TsAGI T-128 wind tunnel commemorates its 35th anniversary
27 December 2017
TsAGI’s transonic wind tunnel T-128 commemorated its 35th anniversary at the end of December 2017. It is the largest transonic aerodynamic variable density compressor-driven wind tunnel in the Eastern hemisphere (third in the world in size of working parts).
The T-128 is an important industrial plant in the experimental base resources of the Russian Center of aeronautical science. It has been utilized in more than 60 000 tests by orders of Russian and foreign companies and research centers: from “Buran-Energia” and legendary fighters Su-27 and MiG-29 to modern ones, among which are the Su-57 and promising civil aircraft SSJ100 and MC-21. This is not a complete list of platforms, models of which were explored in the transonic wind tunnel T-128.
Testing is done at Mach numbers from 0.15 up to 1.7. The wind tunnel’s section length is 12 m. and cross-section is 2.75m at 2.75 m. It accommodates models up to a length of 3 m. and a wingspan up to 2.2 m. The T-128 is equipped with four interchangeable test sections, which have variable wall perforations. The wind tunnel is equipped with suspension systems of all the basic types (rigid strut with rear sting, strip suspension, model side wall mounting and half-model wall mounting), a device for mounting an “infinite span” wing and “swept” wing, and others. It has a set of internal and external strain-gauge balances and automated computational system and control complex.
The wind tunnel enables solving a wide range of tasks. Among these objectives are pilot studies on the creation of scientific-technical reserve and testing of aircraft models. The technology and methodology for aerodynamic experiments are constantly improving in the T-128. In particular, scientists study effects of perforated and slotted thread boundaries and supporting devices for partial and half-plane models, develop physical research methods to improve the accuracy of measurements of stationary and non-stationary aerodynamic loads, using strain gauge balances and inertial grade accelerometers, etc.
TsAGI team working out the wind tunnel. The first start-up was held on December 25th, 1982.