A moveable block planar nozzle wind tunnel design from the University of Michigan in 1955 was shown with previous analysis to operate between Mach 1 and at least Mach 6.3 for mid-size test sections, with continuous variation in Mach number and accounting for limitations governed by supply temperature and pressure, liquefaction, flow rate, and flow quality for a desired dynamic pressure or Reynolds number. The moveable block planar nozzle design allows for continuous variation of Mach number, based on a Method of Characteristics solution to a convergent-divergent nozzle with a boundary layer correction. The present work summarizes the design considerations and hardware performance requirements for such a tunnel in the blowdown configuration, with a comparison between cold and hot operation for various test section sizes and supply conditions. The flow quality is compared between a two planar nozzles and an axisymmetric nozzle for a 12×12[in] test section, the effect of physical scaling on flow quality and boundary layer encroachment is investigated across scales of 1×1” to 12×12” test sections at Mach 5, and the merits of planar nozzle aspect ratios greater than unity are presented and discussed.

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