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Wind tunnel: 2.1m by 1.5m by 4.4m

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About the Wind tunnel: 2.1m by 1.5m by 4.4m

This is the second largest of our wind tunnels and has a closed jet, high-speed working section. It also features a 4.6m by 3.7m low speed section which is larger than the R J Mitchell tunnel. 

It is used for ground-effect aerodynamic work, academic research and teaching. Industrial tests, including sail tests for America’s Cup and round the world racing yachts have been carried out here.

Consultancy and commercial hire

We offer expert advice through our consultancy services which include:

  • technical support
  • design and drawing
  • results analysis and interpretation

Our support workshops offer metalworking, model making and jig manufacture facilities.

You can also hire the tunnel to carry out your own testing, with our expertise on hand should you need it. Gill Instruments have used this tunnel to calibrate their range of anemometers and meteorological instruments.

Technical specification

High speed

  • The working section dimensions are 2.1m wide by 1.5m high by 4.4m long with a wind speed range from 4 to 45 metres per second.
  • The moving ground includes a 1.5m wide by 2.1m long belt with a speed range of up to 40 metres per second.
  • Boundary layer control gives >99.8% of free stream velocity 2 millimetres above the belt.
  • This is suitable for up to ~30% race car models.
  • Balances include a 3 component weigh beam in the tunnel roof and a 4 component strut mounted Aerotech balance for vehicle testing.

Balance details

The high speed section uses an overhead balance giving lift and drag forces together with pitching moment and includes:

  • 3 component overhead balance
  • strut attachments with adjustable pitch angle
  • weigh-beam design with stepper motor driven weights

Maximum load ranges are:

  • lift 1800 N
  • drag 450 N
  • pitch moment 450 Nm
  • digital output for acquisition of signals

3 component strut mounted balance includes:

  • mounted overhead
  • faired strut with ride height control
  • load cell design

Maximum load ranges are:

  • lift 2000 N
  • drag 400 N
  • pitch moment 500 N.m

Low speed

  • The working section dimensions are 4.6m wide by 3.7m high by 3.7m long and a maximum wind speed of 11 metres per second.
  • Balances include a 6 component load cell mounted below the floor on a 3 metre diameter turntable.
  • This is suitable for models up to 3 metres long.

Balance details

The low speed section, located upstream of the high speed test section,  features a 6 component underfloor balance.

The underfloor balance can be set at any yaw angle and includes:

  • a concentric 3 metre diameter turntable independent of the balance
  • floor level model attachments
  • a frame and flexure design with independent load cells

Maximum load ranges are:

  • lift 1000 N
  • fx 400 N
  • fy 800 N
  • yaw moment 800 Nm
  • pitch moment 800 Nm
  • roll moment 800 Nm

Other equipment includes:

  • an analogue/digital conversion for acquisition of signals

Contact us

Contact us

For more information or to book the R.J. Mitchell Wind Tunnel, get in touch.
Wind Tunnels. Engineering and the Environment, University of Southampton, Southampton, SO17 1BJ
We’re open Monday to Friday 09:00 to 17:00 UK time

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