Construction on the San Diego Wind Tunnel started in 1944 and was finished in 1946.
The San Diego Wind Tunnel has been operating since May of 1947 and was built to provide aerodynamic testing for Consolidated Aircraft, the manufacturer of the B-24.
Today, the San Diego Wind Tunnel proudly serves the entire aerodynamics community by providing state-of-the-art facilities and testing services to a wide range of clients.
Our lean but experienced crew has an average of 28 years of wind tunnel experience per person.
We test a wide range of articles, including:
Aviation: UAV's, Space Vehicles, Commercial & Military Aircraft, and Blimps;
Sports: Cycle/Riders, Bobsled, Skiers, Luge, Soap Box Derby, Golf Clubs, Motorcycles, and any sport where reducing drag can win the race;
Wind Qualifications: Wind Turbines, Tents, Outdoor Speakers, Outdoor Cameras, Statues, Signs, Buildings, Mil-Spec Hurricane Force Certifications.
The facility has supported the development of many aircraft and munitions programs.
The San Diego Wind Tunnel has entered a new age, expanding its horizons into the field of research and technology!
In March 2006, the San Diego Air and Space Museum acquired the former General Dynamics Low Speed Wind Tunnel (LSWT) at San Diego's Lindbergh Field. The facility is now known as the San Diego Wind Tunnel, creating another first in the Museum's unique history.
"Not only is this a sound business decision," said Jim Kidrick, SDASM's President & CEO. "It brings a great amount of prestige to the Museum. The San Diego Air & Space Museum now holds the distinction of being the only aviation museum with an operational research wind tunnel. The San Diego County Regional Airport Authority helped facilitate this effort and we're grateful for their assistance with this new venture."
The San Diego Wind Tunnel, located on Pacific Highway, originally began operations under the direction of Consolidated Vultee (Convair) in May 1947. General Dynamics assumed operations in 1961 when the company acquired Convair. General Dynamics' Convair Division (and later Lockheed) operated the facility until a private company took over in 1994. The San Diego Wind Tunnel remains the only privately held low-speed aeronautical wind tunnel in the United States.
"We are thrilled to be a part of the San Diego Air & Space Museum family," stated Stephen Ryle, San Diego Wind Tunnel's Aerotest Engineering Manager. "The historical contribution of this facility to the local and national aviation industry over the past 66 years has been significant."
Led by General Manager Chuck Niskey, the San Diego Wind Tunnel's operation staff holds a combined 163-years experience in wind tunnel testing.
Niskey said, "We have an opportunity to encourage and inspire the young engineers of tomorrow. The wind tunnel has held a critical role in the development of aircraft and I am honored to add to that achievement the chance to expand the operation of the facility to include educational tours, aerospace camps and testing programs for today's students."
To date, the San Diego Wind Tunnel has conducted over 100,000 hours of testing and has been used extensively in numerous military and civil aerospace development programs, including the F-106, B-58, F-111, F-16, Global Hawk UAV, Tomahawk Cruise Missile, and Advanced Cruise Missile. It has recently served the testing needs of Cessna, Boeing, Gulfstream, Northrop Grumman, General Atomics, Raytheon, and Lockheed Martin.
As the only wind tunnel in the nation capable of performing low-speed flutter testing, Boeing has used the facility extensively to test all its commercial airliners, from the 707 to the new 787 Dreamliner.
The facility has also provided testing for nearly 500 professional and amateur bicyclists including Lance Armstrong and the Discovery Cycling Team. In addition, every member of the 2006 US Olympic Luge Team was tested in the wind tunnel as well as most of the 2014 US Olympic Luge Team including two-time Olympic World Champion, Erin Hamlin and two-time Olympic World Champion, Mark Grimmette.