Honda’s First Full-Scale U.S. Wind Tunnel Opens in Ohio

  • Honda’s first full-size wind tunnel within the U.S. has a 26-foot fan that allows aerodynamic work at as much as 193 miles per hour on street and race automobiles, whereas an array of 556 microphones permits aeroacoustic work.
  • It is referred to as HALO (Honda Superior Laboratories of Ohio) and it is set among the many automaker’s present R&D services and manufacturing crops in East Liberty, Ohio.

  • The five-year, $124 million undertaking will drastically enhance car improvement effectivity, Honda says. Will probably be totally operational later this summer time and out there for third events to lease towards the tip of 2023.

    Excessive Altitude Low Opening and Serving to Animals Dwell On have a brand new contender among the many acronyms for HALO. We simply visited Honda’s just-completed $124 million wind tunnel dubbed Honda Superior Laboratories of Ohio, in East Liberty, Ohio. Set amongst Honda’s car improvement services and manufacturing crops, it is an funding the automaker expects to maintain on giving to the good thing about its clients, engineers, and race groups.

    Automobile and Driver

    The automaker has three full-scale wind tunnels in Japan, however the U.S. operations have been restricted to a smaller tunnel that maxes out at 40 p.c scale. Mike Unger, the HALO facility lead engineer with 29 years at Honda, stated the smaller tunnel is “primarily about solidifying styling and the size.” However there are limitations at 40 p.c scale, “particularly underneath physique bits,” Unger stated, “as a result of we won’t scale the air. To get that final little bit, you have to have full-scale.”

    honda crv hybrid in wind tunnel


    Ever stricter fuel-economy rules demand that final little bit, so Honda has despatched costly prototypes and engineers all around the world to full-scale tunnels. Having a dear prototype sitting on a ship for weeks or months wasn’t the very best use of assets, and the pressure on engineers was untenable. “We had lots of people touring all around the world,” Unger stated. “Lots of resort rooms.”

    HALO provides the home groups the flexibility to do extra work extra effectively and discover extra alternatives for collaboration.

    honda wind tunnel

    Wind tunnel’s fundamental fan, with particular person to indicate scale.


    Honda says HALO’s vary of functionality is unmatched. The 26.2-foot fan can ship gusts across the 1/8-mile wind tunnel circuit at as much as 192.6 miles per hour. A modular rolling street system suits both a five-belt street for higher physique aerodynamic work, or a single, wide-belt rolling street greatest for downforce work on high-performance and race automobiles. The turntable holding the street can flip via 180 levels. The operator’s station can collect 127 aerodynamic and aeroacoustic knowledge channels. An array of 502 exterior microphones and 54 in-car microphones measure the place wind noise is created and perceived inside and outside the car.

    acura tlx type s in wind tunnel

    Acura TLX Sort S in wind tunnel.


    A warmth exchanger stuffed with 16,000 gallons of glycol and water can fluctuate wind temperature from 50 levels to 122 levels Fahrenheit. An 80-ton overhead arm can maintain a probe to inside a millimeter of its desired placement on the prime shear velocity of 193 mph.

    And it is so quiet contained in the take a look at heart that at a wind velocity of 87 miles per hour, the noise degree exterior the airflow measures 56.5 dBA—which is much less noisy than regular dialog. And that is merely the start of the characteristic set.

    By serving the varied wants of engineers at Honda, Acura, and the Honda Efficiency Growth racing division, HALO places a large breadth of data in a single place. Moreover, as soon as HALO has finalized its course of and is working easily, Honda will make the ability out there to lease to any third social gathering; HALO was constructed with company selection and company secrecy in thoughts, and a third-party contractor will run the tunnel for any renter that does not need Honda concerned.

    honda indycar testing in wind tunnel


    There could possibly be a Civic, an MDX, an IndyCar racer, a drone, and an architectural mannequin bolted to the take a look at mattress in a single week. This makes HALO a residing library of engineering, providing a possible change of knowledge by no means out there to the U.S. operations earlier than. On prime of enhancing improvement effectivity and car testers to spend extra time at residence, that is the place Unger actually sees dividends, particularly because the automaker dives into electrical autos.

    “What we’ll do sooner or later, with folks and processes, that is going to be the magic.”

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    Patrick Moore

    Patrick is our chief editor and he's very passionate about cars. He has a bachelor's degree in marketing and he studies journalism. His favorite brand is BMW and he drives an X5 series. When he's not writing for, he enjoys spending time with his family and 9 years old son.

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