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Atmospheric and Pressurized Low Speed Wind Tunnel Performance and Cost Comparisons,

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In this Australian report, the performance of a series of low-speed wind tunnels designed to operate at various maximum pressures ranging from 2 to 5 atmospheres is estimated and compared with the performance of a similar atmospheric tunnel on the basis of capital cost and power input. The choice of the design of a new tunnel is usually influenced by cost and power considerations and it is important to provide the most capable design and to maximize performance within given limits of these variables. Pressurization offers a major advantage in allowing Reynolds number RN and Mach number MN effects to be investigated separately. This can be particularly important for tests of modern aircraft configurations operating at high lift. For the same capital cost and consumption, pressurization allows the maximum RN and MN to be increased substantially, but the working section is much smaller. This may make it difficult to satisfy some test requirements particularly for VSTOL aircraft. Models for a pressurized tunnel are also more complex and may be more costly because they must withstand much higher aerodynamic loads. To illustrate the effects of tunnel pressurization the analysis is applied to a tandem section low-speed tunnel previously suggested as suitable for future Australian test requirements. Keywords include Subsonic wind tunnels, and Model tests.

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  • Test Facilities, Equipment and Methods

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