We established a model for an airborne wind lidar. Numerical optimization algorithms should be used to solve this nonlinear model. We designed a Levenberg–Marquardt (L–M) algorithm and tested it with the modeled data. The retrieved velocity and the true velocity agree very well, and the adjusted is 0.99947. We have carried out an airborne coherent wind lidar experiment in January 2015, and we used the model and the L–M algorithm to process the wind lidar experiment data, and compared the retrieved results with the radiosonde wind profile. The consistency is very good, especially at an altitude above 1.8 km. We may speculate that when the atmosphere flows are not so dramatic, the lidar and the radiosonde measurements are strictly synchronous, it is possible to retrieve horizontal wind speeds and directions consistently with the radiosonde using our wind lidar model and the L–M algorithm.