McLaren set to move into new windtunnel

THE new McLaren windtunnel at the Paragon technology center in Woking has been undergoing commissioning work for the last nine months and is now almost ready for the team to use. At the moment McLaren is still doing all its windtunnel work at the National Physical Laboratory windtunnel in Teddington, Middlesex, where the facility is in use by McLaren aerodynamicists around 15 hours a day.

The new Paragon tunnel has been designed to be the most advanced such facility in the world with all the latest tweaks of modern aerodynamics, including laser measuring and adjustable air flow. This is achieved by what are nicknamed "wobbly walls" which can be altered to create different airflow effects within the same tunnel.

McLaren hopes that the new tunnel will give it an extra advantage over the opposition and the team is believed to be increasing its aerodynamic team so that it can run twin development programs in the Teddington and Paragon tunnels. The team has had dual development programs in the past, using the British Aerospace windtunnel at BAe's Military Aircraft Division at Warton in Lancashire, where the team conducted a very successful series of tests on front wing aerodynamics some years ago. The Warton tunnel has since been sold and transported to Lola in Huntingdon and is now being used by Toyota Motorsport as part of its F1 development program.

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