Dr. Richard Roberts conducts a site visit inside the diffuser section of the16-foot supersonic wind tunnel (16S) at Arnold Air Force Base, Tenn. On Oct. 6, 2009. Dr. Roberts is the Project Manager of the von Karman Gas Dynamics Facility (VKF) and the Propulsion Wind Tunnel Facility (PWT), located at Arnold Engineering Development Center (AEDC). There are three wind tunnels. They use two closed-circuit wind tunnels (one to simulate transonic speeds and the other supersonic), with 16-foot-square test sections, are also used for conventional aerodynamic tests. Air that has been pushed through the section seen has passed through progressively narrowing tunnel sections and 90-degree turns that lead to the test section. The PWT test section is as tall as a two-story house and as heavy as a railroad locomotive. The inside of the test section is 16? tall. They are positioned just behind a 40 feet long variable venturi, side walls that have hydraulic pistons to push the two flexible 16 foot tall by 40 foot long wall toward each other or apart to adjust the air speed and maintain smooth air flow into the test section. The facility is devoted to aerodynamic and propulsion integration testing of large-scale aircraft models. Some of the most powerful electric motors ever built are located in the PWT facility.
U.S. Air Force photo/Lance Cheung
November 7, 2012
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