More than 200 attend Flight Systems CTF Open House
By Brad Hicks, AEDC/PA
/ Published November 08, 2017
ARNOLD AIR FORCE BASE, TENN. --
Friends and families of Arnold Air Force Base were granted an opportunity to get an inside look at the AEDC Flight Systems Combined Test Force (CTF) during an open house Oct. 21.
Approximately 250 people took part in the open house, during which attendees were led on guided tours around the facilities making up the CTF, including the Propulsion Wind Tunnel (PWT) and the von Kàrmàn Gas Dynamics Facility (VKF).
Lt. Col. David Hoffman, who assumed directorship of the Flight Systems CTF in July, said the open house event stemmed from his desire to show families the facilities and share what the team does.
“I realized that it is awesome to be here, and I was excited to show my family around but couldn’t figure out how to do it because we (CTF) were so busy,” he said. “That was the only objective today, to give an opportunity to have our team bring their families out and show them around,” Hoffman said.
In his opening remarks to the crowd gathered to get a look at the facilities, Hoffman said a significant amount of time has passed since a similar open house event was held.
“The people who have been here 35 years said that there’s never been this type event,” he said.
According to Hoffman, feedback for the event was extremely positive and will be used to “build a concept” for the next open house.
“We’d like to do something, possibly about this time of year next year,” Hoffman said. “We are targeting the next planned maintenance outage and hope to do it during that time.
“It was the team that made the event successful. There were 12 tour guides, a kids’ day care team and other folks who volunteered to make this all come together. I couldn’t have done it without them, and I’m glad to be part of it.”
The Flight Systems CTF at AEDC offers aerodynamic ground-test capabilities from very low subsonic speeds through Mach number 10 in various wind tunnels. These tunnels provide essential test and analysis services in support of DOD, national, U.S. industry and international space programs. AEDC operates five active wind tunnels at Arnold AFB within PWT and VKF, and facility operators are bringing back online the 16-foot Supersonic Tunnel and Tunnel D over the next year.
AEDC wind tunnels are used for research, development, testing and evaluation in areas including vehicle aerodynamic performance, weapons integration, inlet/airframe integration, exhaust jet effects and reaction control systems, code validation, proof-of-concept, large- and full-scale component research and development, system integration, acoustics, thermal protection system evaluation, hypersonic flow physics, space launch vehicles, operational propulsion systems and captive flight.