Wind tunnels

Our wind tunnel facilities cover the speed range from subsonic to hypersonic flow. Some of them are unique in the country. We also have the instrumentation and technical skills to undertake both force, and high-quality point, surface, and field measurements

Key equipment and capabilities

The Boundary Layer Tunnel

The Boundary Layer Tunnel

The “Bob” Wind Tunnel

The “Bob” Wind Tunnel

Key equipment:
  1. Hypersonic wind tunnel with a run time of 7sec (Mach 4, 5 and 6) and 6” diameter circular test section
  2. Trisonic wind tunnel 0.15mx0.3m (Mach 0 to 0.8, 1.8).
  3. 1.2m x 0.3m x 5m open-circuit boundary layer tunnel, max speed 40m/s
  4. 0.9m x 0.9m x 5m open-circuit wind tunnel (“Bob”), max speed 25m/s, useful for “Environmental” wind turbine work.
  5. 1.2m x 0.9m x 2m open-circuit “Project” wind tunnel, max speed 50m/s, useful for Aerodynamics studies.
  6. 0.5m x 0.5m x 1m open-circuit wind tunnel, max speed 40m/s
  7. 0.5m x 0.5m x 2m closed-circuit water tunnel, max speed 2m/s
  8. 0.5m x 0.3m x 5m tilting flume, max speed 1m/s
Our measurement capabilities include:
  • Force and moment measurement (overhead balance (Project tunnel), 6 component strain gauge balances
  • Schlieren systems for visualisation of high speed flow
  • Scalar field measurements (Planar laser-induced fluorescent)
  • Full-surface temperature and pressure measurements (temperature-and pressure-sensitive paints)
  • Temporally-resolved high-spatial resolution near-wall velocity measurements (one, two or three velocity-component hot-wire anemometry and laser Doppler anemometry)
  • High-spatial resolution velocity measurements (2D and stereo Particle-Image Velocimetry) 

Recent projects

Wind Tunnels - Wave Rider Hypersonic Flow Experimental Setup
Wave rider hypersonic flow experimental setup
  • Bill Crowther, AFloNexT EU Funded project looking at fluidic trailing edge controls for civil transport aircraft, 2014-2017, £150k, facility used: the “Project” wind tunnel and transonic wind tunnel.
  • S. Zhong, “Combined experimental and computational study of synthetic jets injected into separated turbulent boundary layers pertinent to high-lift aerodynamics”, sponsored by EPSRC & Airbus UK, 2007-2011, £310k, facility used: the Boundary Layer Tunnel.
  • S Zhong, “An Experimental Study of Unsteady Wake-Induced Boundary Layer Transition in Turbomachinery”, sponsored by EPSRC, 2006-2010, £200k, facility used: 0.5mx0.5 closed-circuit water tunnel.


Research themes

Research specialisms

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