Category Archives: aviation

The NACA’s Quietly Effective Director of Research: George W. Lewis


I have been researching the early history of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) and decided to share some information about one of its formative leaders. Very few people today have heard of George W. Lewis (Mar. 10, 1882-Jul. … Continue reading

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Announcement: Mutual Concerns of Air and Space Museums Conference, April 11-14, 2014


The Mutual Concerns of Air and Space Museums Conference is a unique, international meeting starting today in Washington. It focuses specifically on the needs of the air and space museum community and features three days of panel discussions and concurrent sessions. … Continue reading

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Re-Direct: In the Batter’s Box


It’s the home opener for the Washington Nationals today so I thought it would be interesting to point readers to this blog post concerning two of my favorite subjects: baseball and aerospace. This post was written by archivist Elizabeth Borja of the … Continue reading

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NASA and the Stimulation of Non-Space Applications from Space-related Technology


Much has been made over the years of what NASA calls “spinoffs,” commercial products that had at least some of their origins as a result of spaceflight-related research. Most years the agency puts out a book describing some of the … Continue reading

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The Origins of Air/Sea Rescue in World War II


The idea of establishing a specialized and elite force for the rescue of downed aircrews grew out of three interlocked circumstances just before the Second World War: (1) a deep‑seated belief in the sanctity of life, (2) the high expense … Continue reading

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Redirect: “The NACA Model for Technology Transfer”


In April 2012 I wrote an op-ed for Space News on “The NACA Model for Technology Transfer.” I also emphasized it on this blog last year as well. Check that out here. I Am re-directing readers to it now because I … Continue reading

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The Individual and the Possibility of Aviation Innovation


For the twentieth century no set of technological innovations are more intriguing than those associated with aviation. The compelling nature of flight, and the activity that it has engendered on the part of many peoples and governments, makes the development … Continue reading

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Reflections on the Decision to Drop the Atomic Bomb


It comes up every year at the time of the anniversary. It is one of the most difficult and complex questions in American history. Why did the leadership of the United States choose to drop the atomic bomb on Japan … Continue reading

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Have You Ever Heard of the NYRBA?


It was a short-lived, but really interesting international airline. The New York, Rio, and Buenos Aires Line, commonly called the NYRBA Line, was the brainchild of Ralph A. O’Neill, an American World War I flyer and aviation promoter.  While serving … Continue reading

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Octave Chanute and the Fostering of Flight


I have long been interested in Octave Chanute (1832-1910), whose fingerprints were all over every serious effort, and some that were not so serious, to fly between about 1890 and his death in 1910.  Not that he was the leader … Continue reading

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