing the radius of the leading edges. In [2], Hoerner gives a reduction of Cx from 0.71 to 0.26 for deflectors on the leading edges of a bluntnose body, and a reduction from 0.58 to 0.27 when used at the rear. Unfortunately, these are only for lab models, and the rear mounted deflectors showed little or no improvement when used on road vehicles.

The effect on drag for front mounted deflectors depends on the aerodynamic situation between the tractor and the trailor. Buckley et al. ([1]) give a 0.05 reduction of drag for a cab with sharp edges and deflectors with 0 degrees of deflection (i.e. parallel to the direction of movement). This reduction increases to 0.25 when the angle is increased to 15 degrees.

In [3] Wysocki researched the aerodynamics of a long-distance bus. Other than changing the front angle and finding the penalty of using side mirrors (8%), he also tested a deflector on the rear, used to scoop fresh air down onto the rear window to keep it clean, finding it increased drag by about 3%.



[1] Buckley F.T., Marks C.H., Walston W.N., A study of aerodynamic methods for improving feul economy, US National Science Foundation, final report SIA 74 14843, University of Maryland, Dept. of Mech. Engineering, 1978.

[2] Hoerner S.F., Fluid Dynamic Drag, Hoerner Fluid Dynamics, PO Box342, Brick Town, N.J. 08723, USA, 1965. (I believe there is a new edition of this book.)

[3] Wysocki Z., Badania aerodynamiczne autobusu PR-110U Jelcz-Berliet - rozkłady ciśnień, Spr. Inst. Lot. 9/BA/78, Warszawa 1978.
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e·co·mod·ding: the art of turning vehicles into what they should be

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Old 04-14-2013, 03:26 PM   #7 (permalink)
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wind deflectors on euro style 7.5 ton trucks

most 'standard' trucks in the UK (lorries..) have 'wind delflectors' mounted on the front vertical edge of the cab.



if you look to the left of the cab, you can see the effectivly sheet plastic 1/4 circle vertical deflector.

this is almost always described as a device to reduce dirt on side windows.

surely it helps with getting the air round the side? any ideas?
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Old 05-16-2020, 12:27 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piwoslaw View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by guyed
if you look to the left of the cab, you can see the effectivly sheet plastic 1/4 circle vertical deflector.
??
The only semicircle thing I'm making out to the left of the cab is the spot / convex Mirror On the passenger side. Or are you referring to what the arrows are pointing to on the front beside the grill above the head lights?
----

Quote:
Does this help by deflecting towards the rear air that would normally be pushed to the side, thereby gaining forward momentum (sort of like a sail), or is this outweighed by the penalty of extra drag?
Primary purpose in my eye , is the your first part of your question. To divert air to the rear. That would otherwisewould go into making a larger dynamic frontal aera.

Quote:
That visor has a much smaller outlet than inlet. It takes energy to compress air.
+1
Agreed compressing AKA working cost energy. But with the right geometry the parasitic loss can be reduced for a net gain as dimminstrated
HEAR.
+Cd*-A can be LESS FUEL
Dose the extra work (+Cd) offset the reduced dynamic A(-A)
For a totle reduction of CdA? That depends on how you design it. I'm willing to put money these pictured on this truck reduced the total.
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Old 05-16-2020, 01:46 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Maybe a better term would be quarter cylindrical? As pointed to by the red arrows.

I think it's ineffectual because it just reproduces the existing corner contour and adds interference drag. If the opening faces forward instead of inward (back half of the quarter cylinder), it would function more like an air curtain (and do more on the ends of the bumper at wheel level).

Is the small added frontal area mooted by the cab-trailer gap?

edit: I though some more: It may be effective in cross-wind conditions, ventilating the lee side.
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Old 05-17-2020, 06:20 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guyd View Post
most 'standard' trucks in the UK (lorries..) have 'wind delflectors' mounted on the front vertical edge of the cab.



if you look to the left of the cab, you can see the effectivly sheet plastic 1/4 circle vertical deflector.

this is almost always described as a device to reduce dirt on side windows.

surely it helps with getting the air round the side? any ideas?
With experience driving a Semi, etc trucks, I think rain water is more the issue rather then dirt.

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