Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Inflatable streamlining for trucks

  (+8, -1)
(+8, -1)
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Big trucks are square, boxy shapes as this gives the best visibility and agility for the truck driver when driving in city streets and when reversing, etc. However, on the motorway, you don't need this maneuverability and this is when the truck suffers for its boxy shape by having really poor aerodynamics. To solve this, fit big inflatable streamlining balloons front and rear (and possibly on the sides and top too)so that the truck is, when these are inflated, roughly the shape of a whale.
hippo, Sep 07 2009

something like this maybe... Inflatable_20Vehicle_20Tail
even comes equipped with "whale" link [FlyingToaster, Sep 07 2009]


       Reducing lethality is good, but this may not do much for aerodynamics. Aerodynamics/fluid flow is a very complicated subject indeed... it kind of IS rocket science. Engineers who do this stuff for a living often can't predict wind tunnel results ahead of time due to the incredible number of variables involved.   

       FYI, the Cd of planes usually only covers the wings (i.e. not the fuselage, tail, gear, etc.) and thus is not comparable to Cd for cars and trucks.
anamba, Sep 08 2009

       Yay, gonflable.
skinflaps, Sep 08 2009

       Front end inflatables would have a problem at highway speeds. Back end on the other hand would be pulled into shape by the airstream.
FlyingToaster, Sep 08 2009

       At least for the tail end, this is an old idea. I first saw an inflatable 'tail' for trucks in a science magazine in the mid '90s (IIRC). Sorry, couldn't find a worthy link (but a couple of 'free patents online' versions showed up).
neutrinos_shadow, Sep 09 2009


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