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Wind & Hurricane Impact Research Laboratory(WHIRL)

Wind Effects On Emergency Vehicles


This research defined the wind speed limits and conditions beyond which fire and rescue vehicles should not be operated during a hurricane. For that purpose, reduced scale models of a typical fire truck, ambulance, and sports utility vehicle (SUV) were tested in a wind tunnel. For the fire truck the wind tunnel tests were compared with full-scale measurements on a real truck and to computer simulations using the Fluent software. The researcher compared the results of the different tests: experimental, field, and numerical. The resulting wind pressure distributions on the vehicles were used to obtain drag, lift, and side forces, in addition to overturning, yawing, and pitching moments. Based on the results of the tests and the analyses, safe wind speeds were defined for the operation of these fire and rescue vehicles.


2002-2003 Wind Effects on Emergency Vehicles. Sponsored by the Florida Department of Community Affairs with funding from FEMA


A numerical study of flow around fire and rescue vehicles, by Vidya Deshpande

A study of wind effects on emergency and rescue vehicles, by Morgan Plamondon 



2004 Pinelli, J.-P., Subramanian, C., Plamondon, M.,“Wind effects on emergency vehicles,” Journal. of Wind Engineering & Industrial Aerodynamics, Vol 92/7-8 pp 663-685.

Conference Proceedings

2003 Pinelli, J-P., Subramanian, C., and Chakravarthi, V., “Study of Wind Effects on Fire and Rescue Vehicles,” Proceedings, 11th International Conference in Wind Engineering, Lubbock, Texas, June 2003.

Final Report

The report consists of a main body and several appendices. They are all pdf files. You need Acrobat Reader to open the files, which you can download for free from the web.

Open the main file "WindEffects..." and click on the Bookmarks tab on the top left corner of the screen. From there you can navigate through the Table of Contents and the different Appendices.

Wind Effects on Emergency Vehicles Report