The Arnold Engineering Development Complex is the most advanced and largest complex of flight simulation test facilities in the world. The complex operates more than 55 aerodynamic and propulsion wind tunnels, rocket and turbine engine test cells, environmental chambers, arc heaters, ballistic ranges, sled tracks, centrifuges and other specialized units.
Headquartered at Arnold Air Force Base in middle Tennessee, with operating locations at the Federal Research Center at White Oak near Silver Spring, Maryland; at Ames Research Center, in Mountain View, and Edwards AFB, California; Eglin AFB, Florida; Holloman AFB, Kirtland AFB, New Mexico; and at Wright-Patterson AFB in Dayton Ohio, AEDC offers a suite of test capabilities to simulate speed, temperature, pressure and other parameters over a wide range to meet the needs of aerospace system developers.
Twenty of the complex's test units have capabilities unmatched elsewhere in the United States; many are unique in the world. Facilities can simulate flight conditions from sea level to 300 miles and from subsonic velocities to Mach 20.
The AEDC is an Air Force Materiel Command facility and an important national resource. It has contributed to the development of practically every one of the nation's top priority aerospace programs including the Atlas, Titan, Minuteman and Peacekeeper ICBMs, the space shuttle, space station, and Projects Mercury, Gemini and Apollo.
Aircraft include the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter, F-22A Raptor, A-10 Thunderbolt II, F-14 Tomcat, F-15 Eagle, F-16 Fighting Falcon, F/A-18 Hornet and F/A-18 Super Hornet, F-105 Thunderchief, F-111 Aardvark, F-117A Nighthawk, C-5 Galaxy, C-17 Globemaster III, C-141Starlifter, B-1B Lancer, B-2 Spirit, B-52 Stratofortress, B-58 Hustler, X-15, X-29, X-32 and X-33, X-35, XB-70 Valkyrie.
Satellites include NAVSTAR GPS, MAPS and GOES-M weather satellite.
Missiles include the Polaris, Poseidon and Trident submarine-launched ballistic missiles, the Minuteman ICBMS plus the Tomahawk and Air-Launched Cruise Missiles and the Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile.
Customers include the Department of Defense, Army, Navy and Air Force organizations; the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, both domestic and foreign private industry, allied foreign governments and educational institutions.
AEDC is named for the man responsible for its conception -- General of the Air Force Henry H. "Hap" Arnold. Shortly before the end of World War II, General Arnold asked Dr. Theodore von Karman, one of history's great aeronautical scientists, to form a Scientific Advisory Group to chart a long-range research and development course for the future U.S. Air Force. AEDC was a result of that plan.
AEDC strives to:
· Test and evaluate aircraft, missile and space systems and subsystems at the flight conditions they will experience during a mission to: help customers develop and qualify the systems for flight, improve system designs and establish performance before production, and to help users troubleshoot problems with operational systems;
· Conduct a research and technology program to develop advanced testing techniques and instrumentation and to support the design of new test facilities. The continual improvement helps satisfy testing needs and keeps pace with rapidly advancing aircraft, missile and space system requirements;
· Maintain and modernize existing test facilities.