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University of Southampton Malaysia

Top Gear presenter impressed with "brilliant" wind tunnel

Published: 4 July 2012

Top Gear presenter James May has paid tribute to the University of Southampton's prestigious RJ Mitchell Wind Tunnel after a recent visit for his new show, James May's Toy Stories.

James was accompanied by a film crew and students from Brunel University who are designing a glider to be flown across the English Channel later in the year. They used the wind tunnel to establish the lift-to-drag ratio of the glider, a measurement which shows the efficiency of an aircraft. The team also used smoke to see where the air flow was going and how it interacted with the surface of the model.

James was impressed with the University's facility, saying: "It's brilliant - it's the sort of thing you dream of having when you were young, at home and playing with a toy glider. The first wind tunnel was the size of a match box so to see and experience something as big as this is fantastic. I have never seen a better demonstration of the breaking up of the flow of wind, as I have here with the smoke box. It is a great facility."

James May's Toy Stories will be shown in the UK on BBC2 later in the year.

Southampton wind tunnel

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