Automotive Wind Tunnels

Wind tunnels have been a staple of aerodynamics since the Wright brothers built one to help them test wing shapes for their gliders and airplanes. The GM Aerodynamics Laboratory’s  much larger wind tunnel, pictured above, tests full-sized vehicles’ aerodynamics. It is the largest automotive wind tunnel and has been in operation since August 1980. GM estimates that it has cut the coefficient of drag on vehicles by approximately 25% in that time. The tunnel can reach speeds near 125 mph, as one hapless reporter discovered firsthand. (Submitted by @Vinnchan)

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