IWT - Icing wind Tunnel


The Icing Wind Tunnel is a plant for ice and aerodynamic testing. It is unique in the world, in size and operational envelope:

Icing Testing: reproduce natural icing conditions in compliance with FAR Part 25 and Part 29 Appendix C criteria and their extension to SLD (Supercooled Large Droplets) cloud conditions (Appendix O) for design and certification of aircraft/rotorcraft subsystems;

Aerodynamic Testing: support both low and high subsonic aerodynamic aircraft/rotorcraft research by increasing Reynold’s number with use of cooling (up to −40 °C) and the variation of static pressure (up to 1.45 bar).

The IWT is a closed loop wind tunnel, with the capability to cooling down and pressurize/de-pressurize the airflow. For either icing or aerodynamic test campaign, three interchangeable test sections and an open jet configuration are available. A dedicated cooling plant regulates the air flow temperature by refrigerating the air via a twin row Heat Exchanger, which is located in the back leg, upstream the third corner, and downstream the fan. The facility is also equipped with an Engine Flow Simulator (EFS) system that can reproduce the air intake flow inside an engine nacelle. Two high pressure fans are used to extract the flow through an engine nacelle installed in the test section; the sucked airflow is re-injected back into the wind tunnel circuit, in the first cross leg. Both fans can operate within the full wind tunnel temperature and pressure ranges. Nominal mass flow ranges up to 40 kg/s at sea level altitude are achievable.

Main technical characteristics
  • 4 Test Sections: (1.15 – 2.25 – 3.60) x 2.35 m2 and Open Jet configuration
  • Maximum Mach number: 0.25 – 0.70
  • Temperature Range [°C]: −40 – Ambient
  • Pressure range : 0.39 – 1.45
  • FAR Part 25 and Part 29 Appendix C + SLD Conditions (Appendix O) compliance
  • Instrumentation: Droplet sizing techniques (PDPA, FSSP, OAP, HSI), LWC measurements (icing blade, hot-wire, robust probe), Cloud Uniformity measurements (icing grid, cylinders)
  • Also suitable for Aerodynamic tests
Operational Capacity

1,5 working shift, 5 days/week

Contact Information

​​​CIRA – Centro Italiano Ricerche Aerospaziali

Via Maiorise snc- 81043 Capua (CE) – ITALY

Tel. +390823623111

Fax +390823622024

Capua (Italy)