Unfortunately, we didn't get that. There was not only no plane, but the temperature felt like a mildly pleasant 75 degrees instead of the freezer we were all expecting. Apparently, the lab was doing some freezing rain tests on a private jet engine, but the tests were not going on that day. And apparently the big temperature dial on the outside of the lab doesn't actually reflect the temperature inside the lab; it is set by hand and it isn't always accurate. As we walked around the hangar, we took to calling the lab the "McKinley Anti-Climatic Laboratory." That said, it was still pretty cool.
|Those huge yellow fans behind me are used to blow the freezing rain into the jet engine.|
From the McKinley lab we went to the Taconi Room, which houses a lot of specialized weapons, including some that are in development. Our tour guide explained how smart bombs were developed, discussed the different kind of penetrating bombs dropped by Air Force planes, and gave us details about some unmanned aerial vehicles in the works, one of which is awesomely called The Dominator.
|The white bulb-like part at the end of this tail contains the "smart" technology that allows bombs to avoid jamming signals.|