For more than a century, Massachusetts Institute of Technology wind tunnels have proven instrumental tools in the examination of aerospace, architectural, vehicular, sports and other engineering systems. MIT's Wright Brothers Wind Tunnel's primary use is for student projects, research and instruction. Due to technical issues with the tunnel, as well as its upcoming replacement, availability for use by non-AeroAstro academic groups and external industry is extremely limited.
The 7 X 10-foot elliptical cross-section wind tunnel has the necessary auxiliary equipment for inlet and diffuser testing, gust generation, and production of thick boundary layers to model the earth's boundary layer.
New Wright Brothers Wind Tunnel
On November 13, 2017, it was announced that the tunnel, opened in 1938, will be dismantled following the Spring 2018 term, and a new, state-of-the-art Wright Brothers Wind Tunnel constructed in its place. The new tunnel is expected to be operational in 2020.
Note: The current tunnel is no longer available for external and commercial users. It is anticipated that at some point following its completion in 2020, the new Wright Brothers Wind Tunnel will be available for external and commercial research.
- A Student's Introduction to the Wright Brothers Wind Tunnel (.pdf)
- "The timeless tunnel" Article appearing in the 2011-2012 issue of AeroAstro, the Aeronautics and Astronautics Department's annual magazine.
"MIT to construct new, cutting-edge Wright Brothers Wind Tunnel" Article appearing November 13, 2017 on MIT News.
Visits to the Wright Brother Wind Tunnel are included with AeroAstro tours. Visits at other times may be arranged, depending on the tunnel schedule and staff availability. Tours/visits are generally not available on weekends. It should be noted that a visit to the tunnel takes only about 15 minutes, so visitors may want to schedule additional activities at MIT.