Attempting to Break the Land Speed Record with the Help of CFD

CEI, Pointwise and North American Eagle (NAE) will present a free joint webinar on the application of computational fluid dynamic (CFD) techniques toward breaking the land speed record on Wednesday, November 7th at 11:00 a.m. CST. The webinar will be hosted by Chris Sideroff from Pointwise, Darren Grove from NAE, and Kevin Colburn from CEI.

Metacomp CFD++ solution of the North American Eagle @ 700 MPH with design cycle 1 fairings. Composite image showing unstructured viscous mesh generated with Pointwise, overlaid by stream-wise velocity on ground & symmetry planes, vehicle surfaces colored by pressure and near surface streamlines using EnSight post-processing software.

Aerodynamics Engineer Darren Grove will show us how use of Pointwise for pre-processing, CFD++ from Metacomp Technologies for flow solutions, and EnSight from CEI for post-processing NAE improved the drag and stability characteristics of the NAE vehicle. Within the context of the overall goal of achieving 800 mph, this webinar will discuss how Mr. Grove used Pointwise and EnSight to help design aft suspension fairings to reduce overall drag on the NAE car while maintaining stability and control.

Techniques presented will include:

• Generating fast, repeatable, complex, viscous, unstructured meshes with T-Rex
• Employing CFD as a cost-effective tool to help an all-volunteer team attempt the world land speed record
• Challenges of designing a stable, low drag wheel system for a supersonic ground vehicle
• Efficiently extracting drag and stability information from a large number of calculations using EnSight

To register for the webinar, please visit

Chris Sideroff, Ph.D. – Technical Sales Engineer
Chris Sideroff joined Pointwise in September 2007 after working as a petroleum engineer for the NATCO Group, a CAD engineer for ARV Development, and a computer technician for Harddata Ltd. Dr. Sideroff earned both a B.S. and M.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of Alberta in 2000 and 2003. He earned a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Syracuse University in 2009.

Kevin Colburn, – Sales Manager, CEI
Kevin Colburn joined CEI in March 2007 after working for 14 years in automotive, combustion and aerospace fields as a CFD engineer. Kevin’s background is as a CFD user utilizing a wide variety of tools and techniques in the utilization of CFD within real world design cycles. Kevin had 7 years experience using EnSight as a user before joining CEI. Kevin received his B.S. from Rensselaer Polytechnic University in 1995.

Darren V. Grove , Aerodynamic Consultant, North American Eagle
Darren Grove holds a B.S. in aerospace engineering from the University of Maryland, and an M.S. in aeronautical engineering from the Naval Post Graduate School, Monterey CA. Specializing in CFD and design, with a strong background in wind tunnel and flight testing, and IT support, he is experienced in subsonic, transonic, and supersonic aerodynamics. Darren has over 18 years experience in CFD technologies and has worked on programs like the F/A-18E/F and Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) for the Naval Air Systems Command, and the Boeing 787, 777, 737MAX, and Open Fan Rotor programs. Currently Darren works within the Product Development group at Boeing Commercial Airplanes, analyzing performance on the next generation of aircrafts.

Computational Engineering International (CEI), Inc. develops and sells EnSight, the premier CFD post-processing and visualization software. EnSight can handle data from all the major CFD solvers including ANSYS FLUENT, STAR-CCM+, ANSYS CFX and OpenFOAM, as well as many neutral formats, such as CGNS, PLOT3D, and more.  EnSight offers extensive flow feature extraction capabilities and excellent support for transient and large models.  CEI offers a free version of EnSight, cleverly named EnSight Free, so that CFD engineers can adopt it at their own pace. And with free 3D viewers EnLiten and Reveal, users of EnSight can communicate and share CFD results with colleagues, managers, and customers easily and effectively. EnSight is a trademark of CEI, Inc.

Pointwise, Inc. is solving the top problem facing engineering analysts today — mesh generation for computational fluid dynamics (CFD). The company’s Pointwise software generates structured, unstructured, and hybrid meshes; interfaces with CFD solvers, such as ANSYS FLUENT, STAR-CCM+, ANSYS CFX and OpenFOAM, as well as many neutral formats, such as CGNS; runs on Windows (Intel and AMD), Linux (Intel and AMD), and Mac, and has scripting languages that can automate CFD meshing. Large manufacturing firms and research organizations worldwide rely on Pointwise as their complete CFD preprocessing solution. More information about Pointwise is available at

Pointwise is a registered trademark and Pointwise Glyph and T-Rex are trademarks of Pointwise, Inc. All other trademarks are property of their respective owner.

The purpose of the North American Eagle™ Land Speed Program is to test the capability of a land based vehicle to safely transition through supersonic speed. The by-products of this challenge have the potential to impact high-speed rail, ground effects of high-speed aircraft in the landing configuration as well as deceleration methods utilized by high-speed vehicles. The fuels and lubricants utilized during the project are also significant. Materials used for the construction of the vehicle, and most importantly, the wheels, are critical to the project’s success. All phases of this project are continually measured against a risk factor. Above all, breaking a land speed record must not result in unacceptable risk to the driver, crew or spectators. The primary objective of the project is to break the current land-speed record of 763mph, currently held by the British, with the goal to get to 800mph.

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