Category Archives: aeronautics

Recalling the Great NACA Fact-Finding Trip to Germany in 1936, and its Results


Eighty years ago a great adventure took place. In the first part of 1936 John J. Ide, the NACA’s European representative since 1921, fired off an alarming report on the state of aeronautical science on that continent. Ide, the sometime … Continue reading

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Flying the Hump


Some fighter and bomber pilots jokingly referred to Air Transport Command as an acronym for “allergic to combat.” But the men of the command who flew over the Himalayan mountains during World War II knew better. They delivered more than 650,000 … Continue reading

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The Beginnings of the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory


We are approaching in 2017 the centennial of the founding of the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory (LMAL) by the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), at Hampton, Virginia. Now NASA’s Langley Research Center this facility transformed aeronautics in the United States … Continue reading

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Check Out the National Air and Space Museum’s New Look


For all who can attend the night of July 1-2, 2016, will prove to be a great event for the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum. The museum is staying open all night for fun, food, and follies. Its … Continue reading

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The NACA and the National Unitary Wind Tunnel Plan


During World War II it became obvious that the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) required new tools to pursue a high-speed/high altitude research program. The National Unitary Wind Tunnel Act of 1949 addressed these needs, providing NACA funds to … Continue reading

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A Time-Lapse Map of Every Nuclear Explosion Since 1945 – by Isao Hashimoto


Japanese artist Isao Hashimoto has created a truly fascinating–as well as undeniably scary–time-lapse map of the 2053 nuclear explosions which have taken place between 1945 and 1998, beginning with the Manhattan Project’s “Trinity” test near Los Alamos in 1945 and concluding … Continue reading

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John J. Ide: The NACA’s “Spy” in Pre-WWII Europe


Most people have never heard of John Jay Ide (Jun. 20, 1892-Jan. 12, 1962), who was an international aviation pioneer and European representative for the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). Born at Narragansett Pier, Rhode Island, he was the son … 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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A Great April Fool’s Day Stunt


Last year on April Fool’s Day the National Air and Space Museum staged a great stunt. Here is a reprise of the dusting of Wonder Woman’s invisible jet. Enjoy!

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The NACA, World War II Aircraft, and Drag Clean-Up


I have often wondered just what research took place at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) during World War II in relation to “drag clean-up.” John F. Victory, NACA’s secretary boasted in 1942 that “The employees of the NACA … Continue reading

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