Japan’s First Moving Belt Equipped Automotive Wind Tunnel Delivered

Sep. 02, 2008

Japan’s First Moving Belt Equipped Automotive Wind Tunnel Delivered


Tokyo, September 2, 2008 — Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. announced today that it has delivered Japan’s first automotive wind tunnel equipped with a moving belt system to Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd.

The wind tunnel employs a moving belt that is situated underneath a test vehicle. The belt moves at the same speed as the wind during wind tunnel tests in order to accurately simulate actual operating conditions.

The moving belt system consists of five belts including one beneath the vehicle body and four for the wheels. The four moving wheel belts support the vehicle’s wheel load and drive the wheels in order to simulate airflow in the wheel area. These four moving wheel belts are incorporated into a six-component balance*1 which is used to measure aerodynamic loads on the test vehicle.

The 65-meter long, 40-meter wide wind tunnel is a horizontal, closed circuit continuous flow system. Fitted with a 3/4 semi-open test section*2 with a 5.1 m x 3 m jet nozzle, the wind tunnel can generate wind speeds of up to 180 km/h. It uses both outside air and cooling coils installed in the tunnel circuit to prevent an increase in the airflow temperature, which could result in errors while testing aerodynamic performance.

*1. Equipment for measuring six components of aerodynamic load, i.e., three forces (lift, drag and side-force) and three moments (roll, pitch, yaw).
*2. A test section without a ceiling or side walls.