"Wright Patterson Air Force Base-Accelerated Runway" Top 5 Page for this destination Dayton Off The Beaten Path Tip by Ewingjr98
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Located on Wright Patterson Air Force Base's Area B is the historic "Accelerated Runway." What is accelerated runway? This stop on Wright Patterson's heritage tour, features a long, sloping downhill flight strip that was used in 1942 to test the maximum load takeoff capability of four engine bombers. Why the downhill slope? I can only guess they built the bombers bigger than the engines of the time, so they needed to see if the thing was even able to fly. Or perhaps it was an idea to launch a heavy, bomb-laden aircraft, once in the air, it would drop the bombs, burn fuel, and land easily.
Interesting note: the accelerated runway has also hosted soap box derbies.
Another interesting note: nearby the top of the accelerated runway is the old nuclear reactor. Yes, the air force at one time had their own reactors. This was a small, 10 megawatt reactor, completed in 1965. It was briefly used for scientific research until decommissioned in 1970, and the fuel rods removed.
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