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Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Nazita Saye

Nazita Saye

Posted Oct 12, 2010

I’m off to the States in a couple of days and in the 20 or so odd hours that will take me to get to my final destination (door to door), I will use all of the popular modes of transportation known in the 21st century. I will take a train to the airport, where we board a plane and upon arriving in the States we rent a car to drive 58 miles to the hotel.
During this period I will be sitting in lots of enclosed spaces with lots of other souls.  So I need to plan my travel wardrobe carefully.

It’s the time of the season when heaters get turned on rather indiscriminately — October is not the coldest month but the heat gets turned on with gusto anyway. I’m pretty sure on my travel day I will be met with this scenario:  I will stand at the train platform at 6 AM all bundled up. I will get on a train with the heat turned all the way up and will continue to enjoy the tropical atmosphere at the airport too. By the time I get to the plane, I will have stripped down to shorts, t-shirts and sandals. All will be well until the plane takes off and then my lips turn blue from the cold.
Ok, I’m exaggerating a bit but it’s not easy keeping comfortable outside your own home. My idea of comfortable is not the same as others – some prefer cooler rooms and some complain of frost-bite unless they are in a sauna. To further complicate matters, since smoking has been banned on planes, some airlines have reduced the frequency with which they change the air inside cabins (something about it being expensive to warm up the air) so you end up with all sorts of nasty bugs flying around you. Since flu season is upon us chances are the guy sitting next to you on the plane will sneeze/cough on you all the way during the journey. Low and behold you get to your destination with a nice head cold. Now multiply this by the number of people on a plane and you’ve got the makings for a mutiny.

Understanding passenger comfort with CFD. Images courtesy of Mentor Graphics.

Understanding passenger comfort with CFD. Images courtesy of Mentor Graphics.

Thermal comfort is not an easy challenge to overcome. There are so many factors to consider … the outside temperature, occupancy levels and even green/environmental regulations. If you routinely deal with issues relating to passenger comfort, then I’d like to recommend an upcoming web presentation called Planes, Trains and Automobiles: Cabin Comfort using CFD to you. The presentation is made by two industry experts, Dr. Andy Manning and Alex Francois-Saint-Cyr. They have both dealt with countless passenger comfort as well as contamination control issues over the years and are excellent speakers. I’m sure you’ll find the session very helpful. The presentation will be held on November 30 at 2 PM UK time.  Hopefully you’ll get a chance to join us and pick up a few new tips.

Now… if I could only figure out where to pick up a few handwarmers in preparation for the flight, we’d be golden.
Until next time,

Design Engineer, Passenger Comfort, CFD

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About Nazita Saye

Nazita SayeI have been involved with the CFD user community in one shape or another since 1999 -- when the NIKA team first introduced FloWorks to the engineering community. Over the years I've seen the market evolve and I still marvel at the wide range of products that are being designed with our tools. As the Manager of External Communications for the Mechanical Analysis Division at Mentor, it is my privilege to bring some of our customer stories to you. Visit CFD doesn’t mean Color For Directors

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