A mechanic checks the tubing on one of the many jacks which control the nozzle section of the 10- by 10-Foot Supersonic Wind Tunnel at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) Lewis Flight Propulsion Laboratory. The 10- by 10-foot tunnel, which had its official opening in May 1956, was built under the Congressional Unitary Plan Act which coordinated wind tunnel construction at the NACA, Air Force, industry, and universities. The 10- by 10 was the largest of the three NACA tunnels built under the act.
The 10- by 10 wind tunnel can be operated as a closed circuit for aerodynamic tests or as an open circuit for propulsion investigations. The 10-foot tall and 76-foot long stainless steel nozzle section just upstream from the test section can be adjusted to change the speed and composition of the air flow. Hydraulic jacks, seen in this photograph, flex the 1.37-inch thick walls of the tunnel nozzle. The size of the nozzle’s opening controls the velocity of the air through the test section.
Seven General Electric motors capable of generating 25,000 horsepower produce the Mach 2.5 and 2.5 airflows. The facility was mostly operated at night due to its large power load requirements.