Today the four young gunz of the Team (Tyler Nella, Louis-Pierre Helie, Kelby Halbert, and I) had the opportunity to use the GM Aerodynamics Laboratory (Wind Tunnel) in Warren, MI to test different tuck positions and speed suits. The folks at GM have been kind enough to let various members of the team use the tunnel for the past 9 years! Huge thanks to GM for the opportunity and very neat experience.
We each had the chance to have 7 or 8 ‘runs’ in the tunnel. The first run was the position test, where we held 4 different tuck positions for a little over 30 seconds each, with the drag, wind speed and down force projected onto the floor in front of us. It’s wild to see how much things can change with very little movement. And as most of us had thought, our natural tuck position was not the fastest or most aerodynamic, but it is the most practical. Louis shocked us all when he was at his most aerodynamic in the “Hans Olsson” tuck. Pictures of that later!
The rest of the runs were done staying as still as possible to test the difference in suits, and undergarments. I have to say it’s kinda freaky at first being completely alone in a huge tunnel with wind pounding you at 110km/h. Also, 110km/h feels way faster in a tunnel than I ever remember feeling on snow at even faster speeds. I guess feeling the wind is pretty far from my mind when I’m actually skiing and have so many other things to think about!
Overall it was a pretty cool experience and I’m glad I had the chance to go. Also glad that the Large suits are feeling a little too snug and I’ll be using XL this year. Gym time is paying off!
More photos are up in a gallery here.
The gigantic fan! Made of wood which I found surprising. Hasn’t been changed since it was built in the 70s.
Young Gunz. To put the fan size in perspective, Kelby is 6’8.
The ‘Hans Olsson’ tuck, on one of 8 computer screens capturing video and data. Apparently a pretty fast way to tuck, but more than a little sketchy!
Getting ready for the photo op. I don’t have boots on because Nella didn’t bring any (don’t ask) and he was first up for an actual ‘run’.
I love the look of the new speed suits!
Practicing my bullie.
These guys pick up on everything. Such as the difference in how the air comes off the back of my rounded helmet, vs Louis’ pointed one. The rounded one being more aerodynamic and causing less drag off the back.