This wind tunnel complex was developed by the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NASA's predecessor) to serve the emerging need for supersonic research and development following World War II. The three-testing-section configuration covers Mach number .03-3.5 and utilizes a single common drive and two compressors.
The glider was the first heavier-than-air human-carrying aircraft to achieve controlled piloted flight. On his first successful flight, August 28, 1883, John Montgomery soared at about 600 feet. The Montgomery glider's success demonstrated aerodynamic principles and designs fundamental to the modern aircraft.