An F-86 aircraft is lowered into a wind tunnel at the NACA Ames Aeronautical Laboratory in January of 1954.
In this historical photo from the U.S. space agency, this F-86 aircraft is being lowered into the 40 x 80 Foot Full Scale Wind Tunnel at the NACA Ames Aeronautical Laboratory, Moffett Field California, in January of 1954. Behind the aircraft and out of view, a crane operator lowers the jet as a mechanic holds a guide rope aligning the F-86 with supporting struts located down in the tunnel.
Once the jet is mounted on the struts, tunnel doors visible on either side of the aircraft's wings will close to form an air tight seal.
The National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics (NACA) was a precursor to NASA. NACA was created by Congress in 1915.
Each weekday, SPACE.com looks back at the history of spaceflight through photos (archive).