Slice of History - Induction Wind Tunnel, 1947
Reports and brochures about the history of aerodynamic facilities at JPL usually identify the 12-inch Supersonic Wind Tunnel as the first wind tunnel at JPL. It went into operation in 1949. However, in October 1947, this small induction wind tunnel was being used in studies of air-fuel combustion and turbulence. Studies were conducted by Division 2 (Thermal Jet Propulsion), which included Section 1 (Research Analysis), Section 10 (Ramjet), and Section 13 (Wind Tunnels).
This wind tunnel was located in building 106, also known as the Thermal Jet Test Cell. The cooling tower for the test cell can be seen in the background. This facility no longer exists, but it was located northeast of building 79 (former home of the 20-inch Hypersonic Wind Tunnel).
[Archival Sources: JPL Facts and Facilities, HC3-280; Performance of the 12-Inch Wind Tunnel, Memo 4-52; JPL maps; organization charts; telephone books; and Section 326 photo albums and indexes.]