Known as the birthplace of Naval Aviation, North Island was the site of the first successful seaplane flight and the first amphibious flight in the U.S., both made by Glenn Curtiss. The first Naval pilot, Lt. T.G. Ellyson, was trained here at the Curtiss Aviation Camp. A flight school established here by Ellyson trained the next Naval aviators as well as the Navy’s first aviation maintenance personnel. North Island was also the site of the first night flight, and the home of the first aircraft carrier, the USS Langley.
Conceived in the early years of World War II as a plan to bury four fuel containers horizontally in a hillside at the U.S. Navy facility at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, the Red Hill Underground Fuel Storage Facility ultimately encompassed the design and construction of 20 vertical storage tanks - each large enough to contain a 20-story building - buried in the volcanic hillside and connected by tunnels to a harbor-side pumping station more than two-and-a-half miles away.
The Garfield Thomas Water Tunnel is a unique experimental facility for hydrodynamic research and testing. The 48-inch (1.2-meter) diameter water tunnel enables the research staff to conduct basic and applied investigations in the fields of cavitation, hydroacoustics, turbulence, transition, hydrodynamic drag, and hydraulic and subsonic turbomachinery. Instrumentation and testing methods have been developed to study noise, vibration, vehicle dynamics, and the interaction between the propulsor and vehicle body.