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A Night Of Wind Tunnels

posted Nov 8, 2011, 5:58 PM by J Scott Carter   [ updated Nov 8, 2011, 6:00 PM ]

Aerospace education took a “hands on” approach at the weekly meeting of the 391st Composite Squadron Dallas Civil Air Patrol in the conference room of Dallas Love Field’s Business Jet Center.  Both Cadets and Senior Members took part in a” hands on” building of wind tunnels to demonstrate the effects of wind on different shapes and airfoils.  Aerospace Education Officer 2nd Lt Winston Cutshall prepared the exercise which used readily available scrap cardboard, tape, utility knives, marking pens and metal yard sticks.  After a safety briefing on the proper use of cutting tools by CS/Sgt Schlenker, Senior Members and Cadets formed two competitive teams that used cardboard, tape and utility knives to construct two conical, vertical wind tunnels with viewing windows.  Wind effects were created by using common electric box fans. Members then inserted various shapes and airfoils into the vertical tunnels to view the wind’s effect and measure the force exerted on the test objects.  The competition as to who would complete construction first was a spirited race later won by the cadets.  Building the tunnels was not as easy as one might think. Thanks to printed instructions provided by Lt. Cutshall and the Civil Air Patrol’s Aerospace Excellence program, design and layout of the tunnels was greatly simplified, and became rather easy but time consuming to construct. This is just one exercise enjoyed by CAP Cadets in their on going quest for fun and knowledge about aerospace in the 21st century.  If you would like to participate in future activities and become a Cadet or Senior Member of the Civil Air Patrol an auxiliary of the United States Air Force please come visit a meeting and learn about the simple process of joining!