Fly higher, faster, preserve the life of test pilots and passengers, many challenges faced by man since the dawn of the twentieth century, with aviation pioneers. Contemporary of the first aerial exploits, wind tunnels, artificially recreating conditions encountered during the flight, have powerfully contributed to the progress of aeronautics.But the use of wind tunnels is not limited to aviation. The research for better performance, coupled with concern for energy saving, encourages manufacturers of ground vehicles to perform aerodynamic tests. Buildings and bridge structures are also concerned. This article deals principally with the wind tunnels built at ONERA during the last century. Somme wind tunnels outside ONERA, even outside France, are also evocated when their characteristics do not exist at ONERA.