Astronautics Space Flight

Crafting Flight: Aircraft Pioneers and the Contributions of by James Schultz

By James Schultz

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Additional info for Crafting Flight: Aircraft Pioneers and the Contributions of the Men and Women of NASA Langley Research Center (NASA History)

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S. Navy. Surplus Navy life preservers were obtained, and high school students cut the vests open to fluff out the insulation before it was applied. The refrigeration system consisted of dry ice, automobile carloads of which were unloaded by the same intrepid students. The first operational run of the tunnel came at night and presented a rather eerie sight. An opaque dry-ice fog hung above the floor and, Johnson reported, “The light would shine down on us and we’d walk around with just our heads sticking up.

13 As intellectually nimble and technically shrewd were the Langley staff, they nonetheless needed first-rate laboratories and wind tunnel facilities in which to do first-rate work. Langley’s physical infrastructure would prove second to none. Throughout its history, Langley has taken pride in an extensive wind tunnel complex, one of the largest of its kind in the world. Simply put, Langley wind tunnels have been one of the key elements of the Center’s aerospace research program. There are specialized wind tunnels dedicated to a narrow range of investigations, and wind tunnels in which a wide variety of experiments are conducted.

A frigid 24-mile-per-hour wind swept out of the north, freezing the pools of standing water that had collected in the sand hollows. The Wrights were accustomed to the cold.... The morning began with a familiar round of chores. While one man Crafting Flight 19 1 CRAVING FLIGHT Brothers Extraordinaire Wilbur Wright watches his airborne brother Orville make history on December 17, 1903. Langley Office of External Affairs photo archives 20 Crafting Flight CRAVING FLIGHT Brothers Extraordinaire washed and shaved, the other fed chunks of driftwood into the makeshift stove that doubled for heating and cooking.

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