One of the many ways to get a plane airborne is to blow fast moving air along the wings, generating lift. The above clipping is the scenario in action during a violent storm.

And surprisingly this method of moving the medium of traverse ( air ) instead of the object itself is the principle of operation of Wind Tunnels.

What is a wind tunnel ?

They are tube shaped facilities where powerful fans move air through the tube. The object is placed ( bolstered ) in a test section and the speeds of the air blown are controlled by fans 

By moving air around an object, the wind tunnel simulates the conditions during operation.

The object can be a smaller-scale model of a vehicle, one piece of a vehicle, a full-size aircraft or spacecraft, or even a common object like a tennis ball.

              NASA Tests Boeing Aircraft Tail in World’s Largest Wind Tunnel  

Usually, the object carries special instruments to measure the forces produced by the air on the object.

Engineers also study how the air moves around the object by injecting smoke or dye into the tunnel and photographing its motion around the object. Improving the flow of air around an object can increase its lift and decrease its drag.

It saves a lot of time and money required for the testing and analysis of designs, and prototypes.

I leave you guys with this clipping from a wind tunnel testing facility at NASA:

The Flappy Plane : This phenomenon is known as Flutter in Aerodynamics. It is an unstable oscillation that can lead to destruction

Have a Great Day!

More about Wind Tunnels: NASA, explainthatstuff

German “Zeppelin-Staaken R.VI”, biplane quadrimotor bomber, 1917.
This giant airplane could drop about 2 tons of explosives in a single flight, and had a range of about 800km. Only 18 of them were produced between 1917 and 1918.
P.S.: Note the triplane on the left corner for a size reference.

Revealed: US Air Force Is Planning to Build a Super A-10 Warthog

The Air Force is beginning to work on how fast, lethal, durable and capable a new “A-10”-like aircraft would need to be in order to provide U.S. military ground troops with effective close-air support for decades to come.

Senior service officials are now exploring “draft requirements” concepts – and evaluating the kind of avionics, engineering, weapons, armor and technical redundancy the aircraft would need, Air Force officials told Scout Warrior.

Many of the core technical attributes and combat advantages of the A-10 will be preserved and expanded upon with the new effort, officials said.

The performance of the A-10 Warthog in the ongoing bombing campaign against ISIS, coupled with the Air Forces’ subsequent decision to delay the aircraft’s planned retirement – has led the service to begin the process of developing a new, longer-term A-10 type platform.

Following an announcement earlier this year from Pentagon leaders that the A-10 will not begin retiring but rather will serve until at least 2022, Air Force and DoD officials are now hoping to keep a close-air-support aircraft for many years beyond the previously projected timeframe.

Given the emerging global threat environment, it would make sense that the Air Force would seek to preserve an aircraft such as the A-10. While the aircraft has been extremely successful attacking ISIS targets such as fuel convoys and other assets, the A-10 is also the kind of plane that can carry and deliver a wide-ranging arsenal of bombs to include larger laser-guided and precision weapons.

This kind of firepower, coupled with its 30mm cannon, titantium armor plates and built-in redundancy for close-air-support, makes the A-10 a valuable platform for potential larger-scale mechanized, force-on-force type warfare as well. The A-10 has a unique and valuable niche role to perform in the widest possible range of combat scenarios to include counterinsurgency, supporting troops on the ground in close proximity and bringing firepower, protection and infantry support to a large-scale war.

Air Force officials have told Scout Warrior that the current approach involves a three-pronged effort; the Air Force may consider simply upgrading the existing fleet of A-10s in a substantial way in order to extend its service life, acquire an off-the-shelf existing aircraft or develop a new close air support platform through a developmental effort.