The Wind Tunnel That Helped Win World War II

The Atlantic magazine has a nice article about the history of the NASA Langley Full Scale Wind Tunnel, including some pictures from the Library of Congress of the tunnel’s construction and some historic aircraft tested there.

Mercury Space Capsule in the NASA Langley Full Scale Wind Tunnel

Mercury Space Capsule in the NASA Langley Full Scale Wind Tunnel

Some impressive statistics on the tunnel:

  • 30 foot by 60 foot test section,
  • powered by 2, 4,000 horsepower electric motors,
  • overall dimensions of 222 feet by 435 feet, and
  • operated from 1931 to 2009.

Among the aircraft tested in the tunnel were the Vought F4U Corsair, Lockheed P-38 Lightning, Boeing 737, Burt Rutan designed Vari-Eze, and the Mercury space capsule.

Unfortunately, demolition of the tunnel began in 2010 and this piece of engineering history is lost. Even though CFD can duplicate much of the work done by this tunnel, it is sad to see it go.

This entry was posted in News, People & Places and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s