On-line Book

Book Cover
Cover Page



Phase I:
Introductory Essay

Phase II:
Introductory Essay

Wind Tunnels

Engine Development

Engine Test Stands

Rocket Testing


Launch Pads

Apollo Training

Apollo Hardware Testing

Unmanned Spacecraft Testing

Tracking Stations

Mission Control Centers

Other Support


Man in Space
A National Historic Landmark Theme Study
National Park Service Arrowhead


1. Variable Density Tunnel (Langley Research Center)
2. Full Scale Tunnel (Langley)
3. Eight-Foot High Speed Tunnel (Langley)
4. Unitary Plan Wind Tunnel (Ames Research Center)

These sites are recommended for designation as National Historic Landmarks because they represent the fine technological base of aeronautical research facilities created by the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics. It was on this base that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration would build to create the success of the American Space Program. The Variable Density Tunnel was the first wind tunnel in the world to use the principle of variable density air pressure to test scale model aircraft. The Full Scale Tunnel was the first full scale tunnel in NACA's inventory and contributed mightily to the design of an entire new generation of aircraft in the 1930s and 1940s. The versatility of the Full Scale Tunnel is demonstrated by the fact that today, 53 years after its construction, it is still a major research tool in NASA's inventory and is being used to design a new generation of aircraft. The Eight-Foot High Speed Tunnel is important because it was the first tunnel to employ a slotted throat design which gave aircraft designers accurate data on airframe performance in the transonic range. The Unitary Plan Wind Tunnel is significant because it represents the continuing effort of NACA to update its wind tunnel inventory to provide the American aircraft and aerospace industry with the most advanced testing facilities in existence in the world. The Unitary Plan Wind Tunnel was extensively used in designing new generations of aircraft that eventually led to the Space Shuttle of today. These wind tunnels represent only a small fraction of the more than 65 wind tunnels currently in NASA's inventory.

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Last Modified: Mon, Jan 8 2001 10:00:00 am PDT

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