Langley National Transonic Facility

The world’s largest pressurized cryogenic wind tunnel, the National Transonic Facility (NTF), possesses unique capabilities to duplicate actual flight conditions. The NTF supports advanced aerodynamic concept development and assessment, advanced computational fluid dynamics tool validation, and risk reduction for vehicle development.

The NTF provides the highest transonic Reynolds number testing capability in the world, and can use either conventional air at ambient temperatures as the test gas, or gaseous nitrogen (expanded from injecting liquid nitrogen) at temperatures as low as -250 ºF for achieving flight test conditions. With a wide range of customizable instrument and measurement techniques, both full-span and semi-span model testing is supported.

The facility has the unique capability to adjust test conditions to match model size. Independent control of total temperature, pressure, and fan speed allow isolation and study of pure compressibility (Mach) effects, viscous (Reynolds number) effects, and aeroelastic (dynamic pressure) effects. The interior of the pressure shell is thermally insulated to ensure minimal energy consumption, and responsive Mach-number control is achieved with a variable inlet drive system.

Our expert GFTD test team supports a wide variety of notable clients, including large commercial aircraft manufacturers, leading general aviation corporations and NASA’s Space Shuttle Program.