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National Full-Scale Aerodynamics Complex (NFAC)
03.02.05
 
F/A-18 fighter aircraft This F/A-18 fighter aircraft in the giant 80-by 120-ft. wind tunnel at NASA's Ames Research Center is undergoing high angle-of-attack wind tunnel tests as part of NASA's High Alpha Technology Program. The High Alpha Technology Program is an ambitious effort to improve the maneuverability of high performance military aircraft at very high angles of attack.

The U.S. Navy, through the Naval Air Systems Command, supplied the F/A-18 aircraft to NASA. It is the first full-scale aircraft to undergo tests in the world's largest wind tunnel.
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NFAC aircraft F/A-18 fighter aircraft in the giant 80-by 120-ft. wind tunnel at NASA's Ames Research Center
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wind tunnel The largest wind tunnel in the world is the 80- by 120-foot, located at NASA's Ames Research Center.

Built in the early 1980's, the 80- by 120-foot is an open circuit tunnel. Air is drawn from the huge 360-foot wide, 130-foot high air intake, passes through the 120-foot wide, 80-foot high test section and then is expelled to the atmosphere. The maximum airspeed through the test section is 115 mph. Power is derived from six 40-foot diameter fan blades, each motor rated at 23,500 hp. The 80-by 120-foot tunnel is capable of testing aircraft as large as a Boeing 737. The wind tunnel began regular operations in 1987.
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wind tunnel The largest wind tunnel in the world is the 80- by 120-foot, located at NASA's Ames Research Center.
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wind tunnel The largest wind tunnel in the world is the 80- by 120-foot, located at NASA's Ames Research Center.

Built in the early 1980's, the 80- by 120-foot is an open circuit tunnel. Air is drawn from the huge 360-foot wide, 130-foot high air intake, passes through the 120-foot wide, 80-foot high test section and then is expelled to the atmosphere. The maximum airspeed through the test section is 115 mph. Power is derived from six 40-foot diameter fan blades, each motor rated at 23,500 hp. The 80-by 120-foot tunnel is capable of testing aircraft as large as a Boeing 737. The wind tunnel began regular operations in 1987.
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wind tunnel One-third scale model of the space shuttle.

Shown is a one-third scale wind tunnel model of a space shuttle undergoing tests in the Ames 40- by 80-ft wind tunnel. The model is one-third the size and weight of a full-scale orbiter.
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NASA Ames Research Center