Abstract : For centuries now, wind tunnels have been a key element in scientific research in a number of fields.

Experimenting with racecars, airplanes, weather patterns, birds, and various other areas has been made much easier because of its development.

In the racing field, for example, the information gathered from this testing can mean the difference between winning and losing a race. Weather simulations can also provide valuable information regarding building stability and safety.

This has become very important when designing buildings today. Valuable information concerning bird flight has also been collected based on wind tunnel testing.

Experts have experimented with a variety of birds and gathered extremely useful information regarding rate of mass lost during flight, respiratory information, and flight kinematics.

Wind tunnels have a variety of important uses in the world today.

A wind tunnel simulates the conditions of an aircraft in flight by causing a high-speed stream of air to flow past a model of the aircraft (or part of an aircraft) being tested.

The model is mounted on wires so that lift and drag forces on it can be measured by measuring the tensions in the wire.

The paths of the air stream around the model can also be studied by attaching tufts of wool (which align themselves with the wind direction) to various parts of the model, by injecting thin streams of smoke into the tunnel to render the airflow visible, or by using certain optical devices.



Pressures on the model surface are measured through small flush openings in its surface. Forces exerted on the model may be determined from measurement of the airflow upstream and downstream of the model.

In wind tunnels operating well below the speed of sound, the air stream is created by large motor-driven vanes.

At velocities near or above the speed of sound, the air stream is created either by releasing highly compressed air from a tank at the upwind end of the tunnel or by allowing air to rush through the tunnel into a previously evacuated vacuum tank at its downwind end.

Sometimes these methods are combined, especially for the production of hypersonic velocities, i.e., velocities at least five times as great as the speed of sound.

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