tunnels were especially important
when the design theory of aircraft was still in the early stage, and the testing by
miniatures was very important. The use of wind tunnels continued to grow due to the
increase in the speed of automobiles and railways. Also, the building industry
started to use wind tunnels for the development of skyscrapers. In many cutting edge
technologies, wind tunnels play an important role. It's no exaggeration to say that
wind tunnels support our daily life.
Recently due to the improvement of CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) and an increase in processing speed of computers, the use of CFD becomes more popular worldwide. The accuracy and usability of CFD are improving day by day. However, since CFD is an approximation simulation, there is a limit to its accuracy regardless of its calculation methods. Also, the result of a CFD simulation can be significantly wrong when the initial conditions of calculation are slightly inappropriate. On the other hand, the results of a wind tunnel test are accurate and absolute as long as the observation method is appropriate. There is a very small possibility that the result becomes significantly wrong. This is why the wind tunnel still plays a leading role in many large projects that cannot be mistaken.
Although, it is a reality that the use of CFD is increasing and the use of wind tunnel is decreasing worldwide. CFD is much easier to install, cheaper, and takes up no space. On the other hand, the basic design and technology of wind tunnels haven‘t changed for over 60 years. Wind tunnels are still difficult to install, expensive, and takes up a vast amount of space. The wind tunnel has many superior elements to CFD but at this rate, wind tunnels would disappear from the front page of history in 20 years time.