In 1901 Wilbur and Orville tested small wing shapes in a wind tunnel. These small wing shapes were models to help them understand how a real wing would work. First they tested about 200 different shapes. They used these early tests to improve their wind tunnel. They wanted it to work perfectly. When the wind tunnel was working the way they wanted they tested nearly 50 model wing shapes and took notes. To test a wing it doesn’t matter if the wing moves through the air or if the air moves across the wing. The wind tunnel tests on wing shapes helped the Wright brothers design the airplane.