Misc Virginia PWA Projects - Photo #11

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The 8-Foot High-Speed Wind Tunnel, Langley Field, Virginia

Completed March 1936. “The National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics constructed this 8-foot high-speed structure for test purposes. It is the largest structure of this kind in the world and is built of reinforced concrete throught except that the air passages are lined with steel plates. Large-scall airplane models and full-sized airplane parts are investigated for the effects of air velocities varying from 85 miles per hour up to the speed of sound. The tunnel is equipped with an 8,000-horsepower motor which drives an 18-blade propeller 16 feet in diameter. The working space in the dome is at a negative pressure, while tests are being made, to simulate an altitude of 12,000 feet at full speed. To withstand these pressures, when operating at high speed, the test chamber is dome-shaped and the operating personnel enter and leave through air locks. The building was designed and constructed under the supervision of members of the Committee staff at a cost of $474,000 and it was completed in March 1936. Other facilit