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Aerospace Wind Tunnel


Aviation Development

Are you developing a new aircraft or substantially modify its existing exterior shape?

The Wind Tunnels in Emmen Switzerland provide the ideal facility to support you with models, tests and numerical calculations in the complete development cycle from conceptual / preliminary design up to the final aero database identification and reduction.

Large Wind Tunnel Emmen (LWTE)

With its 7- by 5-meter test section, the Large Subsonic Wind Tunnel in Emmen (LWTE) is one of the largest in Europe. It accomodates a wide variety of aviation tests including jet, propeller and rotorcraft wind tunnel models

Through continuous improvements and the introduction of new measurement capabilities the requirements of modern wind tunnel testing are fully covered.

LWTE Characteristics

vmax   68m/s   132kts
Mach   0.2
Re       4.5E6/m   1.4E6/ft

width    7m        23ft
height   5m     16.5ft
length 15m        49ft

Powered Aircraft Test

The aerodynamic interference between the powerplant and the airframe are of interest in many low-speed wind tunnel tests. RUAG offers a large selection of propulsion simulators, both for propeller and turbofan powered aircraft, to equip wind tunnel models and study these effects. Thanks to our hydraulic motor technology, customized solutions covering a wide range of power and size requirements can be offered.

Propeller Aircraft

RUAG Aviation’s LWTE (Large Wind Tunnel Emmen) is used extensively for the development of passenger, transport and trainer propeller aircraft. Especially for conventional as well as for counter rotating open rotor (CROR) multi-engined airplane configurations, the challenges for powered wind tunnel testing lie in the large power density that is necessary to realistically simulate the propulsion system and the geometrical constraints e.g. for the sensors within the given scaled aerodynamic nacelle lines.

For many years, RUAG has focused on hydraulic motor technology to drive the propellers or fans of wind tunnel models. Robust engines which provide abundant power,  precise RPM control,  favorable temperature characteristics which allow continuous operation, reasonable investments in infrastructure and model hardware, low operating cost and high productivity are just a few of the advantages. Customers can rely on extensive expertise in the development and operation of customized hydraulic motors and their associated control and measurement systems for wind tunnel model applications.

Full Scale Propeller Investigation

The hydraulic motor technology is scalable and full-scale propellers up to 3 meters in diameter have been tested. The four hydraulic pumps are capable of generating a total of almost 1MW of hydraulic power and are, for this application, combined to power a single motor. The motor together with a RUAG 6-component balance, which measures the aerodynamic loads on the propeller, is encased within a drop-shaped aerodynamic fairing.

This assembly is attached to the upper strut and can be yawed. Additional instrumentation is used to accurately control the rpm and monitor the dynamics of the system, as well as to ensure safe operation throughout the test envelope.

Jet Aircraft

Intake Tests

To study the flow distortion at engine inlet plane, intake tests are performed. Suction capacity up to 4 kg/s can be provided. Depending on customer requirements, the flow distributions in the intake is measured with rakes equipped with total pressure probes (static and dynamic), flow angularity measurements and temperature probes.

Modern Measurement Techniques

Modern measurement techniques are made available to our customers through collaborations with research institutes and companies with proven expertise in their respective fields. Our subcontracted partners have detailed knowledge of our facility, understand customer requirements, are able to field the most modern equipment, provide well-honed crews and guarantee efficient test performance and high quality results.

Available techniques include 3-component particle image velocimetry (PIV), acoustic measurements for sound source localization with a wall mounted microphone phased array, optical position and deformation measurements, IR-thermography for transition detection and pressure/temperature sensitive paint measurements.