Not everyone who could benefit from using a wind tunnel can afford one. Automakers, racing teams and aerospace companies with enormous R&D budgets tend to have them in-house, or else rent time from those who do. But sometimes athletes could stand to benefit from using them as well, and Audi is only too happy to oblige.
The German automaker has made its wind tunnel available to surfers and ski jumpers in the past, and recently welcomed German Olympic sailor Philipp Buhl into its aerodynamics testing facility as well.
The athlete from Kiel – a German city on the other end of the country from Ingolstadt – took to the wind tunnel in his Laser sailboat, accompanied by coach Thomas Piesker, in order to practice his moves in a controlled environment with no water, waves or traffic… just the wind in his sail.
Having won a bronze medal in the 2013 world championships and a silver last year, Buhl and the Audi Sailing Team Germany of which he is part are preparing to compete in the Summer Olympic games this year in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It will be interesting to see how he fares in the competition with the benefit of the carmaker’s expertise and the use of its engineering facilities, and we wish him the best of luck in the upcoming games.