Aerodynamics of animal flight can be studied by several approaches. The use of wind tunnels for animal flight experiments is extremely appealing, because it enables the researcher to observe the flying bird while it is flying in the test section, and the environmental conditions can be accurately controlled and monitored. Thereby, high-speed video cameras can register details of the wing motions, accelerations of the body and wake dynamics can be measured.
The Lund wind tunnel was built in 1994. It is a low-speed low-turbulence wind tunnel specifically designed for studying bird flight, although now also bat flight and insect flight are studied. Some of the special features of the wind tunnel are that there is an opening between the test section and the bellmouth, so the researcher can have quick and easy access to the flying animal. And the Lund wind tunnel can be tilted to simulate climbing flight and gliding flight. A detailed description and technical account of the Lund wind tunnel is given by Pennycuick et al. (1997), see Additional information.
Schematic of the Lund wind tunnel
Last modified 16 Oct 2012