Lola’s 50%-scale moving ground plane wind tunnel is renowned in the industry for delivering results with outstanding correlation to on-track aerodynamic performance. Wind speeds of up to 65m/sec (145mph) are generated by the tunnel’s unique Lola-developed composite fan blades. Automated model controls allow a wide range of pitch, roll, and yaw attitudes to be evaluated. Clients also benefit from a fully secure control room with complete model making facilities.
The test section accommodates 50% models for maximum accuracy. A combination of flow conditioning screens and high contraction ratio provides turbulence control second to none for a wind tunnel of this size and type, yielding superior quality, accuracy, and repeatability of results.
The high top wind speed yields test results with excellent correlation to full-size performance. Heat generated by the main fan is dissipated through a large heat exchanger positioned in the air stream and a 520kW chiller unit, preventing temperature build-up and ‘hot spots’.
A six-component overhead balance is at the heart of the wind tunnel’s data gathering system. It facilitates precise measurement of lift, drag, and lateral forces, along with their associated moments of yaw, roll, and pitch. The balance is mounted on an independent piled foundation to eliminate the influence of external vibrations. Accuracy is maintained by a self-correcting calibration system.
Control of the model’s attitude is adjustable during runs including yaw and roll plus front wheel steering up to ±10°. A unique feature of the system is the ability to change the wheelbase and track from the control room, increasing the flexibility and productivity of testing.
The entire rolling road section can be yawed with, or separately from, the model to simulate the aerodynamic effects of slip angles and crosswinds. This data is especially useful for vehicles with less do wind force and/or more frontal area, such as touring cars.
Lola proprietary software, with data handling configured for easy and rapid interfacing with customers’ own data reporting and analysis software controls the wind tunnel. Multiple backup systems ensure continuity of operation and availability of results.
Maximum model scale (for open wheel)
Maximum model elevation
Maximum wind speed
Maximum road speed
Average wind temperature
Wind temperature stability (nominally)
Rolling road temperature (nominally)
Test section configuration – 2.70 metres wide x 2.47 metres high
Diffuser configuration – 7:1 contraction ratio
Fan configuration Lola-designed and built 5-blade carbon composite unit
Main fan drive motor – 650kW (872hp)
Overhead balance 6-component unit with accuracy >0.04% of range
Model attitude control – Pitch, heave, roll, yaw, wheel steering
Rolling road area – 2.0 metres wide x 4.0 metres long
Rolling road motor – 200 kW (268hp)
Rolling road yaw angle – ±10º
Rolling road sensors – 4 pressure and 4 temperature