Richard Smith's blog

Speedy Downhill

If you want to go fast downhill then you better know your aerodynamics. For an alpine skier and a downhill cyclist, drag is the force holding them back, but with the application of some basic fluid dynamics knowledge they can go faster - a lot faster.

Eric Barone - 223,30 km/h (138.752 mph) - World mountain bike speed recordEric Barone - 223,30 km/h (138.752 mph) - World mountain bike speed record

Plasma-Powered Drag Reduction for Trucks

What if you could reduce the drag of a tractor-trailer truck by 23% and therefore reduce fuel consumption by 11%? Further, what if the only modification to the trailer was to apply some decals and hook up an electric power source? According to Plasma Stream Technologies these savings are viable if the plasma flow control they are developing fulfills its promise.

Improve the Pressure Recovery Behind a Trailer using PlasmaImprove the Pressure Recovery Behind a Trailer using PlasmaGeometry courtesy of Nectar Design

Rise and Fall of Winglets in MotoGP

MotoGP is the pinnacle of motorcycle racing, just like Formula 1 is to car racing, so it should come as no surprise that aerodynamics is a key element for success. The focus in MotoGP was on drag reduction through streamlined fairings, helmets, and outfits. Then in 2015 Ducati added winglets to their front fairings to produce downforce.

Winglets Come and Go in MotoGP

Fluid Dynamics in 2016

In our third and final review post for 2016, catch up on general fluid dynamics topics that will ensure your future is so bright you'll have to wear shades in 2017.

McLaren 2010 MP4-25McLaren 2010 MP4-25: F-duct carLicense: CC BY 2.0, Andrew Griffith

Lessons in CFD from 2016

In our second review post for 2016, here are lessons and guidance to make your Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) more productive in 2017. "Those who do not learn [from] history are doomed to repeat it."

CFD Simulation Results Revealed by TransparencyCFD Simulation Results Revealed by Transparency

CFD Simulations of 2016

As 2016 draws to a close it is review time. Here are the Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations that made 2016 so colorful, just in case you missed them the first time around.

CFD Simulation of Air Speed Surface ContoursCFD Simulation of Air Speed Surface Contours

Perfect Gifts for CFDers

Having previously determined how Santa makes his deliveries using a Reality Distortion Field, now we have also figured out how he selects the perfect gifts for each and every CFDer.

Intuition and Fluid Dynamics

Some fluid dynamics is intuitive, e.g., the water flow along a pipe, where what goes in one end comes out the other. However, most applications no matter how simple are anything but intuitive, e.g., the drag of a ball moving through air.

CFD Simulation of Flow Around a SphereCFD Simulation of Flow Around a SphereHighly sensitive to Reynolds Number

Turbulence Model Selection

Most Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software provides an array of turbulence models. Knowing which model to select is not always an easy decision given trade offs between accuracy and computing requirements.

Turbulent Air Flow Behind a TruckTurbulent Air Flow Behind a TruckGeometry courtesy of Nectar Design

Double Diffusers and F-Ducts Explained

If you followed Formula 1 in 2009 and 2010 you will probably recall the terms double diffuser and F-duct. However, unless you were in the aerodynamics department of an F1 team during that period you will probably only have a sketchy idea of how these devices actually produced the elusive, race-winning, downforce that is key to F1 success.

Brawn GP 2009 BGP001Brawn GP 2009 BGP001: Double diffuser carLicense: CC BY 2.0, Jose Ma Izquierdo Galiot

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