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Leslie Porterfield, a record-setting motorcyclist, recently conducted testing in the Walter H. Beech Wind Tunnel at WSU's National Institute for Aviation Research.

'Fastest woman in the world' tests bike at NIAR

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Leslie Porterfield, a record-setting motorcyclist attempting to become the fastest person in the world on two wheels, recently conducted testing in the Walter H. Beech Wind Tunnel at Wichita State University's National Institute for Aviation Research.

"We achieved approximately 20 percent less drag than my previous motorcycle,” said Porterfield, who was using NIAR’s facilities to enhance the aerodynamic performance of her bike.

Using a radical setup and implementing multiple elements that her competitors hadn't done before, Porterfield and her team made many changes to the bike to fit the rules for the race class.

"It was an excellent place to test new pieces and improve upon what we have," said Porterfield.

Testing at the Walter H. Beech Wind Tunnel saved Porterfield and her team valuable test time and improved the safety of the machine, a Land Speed Racing turbocharged motorcycle, built with the help of Airtech Bodywork.

"At speed, with the engine running, under the challenging traction conditions of the salt, the bike handled well at speeds over 200 mph," said Porterfield. "It was very evident that our wind tunnel time was time well-spent."

To earn the title of fastest person in the world on two wheels Porterfield must go at least 254 mph in the 2000cc modified class.

Porterfield's next racing journey is still being planned. She is planning for Speedweek in Australia next March. "I am working diligently on making it to Lake Gairdner in Australia for their Speedweek in March," said Porterfield.

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Created on Wednesday, November 03, 2010; Last modified on Monday, November 29, 2010