2016 Volume 2 Pages 16-00505
A novel experiment was conducted to investigate the aerodynamic forces acting on a train traveling through a tornado, in which we developed a moving model rig with a tornado simulator. The flow field generated by the tornado simulator was validated by comparison with those of real tornadoes and the Rankine vortex model. Using this setup, we measured unsteady surface pressures on a model train as it passed through the vortex center. The side force, lift force, and yawing moment were estimated from the pressure data. The results were as follows: 1) the side force acting on the train changed its direction from negative to positive while passing through the tornado-like swirling flow; 2) the lift force increased as the train approached the flow and became maximum around the vortex center; 3) the yawing moment first decreased slightly and then reached its maximum around the vortex center. Asymmetric wave forms of the forces and moment at the center of the tornado simulator suggested that the train itself may have affected the vortex structure of the flow.