Science: Biggest Tunnel

The taxpayers got a look last week at the gigantic new wind tunnel (cost: $33 million) at the propulsion laboratory of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics at Cleveland. It has been abuilding since 1952, and so far as the Western world knows, it is the most powerful in operation. Engines up to 5 ft. in diameter can be tested in its 10 ft.-by-10 ft. throat, fed with air rushing past at Mach 3.5 (1,800 m.p.h.). To move so much air at this speed requires monstrous fans that soak up 250,000 h.p.

When a passive model is being tested, the air in...