Jun 20, 2012, 7:02 AM
Post #1 of 11
Low Tech Horizontal Wind Tunnel
I spent quite a few hours standing up with my torso out the top of my friend's VW squareback sun roof in a big arch on the frequent trips between Houston and Valley Mills in '71 and '72. I give this low speed (65 mph top end in the VW) wind tunnel training partial credit for advancing my RW skills. I'm sure it was hard on the gas mileage but at 30 cents a gallon it wasn't that big a deal. Did anybody else use this technique before the vertical wind tunnel came along? Thank goodness it was pre cell phone days so we didn't get reported as crazies by the other motorists.
A similar technique can be done while sitting by an open aircraft door while the plane climbs to altitude. You can stick your hand out the door into the wind blast, and by changing the shape of your palm and fingers you can feel which shape creates the most drag. And that's the most effective hand position to maximize the leverage you need from the wind on your hands to make yourself turn quicker. It's important info for old-fashioned style. It's interesting that you get more drag from spreading your fingers slightly apart, then by cupping them together.
Yeah, you can do the same experiment out of a car window, but the speeds are slower.
(This post was edited by JohnRich on Jun 20, 2012, 9:35 AM)
John--car speeds depend upon which freeway you are driving on! LOL
Yes, but if you're doing 100 mph on the freeway you risk a hefty traffic ticket. Whereas sticking your hand out the window is free. That new 85-mph speed limit freeway by San Antonio has some possibilities!
(This post was edited by JohnRich on Jun 22, 2012, 11:45 AM)
I was only out from the hips up. You know a skydiver would never do anything as dangerous as that guy is doing.
You don't think anything is dangerous until some thing happens.
I got out of the sun roof of a Square Back so that my heels were inside under the back of the "hole" and my knees were on the front of the "hole". I was sort of "cantilevered" out over the hood in a tracking postions. Not much angle of attack so not much lift. Until I flexed my knees to lift my angle. I did this at the same time that we were going over an over-pass. That slight arc was just enough pass some critical something and I felt my knees leave the roof. I flared (flailed, actually) and wound up standing in the sun roof. I did NOT hand my beer to some one and say, "Watch this." We were ort of beer and that's where we were going.