Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute
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‘Knowledge is Power’ Educational TV Show Filmed at TsAGI

21 March 2024

Years-long studies and tests are carried out to make an aircraft fly. Wind tunnels are an essential tool to study different characteristics of an aircraft, as well as any objects exposed to wind and air.

What is a wind tunnel? What was tested there and what is tested now? Are wind tunnels still relevant today, in the age of supercomputers and calculating technologies? These and other questions were highlighted in the ‘Knowledge is Power’ science popularization program aired by Russian 5TV Channel. The journalists captured the largest subsonic wind tunnel in Europe and one of the largest transonic wind tunnels in the world.

The program interviewed TsAGI scientists: Anton Gorbushin, Head for Aircraft Aerodynamics Tests, and Mikhail Ivankin, Deputy Head of Sector for Propulsion Aerodynamics. They spoke on the advantages and disadvantages of experimental and computational approaches, the currently-operating TsAGI’s wind tunnels and their characteristics, and the objects tested in the past and now. The test facilities can simulate nearly any flight conditions and velocities, from those comparable to wind velocity to the velocities exceeding sound velocity by 25 times.

The enormous, the oldest and the most impressive wind tunnel allows for testing both models and prototyped aircraft and rotorcraft with fuselage length up to 30 meters and the wingspan up to 18 meters. In the pre-war and war years, the large wind tunnel gave green light to almost every military aircraft. Afterwards, it tested landing modules, bridges, buildings, architectural structures, cars and ships—as well as unusual but demanded objects, from parachutes to high-altitude mountain expedition tents, and from special antennas to state border objects. Currently, the wind tunnel is used to study aerodynamics of long-haul aircraft, UAVs, gliding parachutes, etc.

Transonic wind tunnel tests were a milestone in creating the domestic aircraft, Il-96, Tu-204, MiG-29, Su-27, Tu-334, SJ-100, MC-21; the Energia-Buran and Oryol spacecraft, etc. Many activities aim to create technological advance in aircraft manufacturing and related industries.

The TV team was also shown the operating principles of the test facilities, their structure and elements.

The program was aired on March 12. Follow the link to see its full episode.

5TV Channel broadcasts ‘Knowledge is Power’ morning program from Monday to Thursday at 08:55 MSK. With its experts, ‘Knowledge is Power’ educational project makes the viewers’ lives better and more interesting, giving them a rough guide to goods and services.

TsAGI Press Service
+7 (495) 556-40-38

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