TV commercial features Windshear Wind Tunnel: Windshear, the first full scale rolling road wind tunnel in the U.S., is now being featured in a Lexus commercial airing throughout the U.S. When Lexus needed a way to demonstrate its 2010 ES model, it found the solution at Windshear. It was filmed during a three-day production in July. Windshear, Inc., headquartered in Concord, N.C., operates the only commercially available full-scale single-belt, rolling road wind tunnel in the world. The firm’s clients include top-level motorsports organizations from NASCAR, IndyCar, Formula One as well as auto manufacturers. Windshear is an independently operated entity of Haas Automation, the largest machine tool builder in the world.(10-27-2009)
AeroDyn Wind Tunnel honored: President and CEO of AeroDyn Wind Tunnel, Mr. Gary W. Eaker, received the 2009 Freedom Award at a September 17 ceremony in Washington, DC at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. AeroDyn Wind Tunnel, is the recipient of the 2009 Secretary of Defense Freedom Award in the Small Business category, specializes in wind tunnel testing for automotive racing. Located in Mooresville, NC, 5 of AeroDyn Wind Tunnel’s 21 employees have served or are serving in the military. Employer support of the military is a company policy, detailed in AeroDyn Wind Tunnel’s “Commitment to Guardsmen, Reservists and their Families” section of their employee handbook. The company offers outstanding support to its activated National Guard and Reserve employees and their families by providing differential pay during deployment; continued employee and enrolled family members’ medical and life insurance benefits during active duty. The company also provides ongoing support and contact via video, phone calls and emails between the deployed employee and their family. Prior to the deployment of an employee, AeroDyn Wind Tunnel closes its 24-hour business for an entire night so that all employees and their spouses could attend a farewell boat cruise. AeroDyn Wind Tunnel actively recruits National Guardsmen and Reservists because of their values, education, training, leadership skills and teamwork. The company has received multiple ESGR state awards including two Patriot Awards, an Above and Beyond Award and the 2008 Pro Patria Award.(Secretary of Defense)(10-27-2009)
- A little old, but congrats: Kevin Haynes (a Lead Test Technician at Windshear Windtunnel in Concord, NC) and his wife Rosanne welcomed triplet girls to the family over the holidays on December 12, 2008. Abigail, Cecilia, and Madeline all spent 6-8 weeks in the NICU at Northeast Medical Center. They were 3lb 1oz, 2lbs 10oz and 2lbs 4oz respectively. All are home now and doing well.(3-22-2009)
- Windshear to hold grand opening Thursday [not Tuesday]: Windshear Inc., located in Concord, N.C., will hold a grand opening event on Thursday, July 17, at 4:00pm/et. Windshear operates the only commercially available full-scale, single-belt, rolling road wind tunnel in the world. The firm's clients include top-level motorsports organizations and auto manufacturers. Remarks will be given by the following: Bob Murray, Haas Automation General Manager; Jay White, Cabarrus County Board of Commissioners Chair; Gene Byrd, NC Department of Commerce; Scott Padgett, Concord Mayor; and Jeff Bordner, Windshear General Manager. A grand opening celebrating the launch of the only commercial 180-mph hour rolling road wind tunnel in North America will be held at Windshear Inc. located at 1050 Ivey Cline Road, Concord, N.C., 28027. Windshear Inc., an independent subsidiary of California-based Haas Automation, will be opening its wind tunnel to customers officially at the end of July. This celebration and event will allow those connected to the motorsports industry, as well as federal, state and local officials, to tour the facility and learn how it will enhance North Carolina's robust motorsports sector.(Windshear PR), more info at windshearinc.com.(7-14-2008)
- Sagging economy puts $63 million wind tunnel project on hold: Plans to build a $63 million wind tunnel off Peach Orchard Road for the motorsports industry have been shelved. An official with Wind Tunnel eXtreme confirmed that, due to changes in the economy and financing, the projects is on hold indefinitely. Officials with Wind Tunnel eXtreme, a newly formed company, repeatedly said that several other locations were under consideration which pushed the county to go beyond its standard five-year incentive plan. Wind Tunnel eXtreme officials had planned to build a world-class facility in Toyota Racing Development's 89-acre park, Performance Technical Park. Toyota Racing Development, which was expected to be a major user of the wind tunnel, is now expected to use other facilities.(Salisbury Post)(6-19-2008)
- more about Wind tunnel in Salisbury, NC: Rowan County [NC] leaders got confirmation late Tuesday that a company will locate a wind tunnel here [Salisbury, NC]. Wind Tunnel eXtreme, an automotive research and development firm expected to locate in Salisbury, NC, will receive a $30,000 state grant. Gov. Mike Easley issued a press release Tuesday announcing the One North Carolina Fund grant, which is tied to the creation of 29 jobs and an investment of $60 million over the next three years. Easley's office announced the facility will open in Salisbury before the company had made a firm announcement. On Sept. 4, the Rowan County Board of Commissioners approved an incentive package that will rebate 80% of the company's taxes for a period of eight years, an amount that could exceed $1.8 million. Late Tuesday, an official with the Salisbury-Rowan Economic Development Commission said the company has confirmed that it will locate in the Toyota business park. Stuart Hair, acting director of the Economic Development Commission, said the confirmation came from the company's site consultant. Wind Tunnel eXtreme officials have said they are negotiating with Toyota Racing Development for a site in Competition Park off Peach Orchard Road. Work began last week on clearing parts of the heavily wooded tract near the intersection of Peach Orchard and Old Concord roads. Wind Tunnel eXtreme is a research and development group that will test and design aerodynamic features for automobiles. The company will also provide aerodynamic testing and validation services. The average weekly wage of the new jobs will be $1,515 plus benefits, which is more than the Rowan County average weekly wage of $611, not including benefits. "Wind Tunnel eXtreme, LLC chose North Carolina for the site of its operations because of its proximity to the center of automobile racing," said Don Babb, Wind Tunnel eXtreme's chief executive officer. "The Charlotte area has all of the elements we were looking for: A home base for NASCAR, a major international airport and the availability of a highly qualified workforce."(Salisbury Post)(11-7-2007)
- Wind tunnel coming to Salisbury, NC: Gov. Mike Easley announced that Wind Tunnel eXtreme, an automotive research and development firm, will open a facility in Salisbury, creating 29 jobs and investing $60 million during the next three years. The announcement was made possible in part by a $30,000 One North Carolina Fund grant. "Wind Tunnel eXtreme's new facility in Rowan County will be an important addition to North Carolina's motorsports industry," Easley said. "Motorsports is a growing area of the state's economy, contributing $6 billion annually." Wind Tunnel eXtreme is a research and development group that tests and designs aerodynamic features for automobiles. The company will also provide aerodynamic testing and validation services. While wages will vary by job function, the average weekly wage of the new jobs will be $1,515 plus benefits, which is more than the Rowan County average weekly wage of $611, not including benefits. Other partners who helped make this announcement possible include the N.C. Department of Commerce, Rowan County, the Salisbury-Rowan Economic Development Commission and Duke Energy.(Salisbury Post)(11-7-2007)
- More on new NC Wind Tunnel: While the exact details of an incentives package have yet to be presented, Rowan County [North Carolina near Charlotte] officials received more information Friday on "Project Kaze" — a $63 million-plus wind tunnel facility looking to locate in Rowan County. "Kaze," pronounced KAH-say, is the Japanese word for "wind." John N. Hunter, who has been the Charlotte-based contact for the wind tunnel, forwarded Friday a PowerPoint presentation the company plans to make at 7 p.m. Monday to the Rowan County Board of Commissioners. "Wind Tunnel eXtreme" will be a world-class facility built specifically for automotive testing with its customer base focused on race cars, the presentation says. Expected customers would include NASCAR teams; NASCAR-associated manufacturers such as Toyota, GM, Ford and Chrysler; Formula One teams; original equipment manufacturers, sports car racing teams; open wheel racing teams (Indy Car); original equipment manufacturers not associated with racing; and sanctioning bodies such as NASCAR, Indy Car and others. The Salisbury-Rowan Economic Development Commission will ask commissioners that a public hearing on an incentives package for the company be held Sept. 4. According to a timeline, if the project receives approvals it is looking for, initial site work would begin in the first quarter of 2008. The hiring and training of employees would occur in the third quarter of 2008, and the facility would be complete by the second quarter of 2009. It's anticipated that the wind tunnel would have its first customer by the third quarter of 2009 and would be fully operational 10 to 12 weeks later. The wind tunnel, which would incorporate a turntable and rolling road system, would employ 29 people (engineers, aerodynamicists and managers) with salaries from $52,000 to $230,000 a year. The annual payroll would be about $2.2 million. The company says traveling customers of Wind Tunnel eXtreme will mean business for airlines, hotels, restaurants and car rental agencies. Other economic benefits will include the catering of hot meals for every work shift. Its proponents say the wind tunnel will help attract additional high-tech businesses to Rowan. During its construction phase, the project will supply roughly 100 jobs over the expected 22-month buildout, Hunter's information adds. The quality suppliers to the project will include Jacobs Technologies, the largest builder of wind tunnels; MTS, a manufacturer of wind tunnel components; PI, the largest provider of wind tunnel software; and HB&A, a construction management company. The company addressed some concerns usually associated with this kind of project. It says the facility will not produce any hazardous waste or emissions. It will not require any environmental permits, and the noise level outside of the facility will not be noticeable beyond 10 feet. The wind tunnel company plans to be on an 8- to 10-acre parcel and will be buffered by landscaping, according to the report coming Monday night. There should be no lighting or traffic concerns generated by the facility, it adds. It's believed that the company, if it locates in Rowan County, will join Toyota Racing Development on part of the 89-acre tract on Peach Orchard Road that TRD recently bought for its planned $28 million facility. Four "project principals" are expected to attend Monday's meeting.(Salisbury Post)(8-19-2007)
- New Wind Tunnel planned UPDATE 2: there will be some sort of announcement at Michigan International Speedway on Friday, annoucing a "new world-class state-of-the-art automotive Wind Tunnel project". No word on who will own it or be part of it.(8-16-2007)
UPDATE: hearing this will be a new type of rolling wind tunnel and will be built in North Carolina. It supposedly will have capabilities that no other wind tunnel has, being able to run three cars at time and simulate drafting. Sources also say there is a considerable Formula 1 involvement and the "tunnel time" is already half sold out.(8-17-2007)
UPDATE 2: It was announced at a press conference at Michigan International Speedway that a newly-formed group of investors has joined together to design and construct a state-of-the-art customer wind tunnel project near Charlotte, N.C., the heart of NASCAR country, known as Wind Tunnel eXtreme. This project will help provide teams from all motorsports disciplines an "unfair advantage" in aerodynamic development. The core of this program will be the most advanced automotive wind tunnel in the world, utilizing technology that is not available today even to Formula 1 teams. Wind Tunnel eXtreme was created to address the scarcity of high-tech wind tunnel time in the United States. Slated to open in the third quarter of 2009, it will be a full-scale, world-class facility available to customers on a membership basis. It will also be the world's only wind tunnel specifically designed for multiple-car testing, and the only customer wind tunnel in the world with the "TALINGZ" option added to a single-belt MTS rolling-road system. It will have full-scale testing capability, reach wind and road speeds of up to 180-mph (80 m/s), and feature best-in-class adaptive wall wind tunnel technology. Wind Tunnel eXtreme is in the process of finalizing the location of the project in the Charlotte area. An announcement of the exact site is expected to be made in early September.
"It¹s the most advanced wind tunnel in the world," said automotive engineer and marketing consultant Kristen Helsel, the primary principal behind the project. "When it's built it will be designed specifically to do things that have never been available in wind tunnels in the past, including multiple-car testing. Eighteen months ago I traveled the world looking at the best wind tunnels, and I discovered that the United States was woefully behind any type of offering that Europe and Japan had," added Helsel. "And so I realized there was this huge
need for a wind tunnel of this kind for racing, but also for the automotive industry. Both industries are vital to the economy, so it is important for an instrument of this caliber to be available to various automotive companies and motorsports entities to have the ability to do this type of testing. It's applicable not only to racing, but also corporate average fuel economy and things that are going to be pressing the car industry and our nation for years to come," continued Helsel. "By building a facility of this type, which when built will be the most advanced automotive wind tunnel in the world, we bring that technology right here to the U.S. without having to fly to Europe or anywhere else. It's a great opportunity to bring something like this to the state of North Carolina."
WTX partner Donald A. Babb, real-estate developer, professional corporate manager and former CEO of a number of companies, agreed. "No. 1, it's a first-class project, and, No. 2, it fulfills a need in the sport and business that we love. It will be the most technically advanced wind tunnel in the world when it's completed, but more importantly, it will yield the best
available results for the user, whether they are a race team or an OEM. Ms. Helsel brings immense experience and talent to this effort," Babb continued. "And the other partners have all headed up successful businesses. Businesses, I might add, that put the customer first. A lot of companies give lip service to that, but we intend to practice it. It will not be 'build it and
they will come,' it will be 'we're going to build what they need and invite their participation.'"
Other partners behind the WTX project include investors Rick Barlow, and Brad Forsythe, a risk management consultant and author of "Bulletproof Your Business cutting risk for small company owners and managers." By making this announcement here at Michigan International Speedway, the closest the NASCAR community comes to the U.S. home of the automotive industry, WTX is able to showcase both the power and the applicability of this technology to the future of both production cars and motorsports. For more information on Wind Tunnel eXtreme and its automotive or motorsports applications, interested parties may contact Kristen Helsel at 803-604-6210. More than 50% of available memberships in WTX have been sold. Additional information may be found on www.windtunnelextreme.com
Wind Tunnel eXtreme
An Introduction to the World¹s Most Advanced Wind Tunnel:
* Designed to provide an "unfair advantage" in aerodynamic development.
* Created to address the scarcity of high-tech wind tunnel time in the United States
* A full-scale, world-class facility available to customers on a membership basis
* The world¹s only wind tunnel specifically designed for multiple-car testing
* The tunnel is designed to fit three full-scale cars in the test chamber to evaluate the aerodynamics of passing and drafting
* The only wind tunnel in the world available with the "TALINGZ" option added to a single-belt MTS rolling road system
* Up to 180mph (80 m/s) wind and road speeds
* Full-scale (1 to 1) testing
* Featuring best-in-class adaptive wall wind tunnel technology
* Test section size: 17 ft. wide x 8.5 ft. high x 85 ft. long
* The managing partners are all successful business people with the financial stability to support a long-term commitment to the Wind Tunnel eXtreme project (see biographies)
* WTX spent 18 months researching the world¹s best existing and planned wind tunnels and then designed the world¹s most advanced facility
* WTX combined the best ideas and vendors to create the most useful, powerful, accurate and secure wind tunnel facility ever developed.
* Supplier selection will play a major role in the success of the WTX wind tunnel
* WTX¹s primary suppliers include Jacobs Technology (formerly Sverdrup), MTS, The Keith Corporation and Pi Research
Wind Tunnel eXtreme PARTNERS
Kristen Helsel Pasadena, Calif., and Charlotte, N.C.
Bradley G. Forsythe - Cincinnati, Ohio
Richard G. (Rick) Barlow - Cincinnati, Ohio
Donald A. Babb Ridgeway, S.C.
- Atlas Copco Compressors and Haas CNC Racing form Multi-Year Strategic Partnership: Atlas Copco Compressors and Haas CNC Racing have joined forces on a new, state-of-the-art, $40 million wind tunnel under construction in Concord, NC. The wind tunnel will be the only one of its kind in the world available for rent by racing teams and manufacturers. In addition to the wind tunnel partnership, Atlas Copco will sponsor the #70 Haas Automation car for the Loudon, NH race scheduled for July 1, 2007 and several other races throughout the 2007 and 2008 Nextel Cup seasons. The wind tunnel features a single belt rolling road system, the first of its kind in North America. A continuous steel belt running under the vehicle simulates the road beneath a racecar traveling on a speedway. It is the most accurate aerodynamic road simulation possible in the industry today, and it offers repeatability that is key to gathering valid, usable data.
The wind tunnel is being constructed at a site adjacent to Concord Regional Airport in Cabarrus County, NC. "Being at the airport will be very convenient for teams from other parts of the United States and the world," according to Gene Haas, owner of Haas CNC Racing. "They can transport their vehicles by plane and access the wind tunnel without having to move off site. That is a tremendous added feature, over and above the uniqueness of the wind tunnel itself." Data gathered in the controlled conditions of a wind tunnel can be applied by racing teams to improve the aerodynamics of racecars. "With competition so fierce at the Nextel Cup level, drivers and teams look for every possible advantage," according to Johnny Sauter, who drives for Haas CNC Racing. "We're excited about being able to test and refine design concepts in the wind tunnel so they're already at a high state of development the first time they see a speedway."
Crucial to this partnership is Atlas Copco's global experience with wind tunnels and other leading edge technologies, as well as local engineering support provided through Atlas Copco Compressors. "We are very excited to partner with the Haas CNC Racing organization," said Jim Bruce, Atlas Copco's Eastern Regional Vice President. "Both organizations share a passion for innovation and a commitment developing technology to improve our everyday lives, so this partnership is a great fit for both teams. The exposure through NASCAR will allow us to accelerate our strategy to get closer to our customers with the best value in the industry."
Atlas Copco is a world-leading provider of industrial productivity solutions. The products and services range from compressed air and gas equipment, generators, construction and mining equipment, industrial tools and assembly systems to related aftermarket products and services and equipment rentals. In close cooperation with customers and business partners, and building on more than 130 years of experience, Atlas Copco innovates for superior productivity. Atlas Copco Compressors, a business of Atlas Copco, operates four Regional Customer Centers and nine Compressor Centers in the United States as well as distribution partners in all 50 states.
Haas Wind Tunnel Project "Fast Facts"
" While this wind tunnel will be owned by Gene Haas, owner of Haas CNC Racing, it will be operated independently from Haas CNC Racing as a completely separate business entity.
" It is the first wind tunnel of its kind in North America.
" This will be the only wind tunnel in the world featuring the single belt system that will be available for motorsports teams and auto manufacturers to rent.
" The rolling road is 10.5 feet wide by 29.5 feet long.
" The "road" is actually a continuous steel belt one millimeter (one mm) thick.
" The belt will last up to 5,000 operational hours.
" If a vehicle remained on the belt the entire time, it would "travel" approximately 300,000 to 400,000 kilometers (300,000 kilometers = 186,000 miles).
" The belt can accelerate from zero to 180 mph in less than one minute.
" The "thru-the-belt" measurement system measures the aerodynamic down force under each tire through the belt.
" This will be just the third roadway of this scale in existence.
" The air in this wind tunnel design flows from the fan to the vehicle, then is collected and returned to the fan in a closed circuit.
" The circuit will cover an area of 19,000 square feet.
" Jacobs Sverdrup estimates it will take 20,000 tons of steel and 2,000 cubic yards of concrete to construct the circuit.
" The main fan has a diameter of 22 feet, and is rated at 5,100 Hp.
" The fan is capable of producing a maximum air speed of 180 mph.
" At maximum air speed, the fan produces an airflow volume of 2.85 million cubic feet per minute, and its total power consumption is 7 megawatts (one megawatt is equal to one million watts).
More info on Atlas Copco Compressors or atlascopco.com or classzero.com.(Atlas Copco PR)(6-28-2007)
- New Wind Tunnel to break ground Tuesday in Concord NC: Windshear, Inc. has broken ground for the first 180-mph rolling-road wind tunnel in North America. Construction on the 40,000-square-foot facility began April 5, and is scheduled for completion in the first quarter of 2008.
Official groundbreaking ceremonies for the world-class facility are scheduled for May 1, 2007, at the project site in Concord (see address below). Ceremonies begin at 9:30 a.m., and will feature remarks from Concord Mayor Scott Padgett; Ron Leitch, Manager, Charlotte Region, North Carolina Department of Commerce; John Cox, President and CEO, Cabarrus Regional Chamber of Commerce; and Gene Haas, President and CEO, Windshear, Inc.
When completed, the $40 million Windshear wind tunnel will be the only one of its type in North America, and only the third of this scale in the world. Windshear Inc., which is owned by Haas Automation owner Gene Haas, has contracted Jacobs Technology (a subsidiary of Jacobs Engineering Group Inc.) to build the wind tunnel on the 5-acre site near Concord Regional Airport. Slated as the most advanced racing wind tunnel in the world, it will provide a 180-mph rolling road under the vehicle's tires to accurately simulate actual racing conditions.
Windshear selected a Single Belt FlatTrac® Rolling Road system from MTS Systems Corporation for the facility. It uses a continuous steel belt running beneath the vehicle to simulate the road beneath a racecar traveling on a speedway, providing the most accurate aerodynamic road simulation possible in the industry today. It has the capability to run continuously at 180 mph to closely approximate the speeds encountered during NASCAR Nextel Cup Series races, and give race teams greater ability to measure changes to vehicle shape. A revolutionary "through-the-belt" sensing system directly measures the aerodynamic downforce produced by the vehicle. At the tunnel's top speed, the 22-foot diameter main fan will recirculate 2.85 million cubic feet of air per minute, consuming 7 megawatts of power in the process.
Windshear, Inc. will ultimately operate the one-of-a-kind facility 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with a staff of 25. The tunnel will be available for all motorsports teams and auto manufacturers to rent, complementing other nearby research-and-development facilities in the heart of NASCAR country.
Construction of the Windshear office and customer facility is being conducted by Choate Construction (Charlotte, NC), under the management of Triliad Development, Inc. (Thousand Oaks, CA).
Project Site Address: 1050 Ivey Cline Road, Concord, NC 28027.(Haas CNC PR)(4-30-2007)
- Trouble for #66 Cup/#00 Busch Team Owner UPDATE Wind Tunnel plans stay: The owner of an Oxnard [CA]-based company that's donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to local colleges is under arrest for allegedly trying to bilk the government out of millions in taxes. Haas Automation owner and founder Gene Haas was arrested Monday on suspicion of conspiracy, filing false tax returns and witness intimidation. Federal prosecutors say Haas orchestrated a plan to list $50 million in bogus expenses that it could write off as business costs. The aim was to save the company $20 million in taxes. Haas Automation general manager Robert Murray says the charges are bogus. The company is one of the world's largest manufacturers of omputerized cutting machines.(CBS2.com/AP)
AND Gene F. Haas, 54, of Camarillo, Calif., the owner of Haas Automation and other companies, was accused in a 52-page indictment of running a bogus invoicing scheme to create fake tax deductions. Mr. Haas was held without bail after his arraignment in Federal District Court in Los Angeles. In court papers asking that Mr. Haas be held until his trial, the Justice Department said that he could flee the country in his Cessna jet and head for China, where he has business interests. The Justice Department said China did not have a treaty allowing extradition of accused tax cheats. It called him a flight risk, saying he has few ties to the community, is single, has no children and faces about 20 years in prison if convicted. Haas Automation, in a statement, said that Mr. Haas was not guilty and that the tax issues "revolve around" the company's former chief financial officer, John Phillips. It said the indictment would have no effect on the business. Last month, Haas Automation won, by default, a lawsuit filed in Ventura County Superior Court accusing Mr. Phillips of cheating the company out of $27.5 million. The indictment also described two other invoicing schemes. One involved a NASCAR race team sponsored by Haas Automotive and the other a land title company. The indictment gave few details other than stating that all the money paid in those two schemes was funneled back to Mr. Haas, suggesting that he may have operated them without confederates.(New York Times)(6-20-2006)
UPDATE - The Wind Tunnel: The arrest this week in California of Gene Haas, owner of Haas Automation, will not affect plans to build a $40 million wind tunnel in Concord or stop the race shop's move to Kannapolis, said a company spokesman. Joe Custer, general manager of the Harrisburg race team Haas CNC Racing, said the company's assets have not been frozen or affected by the arrest. He also said Haas CNC and the company for the wind tunnel, Wind Shear, are actually separate entities from Haas Automation. "We're not implicated in the indictments and we are not being investigated," Custer said. "We're not financially in trouble, never have been and don't plan to be." Custer said regardless of the investigation and Haas' legal troubles there won't be any impact on any of the Cabarrus County projects. Haas announced in May that he will construct a $40 million wind tunnel in Concord. John Cox, CEO of the Cabarrus Regional Chamber of Commerce, talked Wednesday during a motor sports symposium held at Lowe's Motor Speedway "We have called the Haas folks to show our support," Cox said. "Our prayers are that Mr. Haas will be exonerated." Cabarrus County provided a three-year tax incentive grant for the project and the City of Concord offered to provide electrical infrastructure at the site. The city, which planned to build a $4 million electrical substation near the Concord Regional Airport, said they will move up that project to accommodate the wind tunnel's construction schedule.(more at the Kannapolis Idependent Tribune)(6-22-2006)
- Toyota at the Wind Tunnel: hearing that Toyota was testing Tuesday, June 8th in some fashion [Cup/Trucks] at the NASA wind tunnel in Hampton, VA / Langley AFB.(6-9-2006)
- Haas to Locate Wind Tunnel Project in Concord: Gene Haas, owner of Haas CNC Racing, formally announced that he will locate a new $40 million wind tunnel project in Concord, N.C. Speaking at a press conference at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord on
Sunday, Haas confirmed the tunnel will be constructed on a five-acre parcel of land off of Ivy Cline Road, adjacent to the Concord Regional Airport in Cabarrus County. Cabarrus County recently provided a three-year economic incentive grant for the project, and the city of Concord intends to provide a significant investment in the form of electrical infrastructure at the site. The city already had plans in place to build an electrical substation at Ivy Cline Road, but the timeline for that project will be moved up to accommodate the wind tunnel's construction schedule. Haas CNC Racing General Manager, Joe Custer, shared details of the wind tunnel and its unique rolling road system. "What makes this project so special is that there will be no other wind tunnel like this in the United States," Custer said. "It features a Single Belt FlatTrac Rolling Road system, manufactured by a company called MTS. The system uses a continuous steel belt running under the vehicle to simulate the road beneath a race car traveling on a speedway. It's the most accurate aerodynamic road simulation possible in the industry today. The system also offers repeatability, which is key to gathering valid, usable data. This will be the only wind tunnel in the world to feature this single belt rolling road system that will be available for teams and manufacturers to rent."
Custer said the company constructing the wind tunnel, Jacobs Sverdrup, plans to break ground at the Ivy Cline Road site in January, 2007. Construction of the project is scheduled to be completed in late 2007.(GMR Live PR)(5-30-2006)
- New Wind Tunnel planned in Concord: A second incentive grant is in the works for the $40 million Haas CNC Racing wind tunnel proposed for a site near the Concord Regional Airport. Coming on the heels of a three-year, $626,668 incentive grant given the green light last week by Cabarrus County, Concord City Council on Monday set a public hearing for a second incentive grant for the project. The public hearing is slated for June 8. Concord City Manager Brian Hiatt said the incentive would come in the form of the city’s committal to provide electrical service and a $4 million investment towards electrical infrastructure at the Ivy Cline Road site. Hiatt said the city had plans to build an electrical substation at the site in the future, but the city will expedite its construction for the wind tunnel. He said because of the project’s size, the substation would be needed for the site. A fire station is also planned for a portion of the property where the wind tunnel would sit. The wind tunnel would be for commercial use, allowing motor sports and car manufacturers to perform aerodynamic testing and research on cars. Haas officials said that only 10 of its kind exist worldwide. Last year, Haas received up to $400,000 in incentives from Cabarrus County and Kannapolis when Haas moved its race car shop from Harrisburg to Kannapolis Gateway Business Park.(Kannaspolis Independent Tribune)(5-23-2006)
- Dodge fastest at the WInd Tunnel and Dyno's: Dodge teams won NASCAR's wind-tunnel testing of Chicago's top finishers [#19-Jeremy Mayfield per Speed Channel's Bob Dilner], and Jimmie Johnson's Chevy, to everyone's surprise, pulled the weakest numbers, according to NASCAR sources. Dodge's Ernie Elliott won NASCAR's engine dyno testing of Michigan's top finishers, according to other NASCAR sources. NASCAR officials completely disassembled the Michigan engines of six top finishers and weighed every part, including the block, and also weighed the entire engine assembly. Ford's Jack Roush says that NASCAR could make a minimum engine-weight rule. The Ford engine block is much heavier than others, a disadvantage.(Winston Salem Journal)(7-16-2005)
- Six cars to the wind tunnel after Chicago: NASCAR officials plan to take six cars from Sunday's race to the Lockheed wind tunnel in Marietta [AG] to determine how the various manufacturers stack up on aerodynamic issues: the Chevrolets driven by #48-Jimmie Johnson and #20-Tony Stewart, the Fords of #17-Matt Kenseth and #6-Mark Martin, and the Dodges driven by #19-Jeremy Mayfield and #2-Rusty Wallace.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(7-11-2005)
- To the Wind Tunnel? UPDATE: hearing NASCAR could be taking some of the top finishing cars from the Pepsi 400 to the Wind Tunnel, not sure which Wind Tunnel, but the Lockheed Martin in Marietta, GA is on the way back to NC.(7-2-2004)
AND? have heard nothing about any wind tunnel testing or any cars taken to a wind tunnel or even put on the chassis dyno.(7-6-2004)
UPDATE: Despite rumors circulating in the garage that the top-finishers from the Daytona events would be taken for NASCAR aero-testing, no cars were gathered-up by NASCAR after either event. It appeared as though NASCAR was going to test the cars. Even NASCAR's grey hauler, often used for such tasks, was on-property.(Ford Racing)(7-7-2004)
- #21 testing at AMS UPDATE 2 Jarrett testing a 2004 Ford NOT REPLACING RUDD in the #21: on Wednesday, August 13th, the #21 Wood Brothers team and driver Ricky Rudd are scheduled to test at Atlanta Motor Speedway which is closed to public.(AMS PR)(8-12-2003)
Jarrett to test 2004 Ford at AMS on Wed: Ford Racing will conduct a one-day test session Wednesday, August 13, at Atlanta Motor Speedway to test the 2004 Ford Taurus with NASCAR Winston Cup driver Dale Jarrett. Ford officials originally expected Ricky Rudd to test the car but announced the substitution this week for the new Ford, built by the Wood Brothers. The test session will be closed to the public and to the media.(AMS PR)(8-12-2003)
NOTE: some folks are reading this a Jarrett replacing Rudd in the #21 - NO, NO, NO - it doesn't say that.....The Wood Brothers built the 2004 Ford [just as they did with the Taurus when it first was tested]. Rudd ended up not being able to test the car, so Jarrett was recruited, that is all. Rudd will be in the #21 in 2004 and Jarrett will be in the #88 in 2004.(8-13-2003)
UPDATE 2: The 2004 Ford Racing Taurus participated in a test session at Atlanta Motor Speedway today, and when it was over, Ford Racing officials were very happy. "It went extremely well and pretty much according to plan," said Greg Specht, Manager, North American Racing Operations, Ford Racing Technology. "And we're very pleased that we got the track test out of the way." The 2004 Ford Racing Taurus was built by the Wood Brothers and was driven in the test by 1999 NASCAR Winston Cup champion Dale Jarrett, who also was pleased by the test. "Everything went well," said Jarrett. "The car seems to be very well balanced. They did a really good job of building the car. It looks really nice, the lines on it are good, and it did things on the race track that we think will help us to be more competitive even for next year." Specht said today's test with the 2004 Taurus was truly a team effort, involving Wood Brothers Racing, Robert Yates Racing and Roush Racing. "I'd like to thank the Woods for allowing Dale Jarrett in their car in place of Ricky Rudd, who had a previous commitment and couldn't be here today," said Specht. "This is a great sign of cooperation between our top NASCAR teams. We had all three of our partners represented at the test here today: Dale, being the driver from Robert Yates Racing; obviously, the Wood Brothers built and brought the car here; and, we got engineering support from Roush Racing. I think that's important as well." Jarrett said the 2004 Ford Racing Taurus seemed to have improved downforce over the current model. "I can see where the car has potential when you get it in race trim," said Jarrett. "Something the Fords fight, and that's a little more front downforce, and it seems like this car may have that without creating a lot of drag. And I think that's something that we were interested in: Could we make something that was good for us still on the straightaways, but get us through the corners a little bit, too?" The on-track test consisted of a series of multi-lap runs. "They wanted to run over 10 laps at a time, and so we went out and did that, and they were looking at times," said Jarrett. "They had a certain time that they wanted to see, and I didn't even know how many laps I was going to be running, I just ran until they told me to come in, that the NASCAR folks were satisfied that that's what they were looking for." The 2004 Taurus was tested later in the day with NASCAR at the windtunnel at Lockheed in Marietta, Ga.(Ford Racing PR), see my Ford Past News page for images of the 2004 Ford.(8-13-2003)
See two images of the test at the Ford Racing site.(8-14-2003)
- More on the Wind Tunnel tests: Winston Cup Series director John Darby said Friday that NASCAR officials were pleased with the results of wind tunnel tests done earlier this week on eight cars after last week's Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis. Darby said the range from the best to worst among the four manufacturers was around 75 pounds of downforce, showing NASCAR has made progress in keeping the cars evenly matched. He also said the drag numbers on all four makes were within an even smaller range. Given those results, Darby indicated he's confident that if NASCAR elects to trim the rear spoilers on all makes before the 2004 season - a possibility clearly being considered - the effects would be equal among Ford, Chevrolet, Pontiac and Dodge teams.(ThatsRacin.com)(8-9-2003)
- Wind Tunnel Testing Tuesday UPDATE: NASCAR will take cars to the wind tunnel for the first time this season Tuesday in Marietta, Ga., to test how they react to a reduction in spoiler height. The cars that will be tested: Chevrolet, #24-Jeff Gordon and #20-Tony Stewart; Ford, #17-Matt Kenseth and #38-Elliott Sadler; Dodge, #2-Rusty Wallace and #42-Jamie McMurray; and Pontiac, #32-Ricky Craven and #10-Johnny Benson. Reducing the spoiler height likely would lead to slower speeds because the rear end of the car wouldn't be as stable. The tests also will serve as baseline for the 2004 Taurus, which will go to the wind tunnel later in the week.(Sporting News)(8-4-2003)
UPDATE: McMurray's and Kenseth's engines will be torn down and inspected Wednesday at NASCAR's tech center.(Winston Salem Journal)(8-5-2003)
- Toyota in the Wind: According to Charlotte area sources, the Toyota factory folks are busy booking time at the Lockheed wind tunnel for 2004. How much time? According to TFR's sources every bit of it that they can get — so much so that if the non-Toyota teams aren't careful they could get shut out of the Marietta, Ga. based facility. "That's the way they work," said one team official, who dealt with Toyota in Championship Auto Racing Teams. "They're not afraid to spend their money."(Team Ford Racing a jayski sponsor)(5-22-2003)
- Wind Tunnel Plans Canceled: NASCAR canceled plans to take cars to the wind tunnel for aerodynamic testing after watching Sunday's race. "After that race, I reconvinced myself that the cars are evenly matched," said Winston Cup director John Darby. "A Dodge led, a Ford led, a Chevrolet led, and I think Ricky Craven in a Pontiac might even have led a lap. And at the end of the race, all four makes were running up front." Wind tunnel testing is done to make sure all makes are aerodynamically equal, something NASCAR is trying to make certain of this year through common templates. But Darby had been reluctant so far this season to test the cars to make sure his process was working. He said Sunday he had since reconsidered and was all set to take the cars to the wind tunnel following the race. Instead, the big white haulers that normally transport the cars sat idle on pit road with Darby convinced the test was not needed.(ThatsRacin.com/AP)(4-7-2003)
- Wind Tunnel after Atlanta? UPDATE: If Chevy is dominant this weekend at Atlanta, a track at which it generally is strong, don't be surprised if NASCAR hauls the top cars into the wind tunnel the day after the race. In fact, the Ford and Dodge teams will demand it.(Sporting News)(3-4-2003)
UPDATE: According to NASCAR officials, the calls for a wind tunnel test will not yield action following Sunday’s race. The move is unwelcome news to some, but expected as NASCAR Winston Cup director John Darby has consistently told www.teamfordracing.com, since Daytona, that the goal is to not have to visit the tunnel in 2003. Even if there’s a change of heart, the tunnel is book solid on Monday by General Motors.(Ford Racing)(3-8-2003)
- Wind Tunnel after Atlanta? If Chevy is dominant this weekend at Atlanta, a track at which it generally is strong, don't be surprised if NASCAR hauls the top cars into the wind tunnel the day after the race. In fact, the Ford and Dodge teams will demand it.(Sporting News)(3-4-2003)
- No Wind Tunnel? Traditionally NASCAR has tested at least one of each make in a wind tunnel following the Daytona 500. This year that might not be the case, at least according to well-placed NASCAR sources. The tunnel time is scheduled, but the sanctionin body believes with what they’ve seen so far there probably will be no need to keep the reservation. Asked if the annual visit to the Lockheed tunnel after the Atlanta race is still on www.teamfordracing.com was told by the NASCAR source: “I think it’d be comforting to know that after the race at Atlanta that we’d be heading straight home.”(Ford Racing)(2-9-2003)
- New Wind Tunnel Proposed in SC: The first development on a proposed research park near interstates 85 and 385 in Greenville, SC is under way. Economic developers say that the Clemson University automotive-themed research center, which includes a proposed wind tunnel for aerodynamics testing, could create as many as 20,000 jobs in fields like NASCAR auto racing technology.(The Carolina Channel)(1-23-2003)
- Wind Tunnel Testing Limits? NASCAR officials are considering some type of limits on wind-tunnel testing by Winston Cup teams, because car owners are spending an exorbitant amount of money - some even using wind tunnels in Canada. How to establish rules is the big question. Padlocking all the wind tunnels is not a possibility, apparently, even though NASCAR could draw up contracts with team owners. So NASCAR is looking at asking Detroit's three car makers for help in addressing the situation.(Winston Salem Journal)(4-29-2002)
- Wind Tunnel to Close? UPDATE 3 - Correction - NOT the one NASCAR uses: The National Aeronautics and Space Administration has announced plans to close the full-scale wind tunnel at Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., by Sept. 30, 2004. Over the years, the facility has been used by many NASCAR teams, which in 1999 were reported to be paying $1,400 an hour to test in the tunnel. One report said that as many as two or three teams used the wind tunnel each month, with bills exceeding $40,000 for multiple-car tests.(Winston Cup Scene daily newsletter)(4-23-2002)
UPDATE: As part of a national initiative to optimize government-owned wind tunnels, NASA's Langley Research Center will shut down its 16-Foot Transonic Tunnel and transition work to other facilities. The tunnel is scheduled to be put in mothball status September 30, 2004. "Mothball" status means that the facility could be made operational within six to 12 months and that maintenance to the tunnel would be limited to facility preservation only. Research tests are booked at the tunnel through September 2003 and all those tests will be completed. The Center anticipates that no civil service jobs will be lost as the tunnel's staff of 18 researchers and technicians will be reassigned to other facilities. Doesn't mention NASCAR use in the story.(NASA)(4-24-2002)
AND more from the Daily Press(in part): NASA Langley will lose about half the research conducted at one of its oldest and busiest wind tunnels because of a planned shutdown in two years. And future wind-tunnel shutdowns cannot be ruled out. The aeronautics center announced that it was stopping all but maintenance operations at the 16-foot Transonic Wind Tunnel, which has conducted research on everything from jet fighters to wheelchairs. Many people think that the closing, part of a nationwide look at such centers, should have little effect in the community. NASA Langley hopes to shuffle work to its National Transonic Facility, but some research will be lost to other agencies. The primary users at NASA Langley are split mostly between the military and the space agency itself. Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman are the top three industry users. Representatives with those businesses couldn't be reached for comment Tuesday on how the wind tunnel's shutdown might affect their future use of the center. Two centers would be likely recipients of the work that NASA Langley could no longer perform: the Air Force's Arnold Engineering Development Center in Tennessee and NASA's Ames Research Center in California.(no mention of NASCAR in this article)(4-24-2002)
UPDATE 2: been told by many sources that the wind tunnel that NASA is closing in the 16 ft. transonic tunnel. This is not the NASA tunnel that Old Dominion owns/operates and conducts tests for NASCAR teams. For more info on the tunnel, see their site at www.lfst.com. So not sure why this was made such an issue by WCS.(4-25-2002)
UPDATE 3 - Correction: The Langley Research Center wind tunnel that NASA has announced plans to close is not the facility used for testing by NASCAR teams, as reported in Tuesday's Scene Daily. The facility used by the NASCAR teams, the Langley Full-Scale Wind Tunnel operated by Old Dominion University, will remain open.(Winston Cup Scene daily newsletter)(4-26-2002)
- Wind Tunnel? UPDATE 5 No Changes....yet: hearing that NASCAR will take at least the highest finishing car of each manufacturer in the MBNA Amercia 500 at Atlanta to the wind tunnel in Marietta GA for areo testing.(3-10-2002)
UPDATE: One car from each manufacturer was impounded by NASCAR following Sunday’s race and will be taken to a wind tunnel in Marietta, Ga., on Monday for testing. Tony Stewart’s #20-Pontiac, Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s #8-Chevrolet, Ward Burton’s #22-Dodge and Ricky Craven’s #32-Ford were selected for the test.(ThatsRacin.com)(3-11-2002)
UPDATE 2 - some unoffficial downforce numbers: from ESPN2's RPM 2 Night on Tuesday:
#22-Dodge (was 7th) - 1380lbs, 566 front, 814 rear
#32-Ford (5th) - 1343lbs, 537, 805
#20-Pontiac (1st) - 1297lbs, 545, 752
#8-Chevy (2nd) - 1246lbs, 498, 748
NOTE: in March 2001, NASCAR took the #'s 88, 24, 40 and 18 to the wind tunnel in Marietta, GA, with the unofficial results (unofficial):
Test 1 Tested at inspection height, and with the nose taped off as for qualifying, at 3 degrees of yaw, slightly sideways as in entering a corner:
#18-1,344lbs of total downforce
Test 2 Tested with the nose lowered, in more of a real-race situation:
#88-1521lbs of downforce
UPDATE 3: The results from NASCAR's post-race wind-tunnel testing of the top finishers at Atlanta are in, and General Motors' Pontiac and Chevrolet teams - although they ran 1-2 in Sunday's MBNA America 500 - lost to Dodge and Ford in the Lockheed tunnel in Marietta, GA. And that, said GM's Doug Duchardt, means that NASCAR must make some rules changes, possibly for this weekend's race at Darlington. As of late yesterday afternoon NASCAR officials had offered no word on the issue or on any possible rules changes. Ford and Dodge officials had no immediate comment. NASCAR tested Tony Stewart's winning Pontiac, Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s runner-up Chevrolet, Ward Burton's Dodge and Ricky Craven's Ford. Duchardt wouldn't provide exact figures but said "The Pontiac was not as bad as the Chevy, but it wasn't nearly as good as the Ford or the Dodge. The Dodge was the best.(Winston Salem Journal)(3-13-2002)
UPDATE 4: Tommy Baldwin, #22-Ward Burton's crew chief, calls NASCAR's wind-tunnel numbers "bogus," because the test didn't set the cars at race-ride height into the wind. By dropping the nose down to the pavement, as cars actually do during a race with special shocks, the aerodynamics change considerably. And Baldwin said that the numbers so far leaked were for the cars in qualifying trim (Dodge's Bill Elliott won the pole at Atlanta), and he said that in race trim, Stewart's Pontiac had numbers just as good as the Dodge.(Winston Salem Journal)(3-14-2002)
- Wind Tunnel Results and a Dodge spoiler change? The latest wind-tunnel results are in: The unofficial numbers from the wind tunnel showed the #20-Pontiac had a .335 CD (coefficient of drag), the #8-Chevy a .338, the #88-Ford a .341 and the #40-Dodge a .342. The lower the CD, the more efficient the model. NASCAR officials are leaning toward trimming Dodge's rear spoiler.(Winston Salem Journal)(2-13-2002)
- No Rules Changes....yet UPDATE cars to the wind tunnel and Ford gets a 1/4" off spoiler: Jim Hunter, NASCAR vice president of communications, said no rules change will be considered until after Thursday's Twin 125s.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(2-10-2002)
UPDATE: NASCAR announced after the race that it was taking the cars of #20-Tony Stewart, #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr, #40-Sterling Marlin and #88-Dale Jarrett to a wind tunnel. Spokesman Jim Hunter said officials were going to discuss Ford's complaints. Any change wouldn't go into effect until after Monday's final time trials, Hunter said, but they would in place by Thursday's twin 125-mile qualifying races.(Yahoo/AP)
AND NASCAR announced Winston Cup Ford teams would get to reduce their spolier height by another quarter-inch, effective with Tuesday's practice at Daytona. All four manufacturers currently have a 57-inch wide spoiler. Dodges and Pontiacs have a rear spoiler 6.5 inches high. Fords and Chevrolets practiced, qualified and ran Sunday's Budweiser Shootout with 6.25-inch spoilers.(NASCAR.com)(2-10-2002)
UPDATE 2 Chassis Dyno: NASCAR is sending five cars from Sunday's Budweiser Shootout to the wind tunnel to check their aerodynamic performance. The #20-Pontiac of winner Tony Stewart, the #8-Chevrolet of Dale Earnhardt Jr., the #40-Dodge of Sterling Marlin and the #88-Ford of Dale Jarrett were to be tested Monday. All four cars, plus the #24-Chevrolet of Jeff Gordon, was also tested on the chassis dynometer, which measures rear-wheel horsepower.(ThatsRacin.com)(2-11-2002)
- Another Wind Tunnel: A developer has bought 132 acres near the intersection of Laurens Road and Interstate 85 south of Greenville, SC and plans a research park that would include a $40 million wind tunnel that Clemson University would operate and make available to NASCAR race teams, the seller of the land said. For months, local business leaders have been working with Clemson to find a site for the proposed wind tunnel, which they hope is the start of making Greenville the research hub for the Southeast's motorsports and automotive industries.(Greenville News)(1-24-2002)
- PE in the wind: hearing Petty Enterprises [#'s 43,44,45] has a few cars at the N.A.S.A.'s Langley Research Center located in Hampton, VA today testing the a speedway car and a downforce car(1-22-2002)
- No Wind Tunnel: John Darby, Winston Cup Series director, said Wednesday NASCAR officials plan no wind tunnel tests based on speeds recorded here this week in tests or in the final session which begins Monday. "We have no plans to take the cars to the wind tunnel following tests," Darby said. "We haven't inspected the cars, and just walking around, after all the cutting and chopping they're so different now than when they came off the trucks it wouldn't serve any purpose."(Lakeland Ledger)(1-10-2002)
- New Wind Tunnel: Gary Eaker, on November 2, 2001, broke ground on the site for his venture, AeroDyn Wind Tunnel, located in Barley Park, Mooresville, NC. While not everyone has a need for a full-scale wind tunnel test facility, the large number of NASCAR teams located in and around Mooresville, NC certainly do and Mr. Eaker is determined to provide those services in a convenient and cost effective setting. The nearly half acre building which will house the wind tunnel is small by comparison to other, "conventional" wind tunnels. "While the need for a local facitlity has been obvious to any observer of NASCAR activities" says Eaker, "the problem has been in the perception that one has to be on the scale of those currently in use. (Lockheed in Georgia, General Motors in Michigan, and NRC in Ottawa, Canada) Our facility is going to produce similar wind velocity and greater measurability of the type that these racing teams are looking for. The tunnel will incorporate some unique ideas that I have been working on for the past few years that will allow us to offer a more affordable package, making these services available to more of the teams." Mr. Eaker knows his business. Since 1994, he has been the Chief Aerodynamicist for Hendrick Motorsports. Prior to his joining Hendrick Motorsports, Eaker spent nearly 20 years operating the GM Wind Tunnel in Michigan. He even applied his theoretical knowledge to a land speed record run at Bonneville Salt Flats, breaking the existing world record for his class, running at nearly 300 mph in the measured mile. Prestige Building Company of Troutman, NC has been chosen by AeroDyn to construct the building which will house the wind tunnel and architectural duties have been assigned to Wilber Associates of Davidson, NC. Mike Clark, owner of Prestige Building, expressed his excitement in being chosen to contract the construction of such a unique structure. "No one has built a full scale wind tunnel in the past 20 years and a building of such a specialized design has provided some interesting challenges." said Mr.Clark. "It has been enjoyable working with an engineer like Gary, since you know his calculations for some of the more intricate parts of the puzzle have been thoroughly planned and double checked." The NASCAR community is eagerly awaiting the completion of the wind tunnel for more than one reason. AeroDyn has already signed up some of the top Winston Cup teams for more than 1,000 test hours. Foremost in the minds of the teams is the location. AeroDyn Wind Tunnel expects to open for testing in September 2002(AeroDyn PR)(11-3-2001)