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The University of Southampton
University of Southampton wind tunnels

About us

The Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences at the University of Southampton has an enviable variety of wind tunnels that are used in its extensive teaching and research programmes but are also available for commercial hire.

The wind tunnels have a rich history; Our 7' x 5' tunnel was one of the first in the UK to use a moving ground and was used extensively to develop the ground-effect era of cars of the late 60's and 70's. The R. J. Mitchell wind tunnel was originally the Farnborough No. 2 tunnel and dates back to the 1920's. It was donated to the University around 1980 before being moved and reinstated here at Southampton to cope with the F1 and Indy car testing requirements we faced. From 2001 onwards the tunnel has been made more widely available to undergraduate users, researchers and a more broad customer base.

As a Major Research Facility a wide variety of projects can be carried out, involving the combination of consultancy and wind tunnel tests where required.

Academic research is primarily managed through the Aerodynamics and Flight Mechanics Research (AFM) Group and wind tunnels have been used in a wide variety of projects including fundamental aerodynamics, aerodynamics of racing cars and road vehicles, rotorcraft aerodynamics, aeroacoustics, aeronautics, wind engineering and industrial aerodynamics.

The AFM Group has achieved Defence and Aerospace Partnership (DARP) status in Rotorcraft Aeromechanics & Modelling and Simulation of Turbulence and Transition for Aerospace under the DTI Foresight Programme. The group has deep expertise in both experimental and computational fluid dynamics and aeroacoustics that can be tapped by industrial clients. The University runs the only postgraduate course in the UK in Race Car Aerodynamics.

Aerospace engineering is the largest specialist undergraduate course within the United Kingdom with a variety of wind tunnels used in the undergraduate and postgraduate study programmes. The University of Southampton provides the only course in the UK with Airbus, BAE SYSTEMS Agusta Westland and Rolls-Royce Preferred Status, and provides engineering undergraduate training to Her Majesty’s Armed Forces under the Defence Technical Undergraduate Scheme (DTUS).

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