United States Air Force Academy

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Aeronautics Research Center

The Aeronautics Research Center provides Aeronautical Engineering cadets with a meaningful research experience, employing projects supporting customers in the Air Force, Department of Defense (DoD), other government agencies and commercial partners.

The center makes use of the United States Air Force Academy’s Aeronautics Laboratory, with facilities including nine different wind and water tunnels as well as four hardened engine test cells housing gas turbine and internal combustion engines. It is complemented by a broad range of faculty and researcher expertise in aerodynamics, flight control, propulsion and flight test. These capabilities combine to produce highly motivational cadet learning experiences, quality research products for customers and faculty/researcher technical currency.

  • Aerodynamic flow control
  • Subsonic wind tunnel testing in five different facilities
  • Supersonic/hypersonic experiment and computation
  • Gas turbine and internal combustion research
  • Small air vehicle design/build/fly
  • Parachute canopy development/computation
  • Virgin Galactic LauncherOne fin study
  • A10 engine flow distortion measurement
  • SpaceX Dragon air data sensor algorithms
  • Supersonic flight control research
  • Quiet propeller design and test
  • Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) hybrid propulsion development
  • Air-deployed UAS design/build/fly
  • NATO RTO tailless aircraft control
  • Parachute canopy and suspension line research
  • GEODDS dome wind load testing
  • Aircraft optical dome fluid-structure interaction

Dr. Tom McLaughlin
(719) 333-2613