Over at Wired’s This Day in Tech they are celebrating the March 27th 1931 opening of the world’s first full-size wind tunnel at Langley Field in Virginia. Designed to test the real-world properties of aircraft, the tunnel is 60 feet wide and 30 feet tall, and features a gaping mouth that looks like Mick Jagger really close up. Breaking all that wind was no mean feat and required a pair of massive propellers each powered by a 4,000 horsepower electric motor. The entire facility covered more than two acres.
Over the years, everything from WWII fighters to Mercury space capsules, and even race cars have been tested at the Langley wind tunnel. The NACA Duct, developed out of wind tunnel testing there, is one of the most recognizable shapes on racers or street cars today.
Check out the WIRED article for more pictures and details, and remember, working at a wind tunnel doesn’t suck.
Image source: [NASA via WIRED]