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The World’s Largest Wind Tunnels: Their History, Contributions to Aeronautics, and Importance to Flight - A History of the NASA Ames 40- by 80-Foot and 80- by 120-Foot Wind TunnelsThis book describes the history of the facility in some detail. Modifications to the tunnel are described along with much of the research and development testing performed over the years. Often models or aircraft were studied in the facility and then modified and tested again, such that many models and aircraft were tested numerous times over a period of several years. Descriptions generally cover investigations of models that occurred for several years, rather than descriptions of tests performed chronologically. The goal has been to make the descriptions understandable and not particularly technical, but yet clearly state their purposes. Not all tests are described because of the large number of tests performed (on the order of 700), but many representative tests are described that are intended to illustrate the variety and importance of the models and aircraft investigated over the years. A comprehensive list of references is included for those who are interested in more technical details. It should be noted that after the implementation of full-cost recovery, the interest of NASA in producing traditional reports on aerodynamics was substantially reduced. As a result, there were fewer NASA aeronautical reports in later years. This was a disappointing development because of the importance and high quality of the NASA reports and the importance of archiving results of unique experiments. Dates of important events are provided in Appendix A and a list of NFAC tests are provided in Appendix B.
This book is organized in four parts: Part I. Design and Construction; Part II. Operation and Management History; Part III. Research History; and Part IV. Concluding Remarks, References, and Appendices.
Document ID
Document Type
Special Publication (SP)
Kenneth W. Mort (NASA Retiree)
(Ames Research Center Mountain View, California, United States)
Date Acquired
October 27, 2020
Publication Date
December 1, 2020
Publication Information
Publication: NASA Special Publication Series
Publisher: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
ISBN: 978-0-578-81608-1
Subject Category
Aeronautics (General)
Funding Number(s)
WBS: 664817
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
Technical Review
NASA Peer Committee
World’s Largest Wind Tunnels
40- by 80-Foot Wind Tunnel
80- by 120-Foot Wind Tunnel
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