College - Author 1

College of Engineering

Department - Author 1

Aerospace Engineering Department

Degree Name - Author 1

BS in Aerospace Engineering



Primary Advisor

Jin Tso, College of Engineering, Aerospace Engineering Department


The purpose of the report is to investigate the ability of the Fluent 6.3 k-ε Realizable turbulence model with standard wall functions to model the flow around the front wing of Cal Poly’s 2008 Formula SAE car. The three primary areas of interest are ground effects, the wing wheel interaction, and the wing tip vortices. Fluent was successful at modeling the increase suction from the ground effects, and the upwash due to the wing tip vortices. The results also displayed how the high pressure region in front of the tire propagates forward and interacts with the pressure distribution around the wing. However, Fluent did not predict any separation on the wing in front of the tire, which should be present due to the high pressure region. An experimental wing with pressure taps to record the CP distributions around the wing was created and mounted to the car for a track test to validate the computational results. The test has been saved for future work due to mechanical issues with the engine, preventing the Formula SAE team from running the car. The manufacturing process for the wing is also documented, because the Formula SAE team has never made a test wing with pressure ports before. Additionally instead of using traditional foam molds, plaster molds were created for the lay-up in an effort to reduce lead time. The plaster molds took more time to prepare than the foam ones. However time could be saved, because the aerodynamics sub team didn’t have to wait for the CNC router and a technician to cut the mold. The quality and surface finish of the final part was acceptable for a race wing.