Airfoil Testing Facility

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Team HotWings
Duration Summer 2019 - Fall 2019
Faculty Adviser
  • Dr. Steven Beyerlein
  • Zach Hacker
  • Vibhav Durgesh/ University of Idaho
Team Members
  • James Angele
  • Bryce Graveline
  • Ryan Kirby
  • Bryan Williams

The goal of the project is to design a new test apparatus for airfoil analysis. We will create a program that will automate the zero angle of attack (AOA) and provide real time feed back of the lift, drag and moment forces on the airfoil.

Problem Definition[edit]

Value Proposition[edit]

Using the wind tunnel for airfoil testing at the University of Idaho is a tedious process when it comes to set up and testing. The stand that airfoils are mounted on is antiquated, angle of the foil must be adjusted manually, and the accuracy is not as precise as it could be. The HotWings team is creating an airfoil testing apparatus to fix these issues through automation. Using computer software to adjust the angle of attack as well as calculate lift, drag, and moment forces through data collection. Additionally, it will be easy to set up, break down, and store away for later use by one individual.

Wind Tunnel and Old Testing Equipment

default Oldstand2.jpg

(Left)The inside area of the plexiglass test section is 18 inches by 18 inches.

(Right) This is a full view of the original airfoil stand. This stand used a compression load cell to analyze the lift and drag forces. By calibration, the potentiometer was able to determine the "zero" angle-of-attack's position by displaying the least lift and drag forces.

Old Data Acquisition Display





  • Operate a stepper motor at 0.1° increments.
  • Design and manufacture airfoil.
  • Design and manufacture a modular stand with load cell placement as a primary consideration.


  • Physically integrate load cell into the system.
  • Create a stand assembly process diagram for users.
  • Use load cell to achieve lift, drag, and zero angle of attack measurements.

Final Designs[edit]



Load Cell Position[edit]


The load cell is located above the motor and will rotate when the motor rotates. This design desigion weas made in order to obtain load cell reading more directly. During operation, the motor gennerates an abundance of heat and that can disturb the reading of the load cell. One way to design out the heat affecting the data from the load cell was to position the load cell with some distance above the motor.

System Connection[edit]


The block diagram indicates how all the electrical components are connected in the system.



The photo above is the completed stand. All electrical components are contained on the built in shelf.

LabView Front Panel[edit]


The LabView interface (GUI) is user friendly. This interface allows the user to operate the motor with the precision outlined in the primary objective.



This is a look inside the Design Validation Team HotWings performed. Boxes highlighted green are visual signals that the test had passed. Yellow boxes indicate passing but further testing can be conducted. Red indicates the test failed and the test must be performed again. Below is a link to view the entire validation breakdown.

File:Design Validation Plan - DVPR Template.pdf

Team Members[edit]

Bryan Williams

Major: Mechanical Engineering

Hometown: Torrance, CA

Responsibility: Wiki Master


Bryce Graveline

Major: Mechanical Engineering

Hometown: Middleton, ID

Responsibility: Designer and Team Organizer


James Angele

Major: Mechanical Engineering

Hometown: Post Falls, ID

Responsibility: 3D Designer and Airfoil Designer


Ryan Kirby

Major: Mechanical Engineering

Hometown: Boise, ID

Responsibility: Programmer and Load Cell Master

Additional Documentation[edit]

Final Presentation

File:Final Capstone Presentation.pdf

Project Schedule


Final Report

File:Final Report-HotWings.pdf