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  Langley AFB wind tunnel to close

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Author Topic:   Langley AFB wind tunnel to close

Posts: 28
From: Waldorf, MD
Registered: Oct 2008

posted 09-11-2009 11:01 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for btguest   Click Here to Email btguest     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
t looks like the big wind tunnel at Langley AFB is closing and will be torn down.
The historic wind tunnel at Langley Air Force Base is set to close and eventually be demolisheed. The wind tunnel has tested every single fighter aircraft since its establishment in the 1930s.
If memory serves, it was a set piece in the background of one of the scenes in The Right Stuff.

I know that it had a significant role in the space program, but I'm not aware of its specific history... can anyone share?


Posts: 48
Registered: Jul 2005

posted 09-13-2009 06:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for lb206   Click Here to Email lb206     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It's sad to see this facility go.

A little info: the test section is 30 feet by 60 feet in size and is subsonic in speed if I recall correctly. The tunnel was used extensively to test military aircraft in World War II, among them the P-51 and P-38 among others. The tunnel was unique at the time as it could hold a full size aircraft in the test section and not just scale models.

The tunnel is interesting to see from the outside because its built of concrete as a cost saving measure during the depression.

As the video says, NASA stopped using it in 1995 however it doesn't say in the video that Old Dominion University has operated it for several years now for research. Some NASCAR race teams have also done testing there over the years.

The tunnel is one of several Langley sights that are on the Registry of National Historic Landmarks. Others include the National Transonic Test Facility, Impact Dynamics Test Facility, Rendezvous and Docking training facility, and the Variable Density wind tunnel.

I spent several years as an educator for the Langley visitor center and was lucky enough to visit this tunnel once and it was an incredible sight to see.


Posts: 642
From: Cinci, OH
Registered: Mar 2006

posted 09-14-2009 11:03 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for kr4mula   Click Here to Email kr4mula     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You can read online the Wind Tunnels of NASA.



Posts: 110
From: San Antonio, TX
Registered: Jan 2006

posted 10-11-2009 08:17 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Whizzospace   Click Here to Email Whizzospace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Man, what a bummer. Jason/LB206 and I worked together as docents at the visitor's center. Before 9-11, on the "extra" Langley tours, we could actually take visitors into the tunnel - since it was no longer so heavily used. It's like one more little piece of the first "A" in NASA is fading away.

John W

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