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NAS Johnsville

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Title: NAS Johnsville  
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Subject: Brewster Aeronautical Corporation
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

NAS Johnsville

Naval Air Warfare Center Warminster
Aerial view of the NADC in the early 1970s
Airport type Military: Naval Air Station
Operator United States Navy
Location Warminster, Pennsylvania
Built 1930s
In use 1940
Occupants Navy
Elevation AMSL 375 ft / 114 m
Coordinates 40°11′0.00″N 075°03′58.00″W / 40.1833333°N 75.0661111°W / 40.1833333; -75.0661111Coordinates: 40°11′0.00″N 075°03′58.00″W / 40.1833333°N 75.0661111°W / 40.1833333; -75.0661111

Direction Length Surface
ft m
9/27 8,000 2,438 Asphalt, Concrete
NAWC, Aircraft Division, Warminster
(Johnsville Naval Air Development Center)
Pennsylvania Historical Marker signification
Naval Air Warfare Center Warminster
Location of the former Naval Air Development Center Pennsylvania
Location: Warminster and Ivyland, Pennsylvania
Coordinates: -75.07532|region:US-PA_type:landmark name=


PA marker dedicated: November 11, 1998

Naval Air Warfare Center Warminster (IATA: NJPICAO: KNJP) was a U.S. Navy military installation located in Warminster, Pennsylvania and Ivyland, Pennsylvania. For most of its existence, the base was known as the Naval Air Development Center, Johnsville, NADC, or simply, Johnsville.

The U.S. Navy purchased the grounds to establish this facility from the Brewster Aeronautical Corporation following its bankruptcy in the 1940s. The Brewster Buccaneer dive bomber was produced by Brewster at this location. It was named Brewster Field. After the US Navy took over in 1944, It was renamed NAMU (Naval Manufacturing Unit Johnsville).It was a modification center for fleet aircraft before joining the fleet. Wing panels for PBY's were manufactured here for assembly on planes at Mustin Field at the Philadelphia Naval Aircraft factory. The famous Chance Vought F4U Corsair was also modified here, with the Brewster F3A version being built here during WW2. It was renamed a Naval Air Development Center in 1952. The facility played an important role in Project Mercury. Since Johnsville possessed the world's largest centrifuge, capable of spinning a man to at least 16g, (42g max 19g/s onset) it was used for astronaut training.[1] The centrifuge was later used for flight simulation where it could simulate 6 degrees of freedom with g loading. The F-14 flat spin on takeoff issue was investigated and resolved on the DFS Centrifuge. Later endeavors included supine seat experiments, G-Tolerance Improvement Program (GTIP), and F/A-18 simulation. The DFS Centrifuge building (formerly building 70) has been refurbished as a museum, office space and a theater.[2]

Base closure

The base was closed by the federal government Base Realignment and Closure action in the 1990s and most of its operations were transferred to Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Lexington Park, Maryland. In 1992, as part of the BRAC, the NADC Navigation Department (Code 40) was transferred to NCCOSC (Naval Command, Control and Ocean Surveillance Center) Research, Test and Evaluation (RDT&E) Division San Diego, CA.[3][4] NRaD Warminster Detachment ultimately relocated to San Diego when the base closed on September 30, 1996.

NADC Code 40 and subsequently NRaD Warminster Detachment Code 30 operated several facilities including the GPS Central Engineering Activity (CEA) and a large, dome-shaped, underground facility (Inertial Navigation Facility).[4] This facility performed the engineering functions associated with Inertial Navigational Equipment, including gyroscopes, used for inertial navigation systems on military aircraft and submarines. While the GPS CEA currently operates out of San Diego, CA,[5] the underground inertial facility is maintained and operated by the Penn State Applied Research Lab (ARL).[6]

The 8,000-foot-long (2,400 m) runway at the base was able to accommodate the C-5 Galaxy military cargo aircraft.

It is now home to an industrial park, Warminster Community Park, a housing development, the new Bucks County morgue and crime lab and Ann's Choice, a senior citizens' housing complex. Stormtracker6, the Doppler weather radar for WPVI is also located there.

While once part of the EPA's superfund list, the US Navy has completed all cleanup activities at the former base.[7]

See also

Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields




External links

  • NAWC/NADC Warminster Historical Information
  • VPNavey - NADC
  • Everywhere Story: NADC
  • Johnsville Centrifuge and Science Museum
  • The Fuge
  • A mid-'70's personal account
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