NACA Inspections

Lewis Flight Propulsion Laboratory


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The NACA renamed the Cleveland laboratory as the Lewis Flight Propulsion Laboratory during the September 28 to 30, 1948, Inspection to honor of the NACA's former Director of Aeronautical Research, George W. Lewis, who passed away in July. NACA research contributed to the repeated breaking of the sound barrier during the past year, and the advances in second- and third-generation jet engines.

The 1948 Inspection, Lewis's second, included eight 30-minute stops that showcased the laboratory's turbojet work, particularly the compressor and turbine research and the thrust augmentation devices such as the afterburner and variable-area nozzle. The tour stops also featured high-energy rocket fuels, jet engine icing research, and turboprop testing. The lab unveiled the new Four Burner Area, which included two altitude test cells for engines; the new Jet Propulsion Fuels Building with its tower descending into a valley; and the 8-by 6-Foot Supersonic Wind Tunnel, which was under construction.

Lewis presented the technical talks for the staff on Friday, October 1, and held open house—without the presentations—on Sunday, October 3, for families and friends. Heavy weather on the second day of the Inspection prevented many frustrated guests from landing at Hopkins Airport.