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For over three decades, TRI MODELS has collaborated with the world’s leading aviation and aerospace companies to create superior wind tunnel models as part of our end-to-end design/evaluation solution. TRI MODELS builds to your exact specifications, delivering performance and results in a shorter time frame than any competitor. All models are precision crafted in our 29,000+-square-foot, state-of-the-art U.S. facility.

Our proficient team of engineers, draftsmen and stress analysts have over a half century of combined experience in designing various types of models, including aerodynamic force and moment, aerodynamic loads, propulsion inlets, nozzles, jet effects, powered lift and hot gas, radar cross section, semi-span high-lift, freejet, and wing icing/deicing for FAA certification models. Our ability to turn concepts into designs in extremely short time periods is unparalleled in the industry. In many cases, we can begin fabrication the same week as we receive your data, as our processes are aligned for concurrent design and fabrication.

Our models have tested in wind tunnels all over the world; from Moscow to Brazil, France to California, Texas to the UK, so our staff is familiar with these facilities, their requirements and the interfaces to them. Let us assist you in the liaison with the test facility to ensure your test is a success. Many on our Engineering Team have on-site wind tunnel test experience as well as extensive experience in a fabrication environment.

To stay ahead of our customers’ requirements, we continue to invest heavily in leading-edge technology. We use powerful development resources including the latest CAD software, Mastercam, and Seimens NX 10.5. Normally, we provide drawings, 3D- Data Files, Strength Reports and Finite Element Analysis (FEA) as required. Our staff also performs extensive, highly complicated thermal/structural and fatigue analyses for complicated custom systems, such as hypersonic engines running at 1200F.  We use standard translators (STEP/IGES) to ensure seamless data transfer with your CAD system and can create 3D-PDF files for viewing by anyone in your organization.

Should your project entail use of your in-house design staff or your own designs, TMI Engineers will play an integral role as liaison between your engineers and the TMI fabrication department. The shop will rely on our staff to interpret your data or provide sketches as needed, resulting in fewer disruptions to your staff as well as the overall project.


Fabrication is the culmination of intense preparation and innovation. Highly trained personnel — including skilled model makers and prototype machinists — use cutting-edge technology to accomplish your finished model. CNC, lathes, mills and EDM machinery are all utilized to precisely craft each model to your exact specifications. And because we are ‘no stranger to the hands-on approach,’ you will find our artisans and specialists carefully hand finishing and polishing your model.  We typically update machinery on an annual basis with three new Mori 3 and 5-axis machines installed in late 2018

We take pride in each and every model that we deliver. The Quality of a completed model depends on the care and effort put into each part and our entire fabrication staff is dedicated to the highest level of quality at every level. From the CNC programmer to the CNC machinist. all the way down to the staff performing the final fit and finish of a model, Quality is in the forefront of everything we do.

To maintain this level of excellence, we invest regularly in new technology, new machines, improved software and quality people. We strive to continuously improve all aspects of our service. In addition to wind tunnel models, TRI MODELS excels in prototype development and test hardware design. From the conceptual idea on the back of a napkin to a released print, we engineer and fabricate prototypes, test equipment, turbo machinery, flight test hardware, space flight hardware and structural test articles.


An integral part of each TRI MODELS project is our Quality Control Program, which sets the standard for the industry. Using precision machinery coupled with our own commercially available Verisurf software, we inspect models for accuracy down to ½ of 1/1000th of an inch. Our highly qualified and experienced Inspection staff analyzes and verifies complex contours, difficult shapes and close tolerances to ensure specifications are matched and your model performs as it should.

Technology is critical to the success of our Quality Assurance department. TRI MODELS consistently strives to be on the leading edge of inspection technology. Coordinate measuring machines (CMM) and leading edge inspection software (Verisurf) play an integral role in all aspects of a model program. We have five types of CMM’s in house, including Browne & Sharp, Romer and FARO Arms, as well as a FARO laser tracker

TRI MODELS maintains and operates a Quality System based upon, and meeting the requirements of AS9100. We received initial AS9100-D  and ISO 9001:2015 certification in June 2012 and recertification in 2021. In addition, TRI MODELS, Inc. h produced the Tri Models Quality Manual to ensure product and process integrity that is based upon ISO9001;2016 and JISQ 9100:2016. TRI MODELS has supplemented these documents to add unique requirements specific to our organization.

These documents, along with ‘product specific’ procedures developed and in place, ensure that we function in compliance with relevant standards.  Our Quality Policies, as found in our Quality Manual, define the procedures used to achieve the highest levels of quality and inspection documentation for fabricated hardware, including materials purchased, customer-received materials, receiving, controlled storage, certification and traceability, configuration control, fabrication inspection, non-conforming hardware control, corrective and preventive action, metrology control, handling, packing, shipping, training, and documentation.

Click here to view our current Purchasing Quality Requirements and Flowdowns for all vendors and Subcontractors. If you would like to become a vendor or supplier to Tri Models please contact us.

Models & Hardware

TRI MODELS has an enviable history of supporting the aerospace community since the 1970s. As technology has evolved from the early Mercury rockets to the space shuttle, or from the DC-9 to the new 787, we have been there. TRI MODELS has been extensively supporting the recent surge in development of hypersonic vehicles and weapons.  Since 2007 we have a proven track record of providing everything from high Mach wind tunnel models to hot firing full scale test rigs to actual hardware being launched atop a booster.   We have become the go-to source for models in this arena.

Wind tunnel models continue to be an integral part of the development program for all manufacturers. This has been the focus of TRI MODELS since our inception and will continue to be the core of our business.

The quality of our designs and our products directly affect the quality of data taken in the wind tunnel and has major ramifications to the development of your vehicle. TRI MODELS understands this responsibility and is fully invested in ensuring that all models enable our customers to obtain the highest quality data at an affordable price.

Our history of model making covers all possible realms. Our models come in all sizes – from small hypersonic models that can fit in the palm of your hand, to full-scale missiles and even 30-foot long Reflection Plane ½ Models. No project is too big or too small.

Due to changes in FAA Icing Certification requirements, TRI MODELS has developed a unique recent history of designing and building Icing Certification models for aircraft including the Boeing 787, 747 and P-8A, the Embraer ERJ 170/190 & C390, the Joint Strike Fighter and others. These models are built to full production specifications and materials to properly simulate the icing characteristics of the wing or empennage surfaces and the deicing performance of the systems.

We design and build models of all types, including:

  • Basic Force & Moment models
  • Pressure Integration
  • Propulsion Integration
  • Jet Effects/STOVL Powered Lift
  • Cryogenic
  • Forebody/Inlet Integration
  • Hot Gas Ingestion
  • Aerodynamic Loads
  • Icing Certification
  • Missile Sled Test articles
  • Direct-Connect Combustion models
  • Hot-firing Inlet/Engine models for Free Jet testing


Our models can include multiple remotely driven surfaces, pressure taps, water cooling, hot JP 7 fuel, accelerometers, thermocouples, dynamic pressure transducers and strain gauges. Aerodynamic surfaces can be designed, built, gauged and calibrated to obtain forces and moments in multiple axes simultaneously. Common uses are 3-component missile tail fins or canards, hinge moments on ailerons, rudders and elevators, as well as 5-components on flap and slat systems.

We also provide ground test hardware, such as Test Rigs for the 787 Main and Nose Landing Gear and the 747-8 Rudder. Other types of hardware include functioning engine test rigs (such as a Pulse Detonation Engine & Freejet Heat Sink), and even flight test hardware.


The design process is never static. Producing a safe, viable aircraft is a dynamic “work in progress” until the design is solidified by test results that verify its feasibility and reliability. And, it doesn’t stop with the model. TRI MODELS stands by a model until the customer is completely satisfied. Period. Even after the model has left our facility, we provide consistent support at test sites upon request. Our engineers can also assist you with the selection of appropriate wind tunnel test facilities, support equipment, and in the planning and execution of the testing process. We have even sent teams to test sites to investigate potential issues regardless of cause.

This ‘turnkey’ solution provides the added advantage of efficient design modifications during testing. We will work with you on multiple iterations and numerous test entries, including reworking or adding aspects such as loads hardware. We can even supply you with parts on-the-fly while your test is underway, if a new design feature or challenge should arise.

And because we understand the need for these refinements, rarely do we require change orders that sideline or delay your projects. We know what’s at stake. You can make changes as you need to throughout the testing process, without red tape, without problems. This commitment to see a project through to its successful conclusion has built us a worldwide reputation for getting the job done. No matter what it takes. We consider ourselves as part of your team, dedicated to the successful completion of your test – not just the model. Our dedication has led to an extremely loyal client base as our customers come back to us time and time again.

Upon request, we can provide knowledgeable model technicians to support your test. Our staff has supported testing activities in many of the tunnels around the world. Our services can be provided for as much time as you need, whether it is just the initial buildup or the entire test. Our technicians report directly to your staff and are able to perform every task, from the basic model changes, to machining custom parts for your model or modifications on the fly.