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High Speed Wind Tunnel (HSWT)

High Speed Wind Tunnel (HSWT)The HSWT in Dallas, TX provides wind tunnel model design, instrumentation and testing services for the aerospace and defense industries.

Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control’s High Speed Wind Tunnel (HSWT) is a testing facility that characterizes the behaviors of aerospace products. It is a 4x4 foot tri-sonic blow down wind tunnel with a Mach number range of 0.3 to 5.0.  The HSWT has completed over 1500 tests for customers in the aviation, defense and space industries since opening in 1958.  Located in Dallas, Texas, the HSWT administers a wide variety of critical testing to advance new aerospace developments, including:

  • Aerodynamic force and moment testing
  • Jet interaction testing of maneuvering thrusters
  • Flutter analysis including digital high speed video
  • Store separation testing to include free separation and captive trajectory
  • Pressure measurements (up to 240 locations)
  • Surface flow visualization
  • Inlet performance evaluation
  • Jet engine base-flow simulation using high pressure gas
  • Propulsion (wind tunnel and bench testing)
  • Spin/roll damping and Magnus testing
  • Dynamic stability testing

To protect our customers, wind tunnel data is handled with the utmost security. As a government contractor, government-approved policies are in place for protecting proprietary and classified information.  Tunnel access during a test is controlled in accordance with the customer’s instructions. 


Our experienced staff is capable of executing all testing requirements - from instrumentation and model design to final data reduction. Designers use state-of-the-art solid modeling tools and finite element analysis to develop complete, detailed model designs for use in the HSWT and other facilities. Designs include force and moment models, pressure models, inlet models, drop stores, powered models, and pyrotechnics.  Our model design engineers use custom design aids to ensure sufficient design margins for all customer-furnished model assemblies and can support model design reviews and acceptance checks. 

Our dedicated test engineers aid in developing an efficient test arrangement that takes full advantage of the tunnel’s operating capabilities. Skilled machinists provide basic model fabrication and repair services in the on-site machine shop. A variety of mounting stings and struts are available for customer use, and custom mounting hardware can be designed and fabricated in-house to ensure proper fit and function with existing HSWT equipment. Our staff can support every stage of the test process to help customers achieve the best results.

The HSWT has a wide range of instrumentation capabilities available for testing various types of models.  Our test instrumentation includes a large selection of six-component force and moment balances, five-component flow-through balances, and low-loads rolling moment balances for aerodynamic force and moment testing.  We design, build, and calibrate custom strain gage balances for instrumented control surfaces in-house to offer the highest quality of service to our customers.  Thrust and test stands are available to support propulsion testing. Pressure transducers and pressure scanning modules are available to support inlet and propulsion testing.  High pressure, regulated nitrogen supply is offered to support jet reaction testing.  For a full description of available balances, see Balance Loads and Dimensions.

Digital photography and video recording is included for all test setups and test runs, with shadowgraph imaging available for supersonic test runs.   High speed digital video can be provided for recording high-frequency model dynamics. 

A multi-stage compressor provides 450 psi air to the 40,000 ft3 of storage tanks, allowing typical run times from 15 to 110 seconds.  A typical test run consists of 3-4 pitch or roll sweeps.  The remotely controlled model motion cart can provide continuous pitch sweeps from -12 to +22 degrees on the Straight Roll Sting, or -4 to +30 degrees on the Offset Roll Sting, with roll capability from 0 to +270 degrees. The High Angle Remote Roll Sting provides selectable pitch ranges of 0 to +30, +30 to +60, or +60 to +90 degrees, and has a full 360 degree roll capability. 

For directions to the HSWT, see the last section of the Facility Handbook.

High Speed Wind Tunnel (HSWT)

Six-component force and moment testing includes -12 to 90 degree pitch and 0 to 360 degree roll capability. (Photo by Lockheed Martin)

High Speed Wind Tunnel (HSWT)

Variable Contour Nozzle and Flexible Nozzle System with side wall removed (Photo by Lockheed Martin)

High Speed Wind Tunnel (HSWT)

F-4 (Photo by Lockheed Martin)

High Speed Wind Tunnel (HSWT)

RATTLRS Model Change (Photo by Lockheed Martin)

High Speed Wind Tunnel (HSWT)

Typical Shadowgraph (Photo by Lockheed Martin)

High Speed Wind Tunnel (HSWT)

Six-component force and moment testing includes -12 to 90 degree pitch and 0 to 360 degree roll capability. (Photo by Lockheed Martin)

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