Wednesday, September 17, 2008

WIRED goes inside GM's wind tunnel


Inside GM's Massive Wind Tunnel

The heart of the beast is a 4,500-horsepower, variable-speed, DC electric motor that turns a six-blade fan at up to 270 rpm.

The fan has six blades, each weighing one ton. They're 12 feet tall and made of laminated Sitka spruce, which was selected for its high strength-to-weight ratio. With the motor spinning at maximum velocity, the tip speed of the blades is 415 mph.


I actually had the opportunity to wander through this tunnel during an open houes at the Eero Saarinen designed General Motors Technical Center when I was ten years old or so. It seems just as impressive now as it did then.

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