Arnold Engineering Development Center is the world’s largest and most complex collection of flight simulation test facilities. The 4,000 acres that comprise AEDC are part of the 40,000 acres of Arnold Air Force Base.
Military - Air Ports, Scientific - Wind Tunnels
The majority of the aerodynamic testing is done in the two large wind tunnels in the Propulsion Wind Tunnel facility. The facility has two 16-foot wind tun-nels, one supersonic and one transonic. Transonic refers to speeds just below and just above the speed of sound. The tunnels are used primarily to test the aerodynamic performance of large models of aircraft, spacecraft, rockets or full-scale smaller sized missiles like the Navy Tomahawk missile. During wind tunnel tests, conditioned air is blown past a stationary model and flight characteristics are measured. In some cases, the propulsion sys-tems and inlets are tested simultaneously to make sure they are designed to provide adequate airflow to the engine under all flight conditions.