This Is Your Face At 457 Miles Per Hour

What would your face look like if you were in a 457 mile-per-hour wind? Back in 1946, NASA found out.

The National Advisory Commission for Aeronautics scientists conducted this test for the Navy in 1946 at Langley Research Center's eight-foot High Speed Tunnel. The legendary John Stapp took the blasts to the face in the name of science.


According to this 1949 Navy release, Stapp took 457 mph winds for no longer than a single second. The 436 mph test was also one second, whereas all the other wind speeds were two seconds long.

NACA scientists estimated that local wind velocity on Stapp's face itself was closer to 720 mph during the 457 mph wind test. Oh, and they did use guinea pigs and a wooden dummy as tests before throwing Stapp into the tunnel, it should be said.

And if you think this is crazy, John Stapp sustained a 570 mph blast of wind in a later test to see what would happen if the canopy blew off of your fighter jet.


(Hat tip to Jayhawk Jake!)

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