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Full Scale Tunnel (FST) and Seaplane Tow Channel

Full Scale Tunnel (FST) and Seaplane Tow Channel



Description: Aerial and ground views of the overall construction of Full-Scale Tunnel (FST) and the Seaplane Tow Channel. In November 1929, Smith DeFrance submitted his recommendations for the general design of the Full Scale Wind Tunnel. The last on his list concerned the division of labor required to build this unusual facility. He believed the job had five parts and described them as follows: "It is proposed that invitations be sent out for bids on five groups of items. The first would be for one contract on the complete structure; second the same as first, including the erection of the cones but not the fabrication, since this would be more of a shipyard job; third would cover structural steel, cover, sash and doors, but not cones or foundation; fourth, foundations; an fifth, fabrication of cones." DeFrance's memorandum prompted the NACA to solicit estimates from a large number of companies. Preliminary designs and estimates were prepared and submitted to the Bureau of the Budget and Congress appropriated funds on February 20, 1929. The main construction contract with the J.A. Jones Company of Charlotte, North Carolina was signed one year later on February 12, 1930. It was a peculiar structure as the building's steel framework is visible on the outside of the building. DeFrance described this in NACA TR No. 459: "The entire equipment is housed in a structure, the outside walls of which serve as the outer walls of the return passages. The over-all length of the tunnel is 434 feet 6 inches, the width 222 feet, and the maximum height 97 feet. The framework is of structural steel...." (pp. 292-293). Ground shots of work in progress, aerials of east area...UID: SPD-NIX-EL-1999-0035 4






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