Talk:Wind tunnel

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This article has no flow and it lacks details on some subjects while providing too much detail on others. The text needs to be broken up into smaller categories and I would love to see more information and pictures on the different types of wind tunnels. Willy Logan 17:41, 20 November 2005 (UTC)


I intend to put some time into this article over the next few weeks to help bring it up to standards. My background is in Aeronautical Engineering, and specifically in wind tunnel experimentation. I am not, however, a particularly good writer or editor so any help will be appreciated. I have a few thoughts on the existing sections, and how to better organize the article.

Intro Beef it up to provide more accurate/current measurement techniques and gear the section to serve as a roadmap for the article.

History There is a lot of uncited material in here. In addition, a lot of the material is actually off topic. While the research of Benjamin Robins and his whirling arm is interesting, it is not stricly speaking a wind tunnel. It is a testing technique that predates wind tunnels, and is worthy of mention, but perhaps we can create a more suitable topic. Also, this section is sprinkled with asertations that are the author's opinion, and as such should be removed. This sections also mentions a myrad of other aerospace topics (CFD, Boundary Layers, Human Free Fall) that should be linked to or discussed in a seperate section.

How it works Expand and add supporting graphics.

Wind Tunnel classification The present info describes the speed regiems that wind tunnels simulate, not the classification or configuration of the wind tunnels them selfs. This may be a good subtobic for How it works. Wind tunnels can also be classified in terms of how they operate (open or closed circuit, blow or suck, moving walls, etc) or what they simulate (aerodynamic, atmospheric boundary layer...). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:28, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

Well known wind tunnels around the world This section is dangerously looking like a place where people can link to bolster their own work/prestiege. "Well known" is a very subjective term, and as such we should avoid using it. We may consider making a list of largest/fastest/first/etc, or consider deleting the topic all together

See also Expand

References Yea ... we'll need these

External Links This should likely be links to sites about wind tunnel testing, theory, and history. We should avoid linking to specific tunnels because a) there are far too many of them, and b) it would serve to bias the article to specific facilities and researchers

Other Thoughts The way I see it, this page fits in a larger category of Aerodynamic testing along with Flight testing, Test development, and CFD. Please respond with suggestions as I plan on editing next week. Jeff220 23:21, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

Good plan. There is no aerodynamic testing article, but I think there ought to be. The various topics currently on this article that are unrelated to wind tunnels can go under aerodynamic testing. I agree that this article should be limited to wind tunnel subjects specifically.
I agree that there should be an aerodynamic testing article. There is currently a section on CFD in this article. Why not a section that talks about aerodynamic testing in the field. Our company, Alphamantis Technologies ( , applies telemetry data to the calculation of drag area for bicycles. Obviously, there is a conflict of interest here because I work for Alphamantis, but this kind of testing should be covered, IMO. Andy Froncioni (talk) 15:00, 19 May 2014 (UTC)
I don't think that Well-known wind tunnels around the world is necessary.
A section explaining the different types of wind tunnels (subsonic, supersonic, spin tunnels, etc.) would be useful.
Good luck making these edits. Willy Logan 17:54, 4 February 2007 (UTC)
I think this article could also benefit from a section on common errors in wind tunnel testing. To be truly useful to anyone it needs to link to an article on model properties and how they relate. I hope to do a fair amount of CFD analysis and wind tunnel testing in the near future so I will do my best to contribute. Mattbondy (talk) 03:16, 18 February 2009 (UTC)


The first edit is complete, which involved removing the "Well known" section. In case anyone still wants to know what was on that list, I've placed it below. Jeff220 12:29, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

Well known wind tunnels around the world

There are more than just planes.[edit]

I think that there should be all types of drag on planes. But I also think that there should be somthing about the drag effect on cars and trucks. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 21:05, 10 February 2007 (UTC).
Also there should be a separate section on atmospheric boundary layer wind tunnels, which are currently randomly discussed in the history section.-- 14:15, 25 July 2007 (UTC)

List of Wind Tunnels[edit]

There are a lot of wind tunnels around. If we think a list is appropriate, we should start it as a separate article. I've suggested a few operating characteristics in the table format below.

Facility Location Tunnel Type Test Section Max Velocity (Mach)
NASA Ames Sunnyvale, California Unitary Plan Wind Tunnel Transonic, Closed loop 11' x 11' 1.45
NASA Ames Moffett Field, California National Full-Scale Aerodynamics Complex Subsonic, Closed and open loop 40' x 80' (closed), 80' x 120' (open) 0.45

Does anyone think this is worth doing? And if so, what characteristics do you think are needed?

ComputerGeezer (talk) 01:13, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

Interesting thought. Adding NFAC at NASA Ames. (Note correct city.) --RocketSci (talk) 14:07, 20 August 2011 (UTC)

This site is about wind tunnels, not about the question of the first succesful heavier-than-air flight![edit]

"Sir George Cayley (1773-1857), the father of aerodynamics"

Ok ... thought this title is generally attributed to Ludwig Prandtl

I deleted this, because here's not the place to discuss this issue.

"Armed with test data from the arm, Cayley built a small glider that is believed to have been the first successful heavier-than-air vehicle to carry a man in history."

Yes, I know. Englishmen have invented everything! ("believed to have" .. did he or did he not? Any proofs, which could validate this?)

File:National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics wind tests (1946).webm to appear as POTD soon[edit]

Hello! This is a note to let the editors of this article know that File:National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics wind tests (1946).webm will be appearing as picture of the day on February 11, 2017. You can view and edit the POTD blurb at Template:POTD/2017-02-11. If this article needs any attention or maintenance, it would be preferable if that could be done before its appearance on the Main Page. — Chris Woodrich (talk) 01:37, 7 February 2017 (UTC)

Wind tests being conducted on a volunteer at the Langley Research Center in 1946. In these tests, under the guidance of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics and at the request of the United States Navy, the volunteer was subjected to wind speeds reaching a maximum of 457 mph (735 km/h); local wind speeds along the subject's face reached 720 mph (1,160 km/h)). These tests were intended to measure the effects of bailing out of a high-speed aircraft on the human body. They showed that "effects of the wind stream on clothing and gear were in many ways more pronounced than on the subject. Even at low speeds, loose clothing flapped and fluttered violently. The helmet and chin strap needed constant readjustment, and the helmet's seams began to tear during exposures to 400-mile-an-hour winds."Video: National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics

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