Experimental Drag Optimization for Downhill Ski-Racer for the Paralympics

Golden Eagles Gliding Faster

The impressive performance of the German Paralympics Ski-Team - with 14 medals won during the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver - requires team spirit, individual strength and discipline.

These primary virtues are supplemented by access to advanced skiing gears and the possibility of professional performance analysis.

TUHH supports the German Paralympics Downhill-Ski-Team with aerodynamic expertise and wind tunnel studies. The studies are concerned with an assessment of the wind loads on the athletes and their equipment. Emphasis is given to  drag force, lift force and pitching moment exposed on the athletes when gliding at speeds up to 130kph.



Figure 5 provides an example for the evolution of the drag-force coefficient obtained for one specific athlete. Position 1 refers to an upright gliding posture, position 2 to a normal ride posture and position to an aggressive ride posture, respectively.


The project is performed in collaboration with the DLR Inst. for Aerodynamics and Flow Technology (Prof. A. Dillmann) and sports scientists from Göttingen Univ. (Prof. A. Niklas) and the coach of the German-Paralympics-Ski-Team (M. Hujara).

Project Duration



Dipl.-Ing. Thierry Maquil
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Thomas Rung