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Board # 67 : Tunnel Hull Design Project: Engaging Entry-Level Students in Vehicle Design with a Wing-in-Ground Effect Vessel Design Project

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Engineering Technology Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

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Paper Authors


Eric Leonhardt Western Washington University

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I work with students to develop lightweight, high performance vehicles that often utilize hybrid or electric drivetrains. The vehicles often feature advances in materials--such as the carbon fiber honeycomb that we developed for impact attenuation--or advances in fuels. We built a pilot scale, biomethane or renewable natural gas facility at a dairy to power a local bus operator and our hybrid vehicles. I have used wing-in-ground effect design projects to engage students in concepts of lift, drag, and how vehicle design parameters affect vehicle performance.

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An entry-level vehicle design course, VHCL 260 Vehicle Systems I uses a tunnel-hull design project to introduce students to forces and moments on vehicles and how they affect vehicle design. A tunnel-hull boat is a high-speed marine vessel that utilizes wing-in-ground effect to support a portion of a vehicle’s weight. The tunnel-hull design project introduces students to aerodynamic and hydrodynamic lift and drag. Students alter vehicle-design parameters such as chord length, tunnel span, tunnel-hull beam, and deadrise angles, and perform calculations for lift, drag, and moments on their conceptual models, in order to build scale physical models of their craft. This project, proposed as an alternative to traditional, entry-level engineering projects, seeks to engage students in a design project early in their academic program. It was used in an introductory course as part of an overhaul of the vehicle-design curriculum at Western Washington University. This paper outlines methods for replicating this project in other courses.

Leonhardt, E. (2017, June), Board # 67 : Tunnel Hull Design Project: Engaging Entry-Level Students in Vehicle Design with a Wing-in-Ground Effect Vessel Design Project Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--27903

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