What's in the Picture?
The image comes from a black and white photograph taken in 1935 of an adult male standing in front of the main fan of Farnborough's biggest wind tunnel. During the long working life of this wind tunnel very few non-specialists were able to see this sight so it is not surprising that few people are aware of the enormous scale of it.
What you see is genuine and not an optical illusion. The view is of the six bladed fan that drives the wind around the circuit of the tunnel. Surrounding the fan is the streamlined section that collects the air that has passed through the testing area. The fan drives the air away from the viewer; the air flows through a duct around three sides of the building and emerges into the test area from behind the photographer. The enormous scale of the fan and the building is hard to imagine.
The Other Windtunnels At Farnborough many wind tunnels have been designed and built for research and testing. Some were small and specialised and had a short working life only but four important examples have been kept. Although smaller than the one in our picture they are impressive because of their technical complexity and excellence and because of the ground-breaking research done in them. We have a section on this website giving more details about all the wind tunnels >>
The Farnborough Air Sciences Trust has long campaigned for these wind tunnels to be preserved and is working hard to get the tunnels back into use.
FAST's official logo
24 foot low-speed wind tunnel
A diagram of the view from above to show the way the air flows.
The man in the logo picture is standing not far from the letter "T" in the test area.