Rock You Like a Hurricane: The Ultimate Wind Tunnel Quiz
by Staff
Without wind tunnels, the course of human history might've been very different. How much do you know about these cool, breezy machines?

Wind tunnels are designed to study what sort of forces?

  • mud flow
  • aerodynamics
  • wind odor

Leonardo da Vinci drew up plans for an early plane. What was it called?

  • ornithopter
  • helicopter
  • velociraptor

In terms of aerodynamics, what is drag?

  • air resistance
  • it is similar to yaw
  • your mother-in-law

What is turbulence?

  • rough or unsteady movement of air
  • choppy, whitecapped waves
  • a toddler

Which contraption was an early forerunner to wind tunnels?

  • whirling leg
  • whirling arm
  • whirling dervish

Who invented the first whirling arm?

  • Benjamin Robins
  • Benjamin Franklin
  • Baskin Robins

What was one major problem with the design of whirling arms?

  • the arm caused too much turbulence
  • spinning in a circle meant that objects moved through their own wake
  • all of the above

What shape was most often tested on whirling arms?

  • all different shapes
  • types of airfoils
  • kites

What was one of the most important forces that whirling arms helped early engineers investigate?

  • lift
  • pitch
  • dizziness

When was the first wind tunnel constructed?

  • 1871
  • 1971
  • 1671

How long, in feet, was the first wind tunnel?

  • 5 feet
  • 8 feet
  • 12 feet

What is the most important section of a wind tunnel?

  • the drive section
  • the contraction cone
  • the test section

Who researched the results of whirling arms and English wind tunnels and decided to make their own?

  • the Smith brothers
  • the Wright brothers
  • the Ringling brothers

The Wright brothers placed a fan upstream of the test section in their wind tunnel. Why was this a mistake?

  • the fan's blades were too small
  • the fan was unreliable
  • the fan caused choppy air to enter the test section

How big was the test section the Wright brothers' wind tunnel?

  • 12 feet
  • 11 feet
  • 16 inches

About how many different shapes of airfoils did the Wright brothers test in their wind tunnel?

  • about 90
  • about 130
  • about 200

Which section of the wind tunnel calms the air as it begins its movement downstream?

  • the calming chamber
  • the settling chamber
  • the tranquilizer chamber

Which section is specifically constructed to reduce turbulence from pushing back into the test section?

  • the diffuser section
  • the drive section
  • the contraction zone

What is the name of the metal pole that secures models in the test section?

  • steel girder
  • the stinger
  • a metal pole

What is an oval, or racetrack-shaped, wind tunnel called?

  • open circuit
  • closed circuit
  • none of the above