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The University of Southampton
University of Southampton wind tunnels


Over the years the University of Southampton wind tunnels have been used extensively by the motorsport industry, world-leading aerospace companies, aeroacoustic testing, wind engineering research and work on racing yacht sails for the marine industry. The following page document some of these customers and provide an indication to the flexibility of our facilities and some of the possibilities of wind tunnels usage.


Over the years Southampton has helped many Racing teams including BAR, Benetton, Honda, Jaguar, Jordan, Penske, Prost, Sauber and Tyrrell to name a few. More recently we have been involved with the development of the A1 GP car, HiTech F3 car and rally car work.

A sail test being carried out in the low speed section of the 7' x 5' wind tunnel
Yacht testing


The University of Southampton wind tunnels, often in association with the Wolfson Unit, have been extensively used for many projects involving many varieties of watercraft. A wide spread of testing capabilities are possible in the tunnels including but not limited to hull, keel and rudder testing, exhaust testing, sail and mast tests. Previous customers include Doyle Sails, Dubois Naval Architects, Marine and Coastguard Agency, North Sails, Team New Zealand and Vosper Thorneycroft. Further information on the Wolfson Unit can be found on their website, a link to which can be found on the Consultancy page of this site.

Performance Sports

The University of Southampton, a UK Sport innovation partner, helped Amy Williams achieve her Gold Medal in the Winter Olympics in Vancouver 2010 in the Bob Skeleton event. As part of an EngD research programme Amy’s suit, helmet and sled were optimised in the wind tunnels giving her a technical edge over her competitors.

The Southampton wind tunnels were also used for cycling tests in the run up to the China 2008 Olympics where team GB took home 8 Gold medals, 4 Silver medals and 2 Bronze in an incredibly successful games. The wind tunnels were again used by UK Sport in the run up to the London Games to help fine tune the Team GB cyclist's positions.

Recently we have joined forces with Prestige Cycles and will soon be able to offer cycle wind tunnel testing to the public.

Flow Measurement

Among others we have worked closely with Gill Instruments who have regularly used our 7′ × 5′ tunnel for many years to calibrate their range of anemometers and meteorological instruments. Their continued commitment to our facilities is a testament to the high quality service which we provide.

Anemometer test
A Gill Instruments engineer working on an anemometer

Aerospace and Defence

The University have a long standing relationship with Airbus with the Airbus Noise Technology Centre being opened in 2008 concentrating on research into the reduction of noise produced by commercial aircraft.

We have also helped many other companies including DERA (Qinetiq), Marconi and the Ministry of Defence on projects utilising our facilities.

We have a great working relationship with the Southampton wind tunnels and have always been impressed with the support and flexibility offered.

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