What is the purpose of a wind tunnel?

A wind tunnel is used to simulate air flow over a model of an airplane or a wing section so it can be studied. The model can be instrumented to measure the lift and drag and other parameters for study. The wind tunnel can produce air flow at the desired speed and condition. Engineers may use a wind tunnel to study and design a wing shape. The Wright Brothers developed the first wind tunnel to design the shape of the wing for their airplane. Wind tunnels can be used to study interference between parts of the aircraft or between an airplane and a bomb as it drops away. There are different types of wind tunnels: low speed wind tunnels, supersonic wind tunnels and hyper-sonic wind tunnels.