Shortly after the unveiling of Tesla’s Model 3 earlier this month, Elon Musk took to Twitter in a storm of information about the new car, mentioning that the target drag coefficient was 0.21. If that target makes it to production, it would make the Model 3 the most aerodynamic high-volume production car ever made.…
April 10, 1990: This is what happens when you unfurl a massive parachute in the world’s largest wind tunnel.
Holy crap. Testing how aircraft ice in extreme cold weather makes sense, but surely this is going too far?! This 1983 test at NASA’s Icing Research Tunnel dropped this commuter transport engine into its own special torment, spraying it with water to observe freezing on the test model.
Smoke and lasers take this model aircraft from looking good to gorgeous. The flow visualization was part of high speed research on the F-16 Scamp conducted at NASA’s Langeley Research Center in 1992.
Spider crickets are masters of aerodynamics. They don’t have wings, but they can jump up to 60 times their body length — equivalent to a human track star jumping the length of a football field. Now a team of engineering students at Johns Hopkins University has videotaped the critters in slow motion and discovered some…
Slapping a giant fin on the back of your hand-me-down Corolla isn’t going to make it go any faster. But researchers at Yokohama have found that adding a series of angled fins to a tire can actually help improve a vehicle’s aerodynamics, which in turn means better fuel efficiency and fewer stops at the pumps.
Film noir set or serious aerodynamics research facility? NASA blended the two in this enormous wind tunnel, the historical facility used to test the aerodynamics of everything from the Corsair through hypersonic aircraft, and the DHC-5 Buffalo through Saturn rockets.
September 11, 1959: The Mercury Capsule dropped in free-flight within Langley’s Spin Tunnel so researchers could observe how it gyrated and tumbled during descent. The Spin Tunnel remains in use today to study aerodynamics during unconventional maneuvers.
Oh, wow. Aerodynamics research has never looked as pretty as it does with this new variation of an old technique for imaging supersonic shockwaves.
Owls are often considered nature’s stealth fighters, and it turns out their ability to silently is a result of a unique wing structure not found in any other bird. Now that researchers know the owl’s secret, they can make lots of stuff silent—everything from bedroom ceiling fans to massive wind turbines.
Flying’s great—you can be whisked across time zones in a matter of hours—but it’s not so great for your wallet, or the atmosphere. But NASA’s new wing design that adjusts its flaps mid-flight could be the fix.
This strangely alive-looking blob isn't a prop from a sci-fi movie. It's a smorph, a morphing material that could make the cars, trains and airplanes of tomorrow extremely aerodynamic, using the same trick that helps golf balls fly faster and straighter.
You don't need to be a beach bum to understand waves: they move objects along with them, pushing boats and swimmers to the shore. There's even a name for it, the Stokes drift model. But for the first time, physicists have figured out how to do the opposite, using waves to bring a floating object backward to the source…
Often in athletic competitions an athlete's biggest advantage comes from their gear. So if you're a cyclist after a first place finish, Cervélo's P5 triathlon/time trial bike has been designed and engineered to be the most aerodynamic ride on two wheels.
When a team of biologists, physicists, and engineers at Brown University put their heads together to look at batwings, they discovered how wings on everything from military vehicles to batman could become 35 percent more efficient.
Boat-planes, trains, flying cars, or school desks—you name it and Norman Bel Geddes could make it sleeker. He helped bring the Streamline style—one that balances aesthetics with aerodynamics—to the mainstream. Were Steve Jobs alive in the 1930's, he would have been all over this. Our friends at Oobject have 12 of his…
You probably think that a wing lifts an airplane because the airflow moving over the top has a longer distance to travel and "needs to go faster to have the same transit time as the air travelling along the lower, flat surface." Well, you are wrong.
In America's pastime, where honor and fair competition reign and unfair advantages are never tolerated, there is no place for the "aerodynamic" Reebok Vector O baseball bat. After all, ballplayers would do anything to avoid besmirching their sport!
Meet STARMAC, the Stanford Testbed of Autonomous Rotorcraft for Multi-Agent Control. Possibly the cleverest remote control mini-helicopter you've ever seen, packed with GPS, sensors and computer power. It's a research quad-rotor that the Stanford team is using to develop algorithms for future aircraft like it.