A day in the wind tunnel

In July 2011, MCG spent a long day in the General Motors wind tunnel in Warren, Michigan. Unfortunately, the planned story never came together, but we did get some pretty pictures.

 

The C6 Corvette used in the testing is the work of Steven Fereday and his crew at Late Model Racecraft in Houston, Texas. A session at the GM Aerodynamics Laboratory (the tunnel’s formal name) was arranged to optimize the car for its intended mission, standing-mile events such as the Texas Mile.

The full-scale tunnel at GM’s Warren Technical Center is powered by a 4500hp DC motor turning a fan 43 feet in diameter. This setup can push air through the 18 by 34 by 71 ft. test section at 138 mph. In other words, it’s a fairly awesome piece of test gear. In operation since 1980, the facility is typically booked 24 hours a day, Monday through Friday.

MCG was present, cameras and notebooks in hand, for the entire session, planning to do an in-depth technical feature for Hot Rod. That story was eventually shelved.  However, the photos are just too pretty (and fascinating, MCG hopes) to go to waste, so here are a few. For now, MCG will forego the long-winded technical explications and let the images speak for themselves.

MCG sincerely thanks Tom Froling of the GM Aerodynamics Laboratory and Dr. Jamie Meyer of GM Performance Parts for the great opportunity. Please stroll through the slideshow below.

 

General Motors Aerodynamic Laboratory control room
Smoke wand over the car's longitudinal CL
Parachute fairing rigged up with tape and foam board
Smoke wand over nose with wheel cover
C6 Corvette standing mile racer
Smoke wand under the nose, grille blocked off
smoke wand over left door mirror
smoke wand over hood
seams and front openings taped up

General Motors Aerodynamic Laboratory control room

Smoke wand over the car's longitudinal CL

Parachute fairing rigged up with tape and foam board

Smoke wand over nose with wheel cover

C6 Corvette standing mile racer

Smoke wand under the nose, grille blocked off

smoke wand over left door mirror

smoke wand over hood

seams and front openings taped up