Published in Indoor Skydiving on July 16, 2015
Tornado is a vertical wind tunnel manufacturing company based in Voronezh, Russia. Their team of professionals create smaller form factor wind tunnels. Their first wind tunnel was created in 2004 by the Tornado founder Ilya Shulzhenko. This original location is still operational today. At the time of writing, Tornado just opened a 2nd manufacturing factory and has many recirculating and mobile wind tunnels operating around the world.
Modern wind tunnel development has focused on creating bigger and faster wind tunnels. These tunnels, while offering many luxuries, require large populations in order to sustain operations. For example, a 14 foot diameter recirculating wind tunnel might cost tens of millions of dollars to construct and need a population of 1-2 million people or more to keep the business running at optimal levels.
Smaller form factor facilities allow wind tunnels to be constructed in lower population areas. Tornado's wind tunnels serve this market. Their machines offer a technically advanced wind tunnel in a small package. They provide high wind speeds desired by training skydivers while maintaining a small form factor and lower price point.
Tornado offers wind tunnels with flight chamber sizes ranging from 2.5 to 3 m (8.5 - 10 feet). Their wind tunnels use axial fans to provide speeds of up to 273 km/h (170 mph). Both mobile and recirculating options are available with prices ranging starting at roughly a half a million dollars and up to 1 million. The construction of these wind tunnels allows for a much lower noise output than seen by previous propeller below tunnels. The mobile tunnels are about as loud as a household vacuum cleaner, and the recirculating models are even quieter.
This low price, low noise output and mobile offerings allows Tornado tunnels to serve smaller markets in more prominent locations.
Until recently, Tornado's machines have been exclusive to Russia and Eastern Europe. Recently however two new distributors have made Tornado wind tunnels available to Europe and North America.
In Europe, the owners of the new French wind tunnel Airfly also opened Tornado Europe.
Check out Tornado in our manufacturer section where you'll also find the complete listing of tunnels by the company.