PICRYLThe World's Largest Public Domain Source
NASA Langley Research Center, 8-Foot High Speed Wind Tunnel, 641 Thornell Avenue, Hampton, Hampton, VA

NASA Langley Research Center, 8-Foot High Speed Wind Tunnel, 641 Thornell Avenue, Hampton, Hampton, VA



Significance: The facility was authorized in July 1933 and built by the Public Works Administration for $26,000. It tested complete models of aircraft and aircraft components in a high-speed airstream approaching the speed of sound. Originally capable of testing at Mach 0.75, it was repowered in the 1940s and early 1950s to have a Mach 1.2 potential. The most important contribution of the HST was defining the causes and cures for the sever adverse stability and control problems encountered in high-speed dives. This tunnel also produced the high-speed cowling shapes used in World War II aircraft, and efficient air inlets for jet aircraft. The first 500-MPH analyses of propellers were made here early in the war. After repowering, the 8-Foot Tunnel produced precise transonic data up to Mach numbers as high as 0.92 for such aircraft as the X-1, D-558, and others. Its final achievement was the development and use in routine operations of the first transonic slotted throat. The investigations of wing-body shapes in this tunnel led to Richard Whitcomb's discovery of the transonic area rule. The HST developed an impressive record in aviation history as an example of accomplishment by imaginative researchers.
Survey number: HAER VA-118-B
Building/structure dates: 1936 Initial Construction
Building/structure dates: 1944 Subsequent Work
Building/structure dates: 1945 Subsequent Work
Building/structure dates: 1950 Subsequent Work
Building/structure dates: 1946 Subsequent Work
Building/structure dates: 1966 Subsequent Work
Building/structure dates: 1985 Subsequent Work
Building/structure dates: 2011 Demolished



Historic American Engineering Record, creator
Wang, Charissa Y, field team
Durst, Donald M, field team
Herrin, Dean A, project manager
Lowe, Jet, photographer
Hardlines: Design & Delineation, delineator
Stewart, Robert C, historian


Sussex at Hampton37.02987, -76.34522
Google Map of 37.0298687, -76.34522179999999


Library of Congress

Copyright info

No known restrictions on images made by the U.S. Government; images copied from other sources may be restricted. http://www.loc.gov/rr/print/res/114_habs.html