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Aerodynamics Lab

The WVU Aerodynamics Lab houses three wind tunnels used for both teaching and research.

The Environmental Wind Tunnel has both a fetch and a test section. The test section is just like in any other subsonic wind tunnel but the fetch section is the portion of the tunnel that makes it an "environmental" wind tunnel; that is, to simulate atmospheric flow. The floor can be replaced with different substrates to simulate atmospheric boundary layer flow over different materials.

Environmental Wind Tunnel

  • Subsonic Wind Tunnel (32 x 45 inch test section)

    32 x 45 inch test section single return type, low turbulence, speed variable from 0 to 250 ft/sec. Instrumentation- six component strain-gauge balance and recorders, model pitch and yaw control, smoke injector and generator, manometers, hot-wire anemometer. Data acquisition with PC-based systems and laser velocity meters.

  • Subsonic Wind Tunnel (6 x 6 inch test section)

    6 x 6 inch test section, single pass type, low turbulence, speed variable from 0 to 80 ft/sec. Instrumentation- three component strain-gauge balance and recorders, smoke injector and generator, manometers, hot wire anemometers. Single channel LDA.

  • Supersonic Wind Tunnel (4 x 5 inch test section)

    4 x 5 inch test section, continuous indraft type, fixed Mach number of 1.55. Instrumentation - three component strain-gauge balance and recorders, optical windows at throat and test section, black-and-white and color Schlieren system (continuous and pulse), angle of attack quadrant, manometers, special probes.

  • Supersonic Wind Tunnel (4 x 4 inch test section)

    4 x 4 inch test section, 30 second run blow down type, continuously variable Mach number from 1.8 to 3.8. Instrumentation - three component strain-gauge balance and recorders, Schlieren system, angle of attack quadrant, pressure transducers, 200 psi dry air pressure supply.

  • Shock Tube

    2-1/2 inch inside diameter, 35 ft. length in five interchangeable sections, plunger or pressure initiated diaphragm bursts in variable length driver, 2000 psi working pressure, shockwave Mach numbers from 1 to 10. Instrumentation - interval counters, oscilloscopes and cameras, amplifiers, time and voltage calibration equipment, filters, time delays, pressure and acceleration transducer systems, heat transfer, photomultiplier, and ionization gauges. Dump tank with windows and 1/2 microsecond pulse Schlieren system. 3500 psi air supply and 10 micron vacuum facility.

  • Shock Tunnel

    4 inch free jet nozzle attached to shock tube described above (item 5), flow Mach number of 7, test time of a few milliseconds.

  • Arc Tunnel

    A 78 kW, electric arc heated, hyper velocity continuous-running tunnel has been constructed for research in plasma diagnostic techniques and experimental research in low Reynolds number hypersonic drag, base pressure, wake and boundary layer studies. Capable of producing a simulated air plasma with up to 16,000 BTU/LB and 13,000 ft/sec.

  • Vistol Propeller Facility

    14 or 15 inch diameter, 11,200 rpm, three or four blade fiberglass propeller with 1.5 or 5 HP motor and variable frequency drive control. Four component strain-gauge nacelle balance and recorders, flow measurement probe.

  • Vistol Subsonic Static Thrust Stand

    Primary application is for determining exhaust system performance. Available test sections are 3" x 8-1/4" (rectangular) and 6" diameter (circular). System measures thrust and flow rate, both of which are adjustable. Air supply is from a radial blade blower rated at 5,800 CFM and 34.5" H20. Instrumentation includes traversing probe which measures exit flow pitch and yaw angles, and total and static pressures.