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May 2014 magazine cover
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(NASA Wallops Flight Facility)

Canaveral Junior

Wallops Island gets ready for the big time.

The Whirligig

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(NASA)

Among the research projects at Wallops in the early 1950s was the Jet Board, used to demonstrate that a person could fly while standing on a platform supported only by a jet of air. A later version, shown here in the Instrumentation Laboratory shop at Wallops in 1953, replaced the direct air jet with a two-blade rotor driven by small air jets at each blade tip. They called it the “Whirligig.” It flew successfully, but never went into production.

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