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RE: Car Aerodynamics
On Thu, 8 Aug 1996, Roland Broberg wrote:
> I think there is a misunderstanding here if I remember way back to my dynamics
> courses. The Cd is measured in force/area. It is not the drag, but the drag
> coefficient. To do a true comparison between vehicles you'd have to multiply
> the Cd x the frontal area which is where the Q is lower since it has a smaller
> frontal area than the 5K.
> 5KTQ former
I really don't think you remember your dynamic courses very well.
A simple test - compare the physical units:
First of all, lets us consider the units of coefficient of drag: NO units
here! (it's a ratio-> a coefficient)
Then let's consider what you're saying -> force/area
force is (mass * length)/(time^2).
area is (length^2).
devide one by the other, you get: (mass)/(time^2 * length).
Somehow units of Cd and untis in you definition do not help!
The drag coefficient is the ration between two forces.
Now another thing:
Cd is dependent on speed once above about 30 MPH. Cars are optimised for
different speeds. Normally the drag coefficient shoots up for any car
after above 70 MPH... call non-linear turbulance. How fast it shoots up
depends on the aerodynamics of the car. However when talking about the
frontal area -> sure at pays a role, but I would be careful how I include
it in there. Remember, frontal area is a vector in these calculations, it
is not a scalar.
I kind of busy right now, but if you're interested I'll tell you more.
Anyway, Dick Feynman is hell of a lot better at this than I'm, that is
why they gave him the Nobel Prize. Dig up his Freshman Lectures in
Physics, I think you'll like it.