The San Diego Air & Space Museum entered a new age in 2006, expanding its horizons into the field of research and technology. The 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 Air & Space Technology Center Wind Tunnel, creating another first in the Museum’s unique history.
The LSWT, located at 3050 Pacific Highway, originally began operations under the direction of Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Corporation in May 1947 which became Convair in 1954. General Dynamics assumed operations when the company acquired Convair in 1954. General Dynamics’ Convair Division (and later Lockheed) operated the facility until a private company took over in 1994. The LSWT remains the only privately held low-speed aeronautical wind tunnel in the United States.
To date, the LSWT has conducted nearly 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 250 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.
Learn more about the low speed wind tunnel by visiting their website.