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An Encore Evening with the National Full-Scale Aerodynamics Complex [TUESDAY ENCORE]

NOTE: Due to the quick reservation of all tickets for the Monday presentation, a second presentation has been added on Tuesday evening with an additional 250 seats.

aerial photograph of NASA's Ames Research Center An aerial view of the NFAC and NASA Ames from 2012. Image credit: NASA Ames

A 1/50th scale NFAC modification model tested in the 40x80 ft test section of the NFAC. A 1/50th scale NFAC modification model tested in the 40x80 ft test section of the NFAC. Image credit: NASA Ames

Date and Time

Tuesday, December 11, 2012
7:00-8:00 p.m.


The 25th Anniversary of the dedication of the National Full-Scale Aerodynamics Complex (NFAC) will celebrated at NASA's Ames Research Center on December 11, 2012, exactly 25 years after the original dedication. A public presentation was scheduled on Monday, but we had such a strong response that we have added a second presentation on Tuesday. The presentation, to be held in the NASA Ames Conference Center, will reveal how the NFAC came to house the two largest wind tunnels in the world. The original capabilities of the facility that was completed in 1944 will be reviewed and the testing that was performed in the 40- by 80-Foot Wind Tunnel into the 1980s will be discussed. With the re-powering of the drive system and the introduction of the completely new 80- by 120-Foot Wind Tunnel test section, a new era in full-scale wind tunnel testing began. In the past 25 years, testing has spanned many applications: U.S. Department of Defense aircraft development (F-35 Lightning and V-22 Osprey Tilt Rotor development), civilian aviation aircraft development (the MD 900 Explorer and the Sikorsky S-92 helicopters), clean renewable energy sources (wind turbines), and planetary space entry and descent technologies (Mars Exploration Rover and Mars Science Laboratory parachutes). The presentation is for a non-technical audience. Young people are encouraged to attend and will hopefully be inspired in STEM education and possibilities for future exciting and rewarding technical careers.

Space is limited. Tickets are free, but required, and available at this website:

Event Location

The event will be held in the NASA Ames Conference Center (Building 3). Maps and directions: http://naccenter.arc.nasa.gov/maps/index.php

About the National Full-Scale Aerodynamic Complex

The National Full-Scale Aerodynamics Complex (NFAC) wind tunnel facility located at NASA's Ames Research Center is operated by the U.S. Air Force's Arnold Engineering Development Complex, Arnold Air Force Base, Tennessee. This facility is composed of two large test sections and a common, six-fan drive system. A wide range of available support systems combine with this unique facility to allow successful completion of aerodynamic and acoustic experiments that cannot be achieved anywhere else. The 40-foot-by-80-Foot Wind Tunnel circuit was originally constructed in the 1940s and is now capable of providing test velocities up to 300 knots. The 80- by-120-Foot Wind Tunnel open circuit-leg was added and a new fan drive system was installed in the 1980s. The 80-by-120-Foot Wind Tunnel test section is the world's largest wind tunnel and is capable of testing a full size Boeing 737 at velocities up to 100 knots.

Speaker Biography

William Warmbrodt received his BS, MS, and PhD degrees in engineering from the University of California at Los Angeles. He also holds a MS in management from Stanford. Dr. Warmbrodt is an expert on full- and small-scale experimental research into rotor dynamics and aerodynamics, and analytical research into rotor aeroelasticity, performance, loads, and controls. He has been Chief of the Aeromechanics Branch at Ames since 1985. He currently manages over 20 full-time NASA scientists and engineers in rotorcraft and rotary wing analytical and experimental research in aeromechanics and flight controls.