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American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics

    AIAA Executive Director Sandra H. Magnus Speaks at San Diego Wind Tunnel

    By Lawrence Garrett, AIAA Web Editor, Posted 12 December 2013

    IMG_4016Dr. Sandra H. Magnus, the executive director of AIAA, spoke at the San Diego Wind Tunnel in San Diego on Friday, 6 December 2013, from 1800–2000 hrs. Dr. Magnus discussed the critical role that students and young professionals play in strengthening the aerospace industry. Dr. Magnus also talked about her experiences as an astronaut and as a former resident of the International Space Station (ISS).

    “Dr. Magnus’s talk to the San Diego membership, with a focus on Young Professionals and students, highlighted the importance of member involvement when it comes to advocating on behalf of the aerospace industry,” said John Rose, chief of staff, office of the Vice President, Engineering & Mission Assurance at Boeing, and AIAA’s deputy director of public policy for western states. “Sharing her experiences as an astronaut and a crew member on the ISS surely reminded our members of the amazing accomplishments the people in our industry created. There couldn’t have been a more fitting venue than inside of a wind tunnel for Dr. Magnus to share some of her amazing adventures and highlight the critical contributions our members make to our global industry.”

    Dr. Magnus, a former astronaut, is a veteran of three space shuttle flights, STS-112, STS-126 and STS-135, and spent four and a half months on the ISS as part of the Expedition 18 crew. Describing the opportunity to tour the San Diego Wind Tunnel and speak with a number of AIAA San Diego section members, Dr. Magnus said, “I really enjoyed meeting with the San Diego section and student section members and what a perfect venue, a wind tunnel, to talk about Aerospace issues!” She added, “With such talented people in the pipeline for our industry we are in great shape.”

    Built in 1947, and owned by the San Diego Air & Space Museum, the San Diego Wind Tunnel is one of the few privately held wind tunnels in the nation. Used by numerous military and civil aerospace development programs the tunnel has played a role in the testing of the F-106, B-58, F-111, F-16, Global Hawk Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), Predator UAV, Tomahawk Cruise Missile, and the Advanced Cruise Missile. The only wind tunnel in the nation capable of performing low-speed flutter testing, Boeing used the tunnel extensively in the development of its 787 Dreamliner and other commercial aircraft. During its lifespan, almost every major aerospace firm in the U.S. has turned to the tunnel for their testing needs. The tunnel has also played a role in the Olympic Movement, with the U.S. Olympic Luge, Skeleton, and Bobsled teams testing their gear and equipment in the tunnel as well as over 500 professional and amateur cyclists, including the Discovery Cycling Team, using the facility for testing of aerodynamic designs.



    All photos courtesy of Robot Magazine


    IMG_4093   IMG_4016   IMG_3993
    Dr. Magnus and the attendees of her dinner event pose for photos in the San Diego Low Speed Wind Tunnel.   Low Speed Wind Tunnel General Manager Chuck Niskey shows the tunnel's wooden blades to Dr. Magnus and John Rose, Deputy Director of Public Policy for Region 6.   Dr. Magnus inspects a road bike set up for drag measurements in the test section of the San Diego Low Speed Wind Tunnel with tunnel General Manager Chuck Niskey.


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    Dr. Magnus and the San Diego section council members.   Dr. Magnus poses for pictures with student members of the San Diego section at her dinner talk at the San Diego Low Speed Wind Tunnel.    


    Click images for larger versions.