Category Archives: aeronautics

A Short History of Air 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 European belief in the sanctity of life, (2) the high … Continue reading

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NACA and Documenting of Progress in Aerodynamics


The aeronautical research that the NACA between 1915 and 1958 undertook found dissemination in a complex set of technical publications that the agency made available to all on an equal basis. Most NACA research was accomplished “in-house” by scientists or … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “To Command the Skies”


To Command the Sky: The Battle for Air Superiority over Germany, 1942-1944. By Stephen L. McFarland and Wesley Phillips Newton. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1991. Although now some 25 years old this book is still the state of the … Continue reading

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Women Computers at the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory


With the attention Hidden Figures has received in the media of late, the story of African American women computers working for NASA during the Moon race is finally starting to be told. While the film takes many liberties with the … Continue reading

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How Might We Preserve the History of the Lunar Landing Research Facility?


How might we preserve the history of the Lunar Landing Research Facility (LLRF)? It is a germane question. Located at the NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, the LLRF was built in 1965 at a cost of $3.5 million. It was … Continue reading

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Katherine Stinson and the Early Age of Flight


Katherine Stinson (1891-1977) is not exactly a household name, but there was a time when she was the face of women in aviation in America. An early enthusiast of aviation, Katherine Stinson learned to fly from pioneering flyer Max Lillie at … Continue reading

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Jesse Brown and the Integration of Naval Aviation


Jesse Leroy Brown (1926-1950) is little known today but as a naval aviator he gained famed. As a little boy growing up in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, he wanted to become a pilot. One day Brown was watching an airplane flying above and … Continue reading

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The Wildness of World Airways under Edward J. Daly


There is wild, no doubt, and then there is World Airways wild. This company was the brainchild of Edward J. Daly, an iconoclast whose management and leadership made the corporation, based in Oakland, California, into one of the most important … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “Flying Man: Hugo Junkers and the Dream of Aviation”


Flying Man: Hugo Junkers and the Dream of Aviation. By Richard Byers. College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2016. There is no doubt but that Hugo Junkers is a major figure in the history of aviation in the first third … Continue reading

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A Breathless Survey of Strategic Air Command (SAC) History


During the latter 1940s, although some demobilization took place after World War II, the cold war between the United States and the Soviet Union precipitated the creation of a strategic force that could strike an enemy with nuclear weapons anywhere … Continue reading

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