NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration
  Follow this link to skip to the main content + Contact NASA

+ GRC Home
+ GRC Facilities Home
9'x15' Low Speed Wind Tunnel
9x15 Home
Quick Facts
Testing Information
Contact Information
Facility Fact

The 9x15 is the only national facility that can simulate takeoff, approach, and landing in a continuous subsonic flow wind tunnel environment.

C-1996-840: STOVL model in the 9x15 C-1992-4732: Flourescent photos of forward swept propr fan

The 9’ x15’ Low-Speed Wind Tunnel (9x15) is the most utilized low-speed propulsion acoustic facility in the world. It is the only national facility that can simulate takeoff, approach, and landing in a continuous subsonic environment.
Facility Overview

Unique in testing large-scale hardware in a continuous subsonic air stream, the 9- by 15-Foot Low Speed Wind Tunnel is a significant asset to the aeropropulsion community and Nation. With the ever-increasing demand for reducing aircraft noise, the importance of the 9- by 15-Foot Low Speed Wind Tunnel is greater than ever. Offering state-of-the-art acoustic capabilities, the facility is a vital part of the Nation's aeronautics research plans. Programs supported in this facility include a variety of commercial aircraft propulsion systems, the High Speed Civil Transport, and the Advanced Tactical Fighter, the Joint Strike Fighter, and other military STOVL aircraft applications.

Built in 1968, the test section of the 9- by 15-Foot Low Speed Wind Tunnel is 9 ft. high by 15 ft. wide and 28 ft. long. Providing airspeeds from 0 to 175 mph, this facility has unique and nationally recognized capabilities to evaluate aerodynamic performance and acoustic characteristics of nozzles, inlets, and propellers, and investigate hot gas re-ingestion of advanced STOVL concepts.

The facility is acoustically treated and equipped with microphones linked to a dynamic data system. A series of drive rig systems are available to power engine fan models for performance and acoustic testing. A unique "rotor alone nacelle" test capability allows isolation of fan alone noise by elimination of outlet guide vanes.

A new Dynamic Actuation System was developed for this facility to provide realistic simulations of STOVL aircraft takeoff and rolling landings. It also has a more conventional fixed ground plane with a sliding door and a 4-degree-of-freedom model integrated support system used to study engine hot gas re-ingestion.

Specialized support systems include:

  • Advanced optical imagery (sheet lasers, PSP, TSP)
  • Gaseous hydrogen fuel system
  • High-pressure air
  • Altitude exhaust
  • 1,000 and 5,000 HP fan drive rig systems
  • 750 HP (per shaft) Counter-Rotating Drive Rig System
  • Rotor Alone Nacelle System
  • Dynamic Actuation System
  • Variety of available research test hardware

For further technical information about the facility, please refer to the capabilities page for within this site

+ Read more about our capabilities...
Facility Fact Sheets
Wind Tunnels at Glenn
Glenn Research Center has six unique world-class wind tunnel.
+ View the fact sheet (PDF)
9'x15' Low Speed Wind Tunnel (9x15)
Evaluating aerodynamic performance and acoustic
+ View the fact sheet (PDF)
8'x6' Supersonic Wind Tunnel (8x6)
Explore subsonic, transonic, and supersonic speeds.
+ View the fact sheet (PDF)
Get Adobe Acrobat Reader - Your First Click to the US Government

+ Freedom of Information Act
+ NASA Web Privacy Policy and Important Notices

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Editor: Sharon Maier, ATS(JV), LLC
NASA Official: Mary J. Lobo
+ Web Curator
+ Contact NASA Glenn
+ Contact NASA
Last Updated: June 28, 2017