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Wind Tunnel Information

The University of Minnesota Department of Aerospace Engineering & Mechanics boasts two teaching wind tunnels: the large closed return (CR) tunnel and the smaller open return (ELD) tunnel. The wind tunnels provide students, professors, and technicians with the facilities and equipment needed for the groundbreaking research.


The Department's two wind tunnels used for instruction and research are located in 430 Akerman Hall. One is a large closed return (re-circulating) tunnel, the other a smaller open (blow down) tunnel.

Each tunnel contains a strain gauge balance that can measure three forces (normal, axial and transverse) and the three related moments. Forces up to 50 pounds can be measured, and moments from 25 to 75 inch pounds depending on the axis.

Each is instrumented to collect a variety of information concerning both wind tunnel and test subject performance. Tunnel air temperature, barometric pressure, differential pressure, and balance force & moment values can be configured, and data collected digitally in real time.

The closed tunnel is capable of airspeeds of about 100 mph; the open tunnel maximum is about 90.

Large CR Tunnel


  • 38 m/s (85 mph) maximum flow speed
  • 1 x 1.25 m (40x50 inch) cross section
  • 6 DOF force balance
  • 3 axis traverse
  • Two interchangable test sections
  • Closed return
  • 100 HP, frequency controlled variable speed motor P-38 Feathering Propeller

ELD Tunnel


  • 40 m/s (90 mph) maximum flow speed
  • 60 x 60 cm (24x24 inch) cross section
  • 4 DOF force balance
  • 2 axis traverse
  • Variable angle of attack fixture
  • Open return      



Wind Tunnel Reservation Calendar

Hardware Usage

Software Usage Manuals

The following user manuals are available for the software used to control and acquire data from the wind tunnels.

  • JogTraverse Command line program to move the traverse in the CR tunnel.

Wind Tunnel Software

AEM Lab Software

How Wind Tunnels Work

Last Modified: 2019-11-06 at 09:28:50 -- this is in International Standard Date and Time Notation