Total Airflow Management simulation by Honda R&D Americas, Inc., illustrated here during the development of the all-new 2017 Acura NSX, is integral to aerodynamic and aeroacoustic analysis. Photo: Honda North America.
Honda Building Advanced Wind Tunnel Facility In Ohio
Expect Honda’s future vehicles to be more fuel efficient and fun to drive – that’s the directive behind their latest $124 million investment for a multifunctional aeroacoustic wind tunnel. Groundbreaking is set for this summer at the world renowned Transportation Research Center (TRC), in East Liberty, Ohio.
“This new facility will further enhance our ability to efficiently create products of the highest quality for our customers,” said Frank Paluch, President of Honda R&D Americas, Inc.
A five-belt rolling road system for production vehicle development will compliment a second, single/wide belt system for testing high-performance and purpose-built race cars. The acoustics are a strategic system of microphones and cameras, set up to measure and identify potential noise issues on both the exterior and interior of a vehicle during development.
Wind speeds of nearly 200 mph can be created in the tunnel.
“It will be integral to our aerodynamic and aeroacoustic R&D activity, which spans from advanced research and computer simulation, through scale-model and full vehicle development, to production vehicle performance assurance,” Paluch said.
Honda’s relationship with Ohio began in 1979 in Marysville with motorcycle production. Subsequently, Honda became the first Japanese automaker to establish automobile production in the United States at its nearby Marysville Auto Plant. An engine plant in Anna, Ohio and a second plant in East Liberty soon followed. A third facility, the Performance Manufacturing Center (Marysville) started the exclusive global production of the 2017 Acura NSX last year. Near the Ohio plants is Honda R&D Americas, the automaker’s largest R&D operating base outside Japan.
Since 1982, Honda has manufactured over 17 million automobiles in Ohio. Today, they operate 13 entities in the state.
Honda purchased TRC from the State of Ohio in January 1988. Specializing in research and vehicle testing, TRC sits on 4,500 acres about 40 miles outside Columbus, Ohio. TRC can and does operate around the clock, conducting brake, crash, durability, fuel economy, emissions, handling, and performance testing for multiple customers. Honda’s new aeroacoustic wind tunnel is expected to enhance TRC’s capability.
“This innovative and industry leading asset provides us with another distinct reason for our customers to take advantage of the world-class testing facilities we have in Ohio at TRC,” said Mark-Tami Hotta, President and CEO, TRC.
Paluch underscored Honda’s continued growth in Ohio.
“All of this is being done right here in the U.S.,” he said.
Carl Anthony is Managing Editor of Automoblog and resides in Detroit, Michigan.