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How Langley's wind tunnel shaped the modern airplane

How Langley's wind tunnel shaped the modern airplane

Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory was barely five years old when workmen began driving wooden pilings into the ground off Hampton's rural Back River in late June 1925. So new and few were its buildings back then that — except for the complex of mostly temporary hangars and barracks erected by the Army Air Service at neighboring Langley Field during World War I — the surrounding landscape was largely made up of centuries-old farmland. But those connections to the past would begin to fade as a huge steel-framed structure rose up over the summer. By fall, the giant entrance and exit cones of a 166-foot-long wind tunnel would take shape inside its north and south...

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