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Arnold Engineering Development Complex
Arnold Engineering Development Center
Emblem of the Arnold Engineering Development Complex
Country United States
Branch US Air Force
Service history
Active 1951–present
Role Test facility
Part of Air Force Materiel Command
Nickname AEDC
Patron Gen Henry "Hap" Arnold
Commanders Col Raymond G. "Buzz" TothDouglas C. Blake
Current commander Executive DirectorExecutive Director}

Arnold Engineering Development Complex (AEDC) (Arnold Engineering Development Center before July 2012) located at Arnold Air Force Base, Tennessee is a ground-based flight test facility operated by the Air Force Test Center.[1]

Mission statementEdit

The AEDC mission is to:

  • Test and evaluate aircraft, missile and space systems and subsystems at the flight conditions they will experience during a mission;
  • Conduct a research and technology program to develop advanced testing techniques and instrumentation and to support the design of new test facilities;
  • Maintain and modernize the center’s existing test facilities.


Originated in 1951, the center operates 58 aerodynamic and propulsion wind tunnels, rocket and turbine engine test cells, space environmental chambers, arc heaters, ballistic ranges, and other specialized units. Currently, AEDC's prime contractor is the Aerospace Testing Alliance.

The center has helped to develop most aerospace systems in the U.S. government's inventory, including the Atlas, Titan, Minuteman and Peacekeeper ICBMs, the Space Shuttle, , and Projects Mercury, Gemini and Apollo.[2]

It is named for General Henry "Hap" Arnold, the father of the US Air Force and an air power visionary. The University of Tennessee Space Institute (UTSI) is located adjacent to AEDC.

The center lies near Manchester, Tennessee and Tullahoma, Tennessee, and occupies much of the site of the former Camp Forrest, a U.S. Army base and World War II POW camp. It is unique in that the majority of the workforce are contract personnel, with a small contingent of active-duty assigned.


  • Test Division
    • Turbine Engine Ground Test Complex
    • Propulsion Wind Tunnel Ground Test Complex
    • Space and Missile Ground Test Complex
  • Maintenance Division
    • Support Asset Branch
    • Test Asset Branch
  • Mission Support Division
    • Communications Branch
    • Civil Engineer Branch
    • Services
  • Test Systems Division
    • Technology Branch
    • Investments Branch
    • Management Operations

Environmental IssuesEdit

Several areas of the facility are contaminated by substances including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and volatile organic compounds and spills of jet and rocket fuel, chlorofluorocarbon solvents, nitric acid and other materials. PCBs from the site have been detected in local creeks, in the water, sediment and in fish.[3]

The site was proposed for addition to the Superfund National Priorities List in August 1994 though, as of May 2010, the site has not been added to the NPL.[4] The Environmental Protection Agency believes that human exposure to contaminants and contaminated groundwater migration are under control.[4]

External FacilitiesEdit

See alsoEdit


PD-icon.svg This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Government document "Arnold Engineering Development Center".

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 35°22′44″N 86°03′00″W / 35.379°N 86.050°W / 35.379; -86.050

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