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Wright Brothers 1901 Wind Tunnel

Wright Brothers 1901 Wind Tunnel on display in the Early Years Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Wright Brothers 1901 Wind Tunnel on display in the Early Years Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Wright Brothers 1901 Wind Tunnel on display in the Early Years Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Wright Brothers 1901 Wind Tunnel on display in the Early Years Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Wright Brothers 1901 Wind Tunnel on display in the Early Years Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Wright Brothers 1901 Wind Tunnel on display in the Early Years Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Wright Brothers 1901 Wind Tunnel on display in the Early Years Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Wright Brothers 1901 Wind Tunnel on display in the Early Years Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Interior view of Wright Brothers 1901 Wind Tunnel on display in the Early Years Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Interior view of Wright Brothers 1901 Wind Tunnel on display in the Early Years Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

This is a replica of the wind tunnel designed and built by the Wright Brothers in the fall of 1901 to test airfoil designs. The blower fan, driven by an overhead belt, produced a 25 to 35 mph wind for testing the lift of various planes and curved surfaces. Aerodynamic tables derived from these tests were vital to the successful design of the Wright 1903 Kitty Hawk airplane. Inside the tunnel is a model of a Wright lift balance used to measure the lift of a test surface. The wind tunnel replica was constructed under the personal supervision of Orville Wright prior to World War II.

Click here to return to the Early Years Gallery.

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