MIT's Wright Brothers Wind Tunnel

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JUDSON R. BARON: Back in approximately '47 or '48, one has to recall that the government was interested in setting up something that might be called a reasonably large supersonic tunnel in order to do testing for what was clearly developing in supersonic flight. And I believe both Caltech and MIT received a nod. In those days the calculations that were done in the design was all done with desk calculators and the nozzle were designed taking advantage of the whirlwind computer in the old Barter Building on Massachusetts Avenue, which I believe was the first time that that type of thing had been done.

EUGENE E. COVERT: It occurred to me that maybe we could develop away holding wind tunnel models and the wind tunnel using magnetic fields and magnetic field gradients and getting around the support interference problem. And we did it. We built a couple of balances. Bob Smith from AEDC Tullhoma had I suppose the privilege of being in Moscow so the man he was visiting said, gee have you ever been to the missile reentry test center? Bob said no, you know I hadn't been there.

Well, it turns out that this was located in downtown Moscow and they were looking at this various equipment. Bob Smith said that looks like a magnetic balance system. And the guys says it is. He says it's one we copied from MIT. And he says it doesn't work as well as the one that MIT did but it works a little better than the one at NASA does.