A New Wind Tunnel For MIT

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The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is going to build a new wind tunnel with all-new technology to replace its current 79-year-old facility, the university announced this week. It will be the largest and most advanced academic wind tunnel in the U.S., MIT said in a news release. The new $18 million tunnel will permit test speeds up to 200 MPH, an increase from the current 150 MPH; use half as much power as the current 2,000-HP fan motor; nearly double the volume of the test area to 1,600 cubic feet; improve the ability to test drones as well as aerodynamic components such as wings or fuselages; and will support new MIT classes in advanced aerodynamics and fluid mechanics. The new facility will retain the historic Wright Brothers Wind Tunnel name.

The new tunnel will be constructed on the site of the current one, which will be dismantled. The MIT Museum will preserve artifacts from the 1938 tunnel. Renovations also will be made to MIT Building 17, which houses the control facilities, and a direct connection will be made to workshops in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics. The project is scheduled to be completed in 2020.

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