Wind Tunnel

Image showing Warton wind tunnel with employee stood between fan blades
With speeds of nearly four times the speed of sound, BAE Systems wind tunnels test the aerodynamics of aircraft and the occasional athlete.

Ensuring aircraft, missiles and even sporting equipment are as streamline as possible, is the job of the wind tunnel test team. Our facility has been helping define and develop designs for decades.


The tests are carried out by passing air at high speeds over wood or metal aircraft models, aircraft parts or missiles in order to define the aerodynamic performance. This helps us decide what changes could be made to ensure the product is at its optimum.

The facility is home to two tunnels, known respectively as the low speed and high speed tunnels. In the latter tests can be carried out at speed up to Mach 3.8, which makes it perfect for transonic work.

All sorts of aircraft and concepts come through the facility, all looking to show that the designs actually work or might be improved. We've even worked with the British Olympic and Paralympic teams.