Our core competency is the design and fabrication of wind tunnel test models. These include Force & Moment, Stability & Control, Loads, Buffet, Hi-Lift, Cryogenic, Low Boom, Store Separation, Forebody-Inlet, Isolated Inlet, Jet Effects and more. We produce nearly 60 new models each year and take on some 100+ projects including upgrades, added hardware and configuration updates to existing models. Up to 50% of our models use some sort of automation to drive control surfaces in the wind tunnel, thereby improving efficiency. We have automated flaps, ailerons, elevators, rudders, doors, canards, missile fins and more. We have teamed with a local positioning system company to provide a turn-key controller as well, with accurate control, position sensing and even position feedback and maintenance. We work with your team to provide a model that not only meets all dimensional requirements but also is efficient in the wind tunnel, enabling the customer to obtain high quality data in an efficient and cost effective manner.
Our staff has designed, analyzed and built over 70 Icing models and associated hardware, include FEA analysis. Our models have tested in NASA Glenn IRT, Boeing BRAIT and others. We work with De-Icing/Anti Icing groups at Goodrich and Cox & Co. to support their products if they are included in your system. Our fabrication staff has extensive experience in machining, assembly, instrumentation and installation of Icing models. We use the same vendors used for common processes such as Heat Treat, Chemical Conversion, Anodize, Paint & Prime, Stretch Forming, Chemical Milling, Composites, Instrumentation materials. Our Quality Assurance staff inspects each component, assemblies and even performs Conformity Inspections in conjunction with Customer and/or FAA Quality organizations.
As both a follow-on to our wind tunnel models and as an extension of our commitment to our customers, Tri Models also designs and builds flight hardware. Whether it is a nacelle/cowl for the Pratt & Whitney 747 Testbed or C.G./Weight transfer tank system for the Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ), Tri Models has the skill set and expertise to help. We have been involved with the fabrication of a series of Hypersonic Missile flight vehicle inlets and engines, payloads for DARPA’s Tactical Boost Glide test vehicles and more. We have designed and built test hardware that is externally carried in flight at NASA Dryden on their F-15 testbed. We have also built wing sections, mounted to the F-15 and other aircraft to laminar flow control techniques over an airfoil. No project is outside of our capability!
As part of their development programs, sometimes a customer needs to test the basic performance of a critical feature of their new technology. This may include a new engine concept such as a Scramjet or Pulse Detonation Engine or a turbo-machinery test unit. At some point, a working prototype is the best way to have a Proof-of-Concept and this is where Tri Models steps in. We can turn the “back-of-the-napkin” sketch or rough CAD into a working system. Whether you are trying to prove out a new type of combustion or the use of new materials such as 3D printed metals, we can help. Our design team loves a challenge!
A sub-set of the prototype hardware is test cell components. This may be a direct-connect type section where the component sub-assembly is inserted into an existing test setup or an entirely new test cell. Tri Models has designed and built a complete laminar flow test cell that interfaces with existing facility supply systems and includes flow conditioning as well as a test section with variable features and interchangeable hardware.
Many of our models and test hardware use existing facility support hardware to interface between the two. In some cases, whether due to a lack of an adequate solution available at the facility, or the customer desires a unique installation, new hardware is needed. This can also include specialty measurement devices, such as a pressure rail to measure a very granular supersonic boom pressure gradient. We have designed and built stings and blade supports for man tunnels in the world including all of the NASA wind tunnels, ONERA tunnels in France, the ARA HSWT in the UK and more.