Best Practices in Wind Tunnel Testing

In This Section

Best Practices in Wind Tunnel Testing


Best Practices in Wind Tunnel Testing provides an overview of important concepts that are used in many wind tunnel test projects. The course is based largely on AIAA standards documents which focus on ground testing concepts. In particular, the course will address project management aspects of executing a testing project, the use and calibration of strain gage balances, the use of measurement uncertainty in ground testing, and the calibration of wind tunnels.

Key Topics:

  • Wind Tunnel Test Processes
  • Measurement uncertainty analysis for wind tunnel testing
  • Internal strain gage balances for wind tunnel testing
  • Aero-thermal calibration of wind tunnels

Who Should Attend:

The course is designed for engineers who are involved with ground testing, particularly wind tunnel testing. The course will be beneficial to all levels of ground test engineers; it could be a primer for engineers new to testing but also will be of value to senior engineers as it will include lessons learned that can be directly applied by test project leaders.

Course Information:

Type of Course: Instructor-Led Short Course

Course Level: Intermediate/Advanced

Course scheduling available in the following format:

  • Course at Conference
  • On-site Course
  • Standalone/Public Course

Course Length: 2 days
AIAA CEU's available: yes


Course Outline:

I. Course Introduction.
A. Ground testing overview

II. Test Processes (R-092)

A. The 7 Keys to Successful Testing
B. Pretest planning and preparation
C. Model development and fabrication
D. Pretest buildup and preparation
E. Testing
F. Post Test Activities

III. Measurement Uncertainty for Ground Testing Applications (S-071A)
A. Standards
B. Statistical Primer
C. Uncertainty Methodology
D. Uncertainty Applications

IV. Calibration and Use of Internal Strain Gage Balances (R-091)
A. Balance Technology
B. Concepts
1. Force/moment; axis systems, etc.
C. Balance calibration.
D. Use and troubleshooting

V. Wind Tunnel Calibration (R-093)
A. Overview of wind tunnel calibration
B. Requirements and objections
1. Types of calibrations
C. Calibration and flow quality measurements
D. Planning, execution and documentation
E. Tunnel calibration examples

VI. Class wrap-up





Course Materials:


Since course notes will not be distributed onsite, AIAA and your course instructor highly recommend that you bring your computer with the course notes already downloaded to the course. 

Once you have registered for the course, these course notes are available about two weeks prior to the course event, and remain available to you in perpetuity. 


Course Instructor:
This course is organized and taught by distinguished subject matter experts from the AIAA Ground Testing Technical Committee.