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AP® Computer Science Principles

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Aerodynamics Without Wind Tunnels

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In the past, automotive and aeronautical engineers built physical models of automobiles, aircraft, and spacecraft and tested them in wind tunnels. Today, computer models have largely replaced wind tunnels in testing aerodynamics.

This has allowed rapid testing of many variations in design without having to build physical scale models of every possible design configuration. Some of the benefits of wind tunnel simulations include:

Select TWO answers.

A

Allowing automotive engineers to test a variety of engine types, including hybrid and electric, to see which are likely to perform better over the life of a vehicle.

B

Allowing Boeing to test a variety of engine and wing configurations to optimize fuel performance in their next generation of jetliners.

C

Allowing NASA scientists to experiment with different configurations for the modules and solar arrays on the international space station to see which are likely to provide optimal energy usage over the life of the station.

D

Allowing automotive engineers to test design variations such as ground clearance, mirror placement, and the shape of the front and tail of the car, to see which are likely to provide for better fuel economy.