RELEASE NO. 95-089
A ceremony will be held Oct. 27 at NASA Langley Research Center to mark the closing of the 30- by 60-Foot Tunnel and to commemorate the contributions of this remarkable 64-year research facility. The cavernous wind tunnel is scheduled for closing at the end of September. It is NASA's oldest operating wind tunnel.
Originally known as the Full Scale Tunnel (FST), it has been operational since its dedication in 1931. It was the largest wind tunnel in the world until 1945 and in 1985 was named a National Historic Landmark.
The tunnel's many contributions include fundamental aerodynamic testing of full-scale aircraft during the 1930s; drag reduction or "clean up" studies of full-scale military aircraft during World War II; free-flight testing of models of vertical takeoff and landing aircraft; testing of the Albacore, the fastest submarine in the world in 1950; testing of the nation's first spacecraft, the Mercury space capsule; testing of full-scale general aviation aircraft; and testing of lifting body, supersonic transport and present-day military aircraft configurations.
The ceremony will formally mark the closing of the facility. Joseph Chambers, chief of the Aeronautics Research Analysis Division and former head of the 30- by 60-Foot Tunnel, will speak on the history and accomplishments of the tunnel. Dr. Harry Butowsky, historian for the National Park Service, will address the contributions of the facility to the aerospace community. Other program details are to be announced. The ceremony will conclude with a "wine and cheese" social.
The ceremony will be held at 3 p.m. in the return air duct of the 30- by 60-Foot Tunnel, Bldg. 643, 244 Hunting Ave, NASA Langley East Area.
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