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Virginia Tech Stability Wind Tunnel

The Stability Wind Tunnel is operated by the Aerospace and Ocean Engineering Department. With a 1.83m-by-1.83m test-section, it is one of the largest university operated wind tunnels in the United States with maximum speeds of 80m/s (corresponding to a Reynolds number of 5,000,000 per meter). In addition to its size, the flow quality is remarkable making it a prime research facility. The aerodynamic capabilities were recently increased by the addition of a removable anechoic test-section allowing for full-scale aero-acoustic testing. Since May, 2004, the facility has been under the direction of Dr. William Devenport, and currently employs one full time test engineer and several part time student employees. Detailed information about the Virginia Tech Stability Wind Tunnel can be found in the sections below. You can download the Stability Tunnel brochure for a summary of key features.

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Stability Wind Tunnel Schedule


Wind Tunnel Description
Aerodynamic Configuration
Aero-Acoustic Configuration

Apparatus and Instrumentation

Special Features and Equipment
Equipment Loan Form

Prior Research and Testing

Publications Listing
Pictures from Research Projects  

The Virginia Tech Six Foot Stability Wind Tunnel was originally built at the NACA Langley Aeronautical Laboratory in 1940. It was designed to determine dynamic stability derivatives using a fixed model position, and was known at Langley as the "stability tunnel." Many of the NACA reports containing stability derivative data describe wind tunnel tests conducted in this tunnel. The wind tunnel was acquired by VPI in 1958, and the tunnel was erected in 1959 in a specially designed wing of Randolph Hall. Calibration of the tunnel was carried out from 1959 to 1961, when it became operational again. In 1994 the fan motor was completely overhauled and the windings reinsulated. In 1996 new fan blades were installed increasing the overall tunnel efficiency. Figures 1 and 2 show the tunnel as it exists today at the university. The new fan blades are shown in Figure 3.

Figure 1: Virginia Tech 6' x 6' Stability Tunnel showing drive section and air exchange tower.
Figure 2: Stability tunnel showing connection to Randolph Hall through metal building at center of picture. This pressure sealed building contains both the test section and operating console, such that the operators work at the test section static pressure level.
Figure 3: Stability tunnel fan with new fan blades custom manufactured by Prince Aircraft Company (1996).
Stability Wind Tunnel Pic
The Virginia Tech Stability Wind Tunnel: A leading research facility for aeroacoustics and aerodynamics. The focus of the Virginia Tech Stability Wind Tunnel is research, education, and commercial testing. It has a 6'x6'x24' test section, and can generate flow speeds up to 85m/s at extremely low turbulence levels of 0.01%-0.03%.


Contact Information

For prospective customers interested in the facility please consult the schedule and e-mail your requests as follows:

  • Dr. William Devenport - Tunnel Director [General Information, Scheduling]
  • Dr. Aurelien Borgoltz - Research Associate [General Information, Scheduling]
  • Bill Oetjens - Wind Tunnel Engineer