Royal Aircraft Establishment (RAE) Wind Tunnels

A wind tunnel is used in the study and research of air movement passing over a solid object. In the instance of 'The Royal Aircraft Establishment' (RAE) Farnborough, the tunnels were used initially to study airflow passing over aircraft in controlled conditions.

Since 1907 until current time, five Wind tunnels have been constructed at the RAE. Only three remain these are in Q121 building (24ft tunnel), R132 building (11½ X 8½), and the R52 (3 X 4ft) tunnel. These three buildings are listed: Q121 and R133 are Grade 1 listed, whereas R52 is Grade 2 listed.

Commissioned in 1956 a 2 x 1½ft Supersonic/Transonic tunnel was built and housed in R133 building. This tunnel is an integral part of the 8 X 6 tunnel previously built in 1935 the tunnels running in parallel. The airflow system used here is controlled by flow valves.

The 'Rainbow plane' (see below) is an outline of a 'Miles M.52'. It is an example of how a satellite photograph taken from space would look like whilst the plane was in still in flight.

RAE Wind Tunnel Project

tunnel model
tunnel mockup
24ft tunnel
24ft blades
control room
Sea plane tank
Rainbow plane
Ballon shed

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