An automatic speed control for wind tunnels

A. F. Zahm
Feb 1928

Described here is an automatic control that has been used in several forms in wind tunnels at the Washington Navy Yard. The form now in use with the 8-foot tunnel at the Navy Yard is considered here. Details of the design and operation of the automatic control system are given. Leads from a Pitot tube are joined to an inverted cup manometer located above a rheostat. When the sliding weight of this instrument is set to a given notch, say for 40 m.p.h, the beam tip vibrates between two electric contacts that feed the little motor. Thus, when the wind is too strong or too weak, the motor automatically throws the rheostat slide forward and backward. If it failed to function well, the operator would notice the effect on his meniscus, and would operate the hand control by merely pressing the switch.

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