Honda opens $124M wind tunnel facility in Ohio

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According to a press release issued on Monday, Honda has completed the construction of a state-of-the-art wind tunnel facility at the independent Transportation Research Center in East Liberty, Ohio.

Because it has been developed to evaluate not just aerodynamics but also aeroacoustics, the location, known as the Honda Automotive Laboratories of Ohio (or HALO for short), is among the most sophisticated of its type in the world. It has also been developed to be used for testing both road and racing vehicles.

Since the introduction of quiet-running electric motors, aeroacoustics has been increasingly significant in vehicle design, since the issue of wind noise, which was previously drowned out by an internal-combustion engine and its exhaust system, has been brought to light. According to Honda, an array of microphones and cameras on the HALO allows engineers to locate specific regions of the car that are producing wind noise difficulties.

Honda wind tunnel facility in East Liberty, Ohio

Honda wind tunnel facility in East Liberty, Ohio

One 26-foot fan with 12 carbon-fiber blades powers the HALO, which creates wind in a circular pattern. The fan is driven by a 6,700-horsepower electric motor that can spin at speeds of up to 250 rpm. When the engine is running at its highest rpm, the wind speed may reach more than 190 mph.

The location, which needed a $124 million investment, is a strong indication of Honda’s growing commitment to car development in the United States. The carmaker has been investing in vehicle research and manufacturing in Ohio for more than 40 years, with a total of $14 billion in cumulative investments in the state.

As Honda Development & Manufacturing of America executive vice president Jim Keller stated in a release, “With this new facility, Honda is not only investing in an advanced technological facility, but also in the future of the Honda engineers and other researchers who will work here.”

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