As the holidays approach, people across the U.S. will catch a flight or hit the road to gather for celebrations with family and friends. The planes, cars, and trucks that transport travelers must be able to operate safely in all kinds of weather. That’s where the McKinley Climatic Laboratory in Florida comes in.
The lab houses six rooms called hangars. The biggest is as tall as a seven-story building. Each hangar simulates a different type of weather, from ice storms to scorching heat. Aircraft and vehicle manufacturers bring their products to the lab to see how well their designs withstand the elements. Once an aircraft or a vehicle is in a hangar, technicians anchor it to the ground, start it up, and monitor its performance as the indoor weather turns bad.