NASA Full Scale Wind Tunnel Fan

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Wind tunnels are critical research tools for designing efficient aircraft.

Display Status:

This object is not on display at the National Air and Space Museum. It is either on loan or in storage.

Collection Item Summary:

No aircraft flies without wind tunnel testing. This massive wind tunnel fan was one of two fitted to NASA’s Full Scale Wind Tunnel at its research center in Hampton, Virginia. Built in 1931, the tunnel could hold aircraft with up to a 12 meter (40 foot) wingspan.

Collection Item Long Description:

  • What’s it Made Of?

    What is the fan blade made from? Can you see the seams? Each blade was carved from glued layers of wood so it would not warp.

  • Metal Spinner

    What do you think is the purpose of the metal spinner in the center of the fan blade?

  • Imagine the Scale

    Imagine how big the building must have been that could hold two of these fan blades.

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