Arnold Engineering and Development Center in Tennessee has shut down its more than 50-year-old Basic Plant air conditioning facility—one that provided, on the ground, the right pressure, temperature, and humidity to test turbine engines at simulated high speeds and altitudes. The heart of the facility still houses the World War II motors, compressors, and associated hardware retrieved by teams sent to scour Nazi Germany for prized technology and to secure German scientists and engineers for America. Commissioned in 1952, the B-Plant has supported “almost every weapons system we’re flying today,” said retired AEDC engineer Glen Lazalier.
Changes are coming this year for Airmen taking professional military education (PME) distance learning courses. Closer interactions with facilitators, a revised capstone course, and more feedback on test performance are meant to improve the overall experience for distance learning students, who often include members of the Air National Guard.