Aerospace industry players from Pakistan and Turkey agreed to initiate mutual cooperation in the development of wind tunnels. Global Industrial and Defense Solutions (GIDS), a company from Pakistan, agreed to assist Turkish Aerospace in designing and development of wind tunnels.
Since, Turkey is making strides in developing its aerospace industry, it seeks expertise from Pakistan to build more wind tunnels for testing the designs of manned and unmanned aerial vehicles. Currently, Turkey has two Wind Tunnels, both subsonic, at Turkish Aerospace and Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey. As Turkey proceeds toward development for advanced manned and unmanned aerial vehicles, its aerospace companies look forward to establishing advanced Wind Tunnels.
What are Wind Tunnels?
By definition, a Wind Tunnel is a tube-like infrastructure or facility used to exert the wind pressure on any frame designed to move against the wind and optimize aerodynamics of the design. In the aerospace industry, these are used to design air-frames for any flyable object including drones, aircraft, and missiles. It creates a real-time environment for an object like it may face in the air to study aerodynamic forces such as drag and lift are monitored.
Aerospace Wind Tunnels in Pakistan
The concept of Wind Tunnels in Pakistan stems from its missile development journey, especially with the Research and Development of its Cruise Missile Program at the National Engineering and Scientific Commission (NESCOM). Since aerodynamics remain uniform for any flyable object, it became handy in the development of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles by NESCOM. Pakistan has multiple wind tunnels in academic and commercial facilities to supplement Research and Development in Aerospace Sector.
Multiple supersonic and subsonic wind tunnel laboratories and testing facilities exist at the academic and industrial levels. The wind tunnel landscape in Pakistan is given below:
Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute houses an Aerodynamics Laboratory with commercial-scale supersonic and subsonic wind tunnels. The lab supports bird’s feather wing design testing, which validates its suitability for fixed-wing airframes. The Aerodynamics Lab at the Institute of Space and Technology has the facility to investigate airflow behavior around flying objects and study its behavior at sub-sonic and supersonic speeds.
College of Aeronautical Engineering, NUST, has Closed Circuit subsonic and supersonic wind tunnel at the Aerodynamics and Fluid Mechanics Lab. The lab also houses an axial airflow apparatus and Fan Performance Apparatus. Pakistan Navy Engineering College at NUST also houses a wind tunnel testing lab capable of commercial-scale testing.
These are major academic institutes with advanced wind tunnel testing facilities that play an essential role in the industrial-scale development of the aerospace sector. For larger frames, Pakistan Aeronautical Complex, NESCOM, and subsequently, GIDS have developed the expertise to set up wind tunnels.
Driven by the indigenous capacity of designing and developing industrial-scale wind tunnels and aerodynamics research labs, Pakistan has agreed to offer its expertise to Turkish Aerospace in the near future. The details of the said agreement of cooperation in wind tunnels are little known, but it is believed to boost bilateral cooperation in the Unmanned-Aerial Vehicles production program. Furthermore, Pakistan is eager to join the Turkish Fifth-Generation Fighter Aircraft development program called KAAN. Pakistan’s knowledge of wind tunnels may become handy in the progression of the KAAN project for Turkish Aerospace Industries.