Desktop Wind Tunnel Construction

I recently built a wind tunnel for our squadron (I am a Civcom member). I wondered if anyone else has built one to possibly share ideas and improve the designs?

I have incorporated gram sensitive load sensors and smoke generation with a calibrated airflow speed. With two NACA profiles 0012 and 6412 to show differences in cambered and symmetrical profiles.


That’s amazing!

What did you use for the smoke generation?

I used an ultrasonic water vaporiser to produce cold steam… I thought that this was safer than using an e-cigarette or fog machine in a closed environment but would not work for a wind tunnel with a larger test chamber. it was also critical to get the right volume of smoke generated and injected via a smoke rake into the laminar flow stream as smoothly as possible without causing flow disruption.

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That will be exceptionally hard to beat - we have a (very) simple cardboard model in progress.

Let’s go for one of these. :wink:

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Hmmm… at 7m in length a bit on the large side for our large desk! :rofl:

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may I also acknowledge the impressive uniforms on the wall!


Looks amazing. Wonder if Wing staff recognise the experience that non-uniformed staff have to offer.

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We are quite lucky as our Civcom has quite a good exposure to the wing staff and we all have a good relationship with them. We have a good amount of talent in our small Civcom and I would think that there is a huge untapped resource in the wider Civcom community if only it could be utilised properly!

Are you taking orders…
Like seriously, will order one if that’s an option.

Some of the RACs used to have small wind tunnels in them not dissimilar to that pictured, but think they were inherited from the RAF at some point rather than built by volunteers.

There used to be one at Boscombe Down, but don’t know if there still is.

To be honest it is a lot of work… however if there was enough interest I could produce a kit of parts for the difficult bits like the smoke generator and load cell array. These are mainly 3d printed and electronics / servos. The rest is constructed from readily available stuff like 5mm ply and standard size plexiglass sheets and drinking straws.

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This might be a good construction project for the cadets.

Very true… Indeed I delegated the construction of the laminar flow filter (cutting and sticking 2000 drinking straws) to one of the Sqn’s Sgt’s (my son)! :rofl: