When constructed in the Early 1940s, the Altitude Wind Tunnel (AWT) at NASA Glenn Research Center was the nation's only wind tunnel capable of studying full scale engines under realistic flight conditions. It played a significant role in the development of the first U.S. jet engines as well as technologies such as the afterburner and variable-area nozzle. In the late 1950s, the tunnels interior components were removed so that hardware for Project Mercury could be tested in altitude conditions. In 1961, a portion of the tunnel was converted into one of the country's first large vacuum tanks and renamed the Space Power Chamber (SPC). SPC was used extensively throughout the 1960s for the Centaur rocket program. This multimedia piece allows one to interactively learn about the Altitude Wind Tunnel facility. and the research performed there. The piece contains: (1) A chronological history of the AWT from its construction during World War II and the testing of early jet engines, through the Mercury and Centaur programs of the 1960s and up to the final use of the building for the Microwave Systems laboratory. (2) Photographic surveys of the facility in it wind tunnel, vacuum tank and final configurations. (3) Browsable gallery of over 200 captioned photographs and video clips.(4) A nine minute documentary of the AWT produced by NASA in 1961 (5) Links to over 70 reports and publications related to AWT research and the history of the NACA
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