Bob Henderson, an Oregon State University graduate with an Engineering Physics degree, is the Founder of Airman Inc. Airman Inc. offers a high value aerodynamic device for over-the-road Class 8 heavy trucks that we call the AirWedge.
Bob, a former driver said, “While driving those long hours you have a lot of time to think", my love of aircraft and knowledge of aerodynamics lead me to consider if there would be an aerodynamic solution for the trailer axle area, after all, that is a huge area back there. I came up with several design parameters that must be met if the design was to be successful. It must be totally transparent to the driver, meaning no input required by the driver, nothing to open or close, latch or unlatch. The device must be lightweight, yet exceptionally strong and flexible, able to handle vibration, loading and unloading procedures and still stand up to the occasional road alligators, deer strikes and other road debris.
It cannot accumulate snow while providing ground clearance for deep docks, curbs and high railroad crossings. It must withstand all oils, salts, solvents, fuels, and other chemical attacks found in the trucking world. The device must not impede access under the trailer and it must allow for easy access to axles and brakes. It must do all these things and still be affordable with a high rate of return on the investment and it must last the life of the trailer. All this, plus it needs to look good doing it, something that I would put on my trailer!
Our novel way of managing the airflow generates a huge reduction in road spray that provides a high degree of safety, not only for the truck driver, but also the motoring public sharing the same highway. It also reduces driver fatigue by eliminating the side-to-side motion at the rear of the trailer, especially when caused by cross winds.
Airman Inc. has worked for years in the development of the AirWedge holding fast to the criteria noted above. We have gathered professionals in aerodynamics, materials, and in manufacturing to develop a product that would survive the harsh environment under a Class 8 heavy trailer while managing the airflow in a way that reduces the trailer’s drag.
The diesel saving AirWedge is the result.