RAE Thurleigh Wind Tunnel Testing Site 3 x 3 - Bedfordshire - Dec 2015


A long while ago I visited the remains of the 8 x 8 Wind Tunnel Testing Site but for some reason or another we ended up completely missing one of the smaller buildings, namely the 3 x 3 wind tunnel. A lot of time went by but it was always on the bucket list so eventually I went back for a proper look. The 3 x 3 tunnel is very different in that it actually closed around 1983, long before the rest of the site, and hasn't really been used or looked after ever since so has really fallen into a pretty bad state of repair - it's a bit more of a derp than the other buildings. But that's not to say it hasn't still got a lot of tasty bits inside.








Down in the basement there's quite an extensive amount of vintage electrical kit still in situ.



The label is in German so I guess this piece of kit was something that was "liberated" from Volkenrode after the war. It reads...


Grease the the lower switch with Vaseline. The upper switch must not be greased. Only remove large [slugs]. Don't use sand paper. Undertake quarterly/biannual maintenance following included manual B.991




Wiring that borders on an art form.






The main compressor building. The compressor sat on the plinth to the right.




Intercooler building. The wind tunnel passed through the hole in the wall.



Observation room. This was by far the best part.




Sensors on the test model in the wind tunnel relay pressure measurements on to which this device would graphically display them.















Finally the room where the various wind tunnel parts where stored. They where fitted with wheels and could be moved along the central "track".