When aircraft models are tested in wind tunnels they don't seem to have engines or propellors on them. So how do engineers get correct parameters from the experiments? Do they just seal the air inlets where jet engine is supposed to be?

Similar question, how is it done in computer simulations?

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1 Answer 1


Turbofan and propeller thrust is known from the manufacturer and does not normally need to be included in wind tunnel testing. Models usually represent solid structure, so they have:

hollow nacelles enter image description here

propellers left off enter image description here

However, Cessna included props with electric motors on their Sky Courier tests. enter image description here

In CFD models can exclude engines as well, but there is also the option of adding an "actuator disc" where energy is added to the airstream that flows through the disc. Swirl can be added to the stream through propellers if that is the purpose of the simulation, but this does not normally have a large effect. enter image description here


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