NASA Langley Research Center, Full-Scale Wind Tunnel, 224 Hunting Avenue, Hampton, Hampton, VA
Significance: The facility allowed wind tunnel research into fields that could be most effectively investigated with full-scale models and actual aircraft. Until 1945 it was the largest wind tunnel in the world. "Drag cleanup tests" performed here on most World War II military aircraft significantly improved their performance. The facility was used to test a variety of vehicles including military aircraft, dirigibles and submarines. The original tunnel design proved to be versatile and as the study of aerodynamics advanced it was used to study handling problems of hypersonic aircraft and space reentry vehicles. In the 1960s and 1970s the tunnel was modified and equipped for dynamic free-flight model testing. When the facility was closed in September of 1995, it was NASA's oldest operating wind tunnel. Many achievements of the American aerospace industry can be traced to the aeronautical research performed in the full-scale tunnel.
Survey number: HAER VA-118-A
Building/structure dates: 1929-1931 Initial Construction
Building/structure dates: 1977 Subsequent Work
Building/structure dates: 1984 Subsequent Work
Building/structure dates: 2010 Demolished