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Old 03-23-2011, 01:57 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Mythbusters tested drafting without the sails. Dangerous but did make a noticeable difference in MPG.

Mythbusters: drafting 10 feet behind a big rig will improve mileage 39 percent — Autoblog Green

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Old 03-23-2011, 05:36 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Of course when they write something like this

Quote:
The safest distance to drive behind a big rig at 55 miles per hour is 150 feet. Driving any closer is insane...
they only demonstrate that they've never driven on a California freeway. Leave 150 feet of space between you and any other vehicle, and it'll immediately be filled by at least 5 cars.
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Old 03-23-2011, 05:46 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Well they all contribute to reducing your drag I suppose...
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Old 03-24-2011, 12:03 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Sure. The point, though, is that since you're going to be forced to drive too close to something, it might as well be an 18-wheeler, 'cause a) truck drivers probably average a lot better than car drivers; b) if they do hit the brakes, they're probably not going to slow as fast as a passenger car; and c) the trailers mostly have the crash bars; and d) as low as the Insight is, maybe the safest place is under the trailer, to avoid being rear-ended by the semi tailgating me :-)
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Old 03-24-2011, 02:00 AM   #15 (permalink)
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When gas goes away, I am thinking a high aspect ratio sail with a spinnaker on my civic could be fun. Power lines may be problematic though.
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Old 03-25-2011, 02:26 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by jamesqf View Post
I've been toying with the idea of attaching the kite from one of these Kite buggy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia to the Insight, for trips out to central Nevada. Once you get east of Fallon, there's not a whole lot to worry about in the way of power lines or other traffic...
It's even being applied to ships !
The kite is a bit bigger there though
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Old 03-25-2011, 02:33 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Arragonis View Post
Well they all contribute to reducing your drag I suppose...
With regular cars, you'd need to be drafting in Nascar-style to get any benefits.
A tad further out and you get more drag, rather than less drag.
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Old 06-20-2011, 10:09 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I mean technically you could spin some cylinders and use the magnus effect to use the wind power from any direction. That doesn't necessarily have to do with drafting though.
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Old 06-21-2011, 06:17 PM   #19 (permalink)
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On a recent trip to Wyoming on I-80 I was faced with the problem of encountering Deer every mile or so. Deer either have a death wish or the IQ of a house fly. Consistently jumping into harms way.

My solution to appease the backseat-driver (riding in the passengers seat) was to drive at 45 MPH all the way home, which meant getting home at 2 AM! or Draft behind an 18 wheeler, to let the truck hit the deer first.

I chose drafting at 75 MPH about 100 feet behind an 18 wheeler (until he got sick of the parasite on his bumper).

It was a Win-Win, I got 64 MPG and did not hit any deer.

What I need now is an auto distance correction for the cruise control, which keeps a constant, safe following distance. I think Mercedes offers this feature.
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Old 06-21-2011, 09:16 PM   #20 (permalink)
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...a forward-facing "radar" unit maybe?

...or, if you can put up with the bell, how about one of the GM "reverse-backup" systems mounted on the front? Calibrate the "ding" rate and you're done.

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