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Old 02-21-2009, 05:33 PM   #1 (permalink)
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CLASS-8 Truck Streamlining / Fuel Economy ( Part-1 ) Aero Specifics

A note before we go on.As mentioned in other threads,aerodynamics is only one field of study within the greater body of Fluid Mechanics.And what is good for the goose is good for the gander.Any "innovation" or "breakthrough" in any branch of fluid dynamic study has the potential to benefit all other branches including ground vehicle aerodynamics.

Anyone interested in Class-8 Truck aerodynamics is encouraged to look "outside" the trucking industry for inspiration.Some of the following examples go "outside" the "industry",however are nevertheless indicators of state-of-the-art in "fluids" and can easily work in the context of 18-wheelers.Let's look:

1934,aeronautical engineer William Hawley Bowlus of Bowlus-Teller Trailer Co. introduces the "Road Chief" pull-behind all-aluminum monococque lightweight trailer,considered to be the epitomy of aero design.

About this same time,Brooks Stevens introduces his very aerodynamic fifth-wheel RV combo.

Also,R.Buckminster Fuller introduces his Dymaxion Car,with estimated Cd0.25.

Also,Carl Breer,of Chrysler,reveals his aero-modded version of the Airflow,which drops the cars drag from Cd 0.51,to Cd 0.247.

1936,Graf Zeppelin Hindenburg skims over Berlin's Olympic Games with Cd 0.04.The same year,Airstream debuts the "Clipper",born out of the ashes of the Bowlus-Teller Trailer Co..

1939,GM's "Parade of Progress" introduces twelve "Futurliners" which tour the nation until Pearl Harbor.

1947,the United State's fuel demand exceeds domestic production,the U.S. becomes a net importer of foreign oil.Also for 1947,Labatt's(Beer) Streamliner debut,designed by Count Alexis de Sakhoffsky,built in White Motor's Model WA 122 COE tractor pulling 37-foot streamlined trailer.It wins "Best Design",New York
s World's Fair.

1950s,Kaiser-Industries introduces it's "Continental" articulated bus with accordian gap-filler,ala Walt Disney's Anaheim,California Disneyland Monorail.

1953,"Parade of Progress picks up again,until 1956.

1958,Brooks Steven's Oscar Mayer Weinermobile debut.Without the Viagra,the flaccid hot dog would achieve the reverse-camber of Dr.Morelli's CNR "banana-car" and would actually have great merit aerodynamically.It's nose goes beyond Futurliner and mirrors Dymaxion very strongly.

1962,Flynn and Kyropoulis of GM Research Labs present results of aero-modding an 18-wheeler at SAE World Congress.Their streamlining reduces the rigs drag coefficient from Cd 0.88,to Cd 0.517 ( a 41% drag reduction )

1963,Walter H.Korff,Lockheed Aircraft Company,submits complete design for an 18-wheeler with Cd 0.20,and fuel savings of 33%,at SAE World Congress.

1968,R.G.S.White,submits complete recipe for a Cd 0.24 automobile at SAE World Congress.

1969,W.A.Mair,boattail research verifies efficacy of tractor-trailer boattail as submitted by Korff in 1963.

1975,roof-top drag foilers show up in response to Arab Oil Embargo's fuel price run-up.( about 12% mpg benefit can be bolted on ).

1978,Luigi Colani's "cyclops"rig debut,with Cd 0.40.

1980,SAE Paper presented at World Congress,Base drag for 18-wheeler cut from Cd 0.717,to Cd 0.289.With addition of high-torque/low-speed powertrain and "super-singles",the rig achieves a 59.8% improvement in mpg,at 8.789mpg@80,000GVW,@ 55-mph. Also 1980,Motor Coach Industries MC-7 intercity bus is aero-modded,achieves Cd 0.238.

1982,Fruehauf FEV 2000 debut with 40% better mpg than conventional rig.International COE tractor is completely tricked-out,Detroit Diesel power,with super-singles.Trailer is fully skirted and has boattail.

1986,Penske Racing Team:Freightliner/Great Dane combo by Larry Shinoda achieves Cd 0.47 and 8.3mpg.( no speed or gvw is given ).

1988,PACCAR,Kenworth T600A "anteater" achieves 22% better mpg than competitive conventional tractors. Also 1988,Leyland DAF box truck,with body by Besco Body,Northampton,England debut Cd 0.325 and 40% better mpg at 60 mph.

1989,Luigi Colani's cyclopian goes to Bonneville.Drag is down to Cd 0.38,with Mercedes-Benz powertrain he hits 91.4 mph top speed and returns 8.9 mpg.( no gvw is given ).

1991,aero-modded Peterbilt COE with Hobbs 45-by-96 trailer returns 10.49 mpg at 51 mph and 71,200 gvw,and 6.2 mpg at 60 mph and 80,000 gvw.

1992,Mercedes-Benz debut,M-B EXT-92 with Cd 0.35.

Also 1992,Hino introduces Class-7 box truck with Cd 0.52.They claim that Isuzu,Mitsubishi-Fuso,and Nissan competition has Cd 0.82.


That's pretty much the timeline I have.In Part-2 I'll list very specific mods and their complementary drag reduction.I'll try and prepare that this coming week and post it next SaturdayIn the meantime,look up or look down for your answers.The solutions are flying overhead and swimming below the waves.

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Old 02-23-2009, 06:16 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Nice stack of info here, cudos to you.

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