Abstract A prototype 3 kW horizontal upwind type wind turbine generator of 4 m in diameter has been designed and examined under real wind conditions. The machine was designed based on the concept that even small wind turbines should have a variable pitch control system just as large wind turbines, especially in Japan where typhoons occur at least once a year. A characteristic of the machine is the use of a worm and gear system with a stepping motor installed in the center of the hub, and the rotational main shaft. The machine is constructed with no mechanical breaking system so as to avoid damage from strong winds. In a storm, the wind turbine is slowed down by adjusting the pitch angle and the maximum electrical load. Usually the machine is controlled at several stages depending on the rotational speed of the blades. Two control methods have been applied: the variable pitch angle, and regulation of the generator field current. The characteristics of the generator under each rotational speed and field current are first investigated in the laboratory. This paper describes the performances of the wind turbine in terms of the functions of wind turbine rotational speed, generated outputs, and its stability for wind speed changes. The expected performances of the machine have been confirmed under real wind conditions and compared with numerical simulation results. The wind turbine showed a power coefficient of 0.257 under the average wind speed of 7.3 m/s.