Category Archives: aeronautics

The Mythology of the Lone Genius and American Aeronautics Policy


Since December 17, 1903, the dates of the first flight at Kitty Hawk, the Wright brothers have been celebrated as lone geniuses who succeeded when all others had failed. They have been interpreted to represent the very best American civilization has … Continue reading

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What Is the Legacy of the NACA?


March 3, 2015, was the centenary of the birth of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). This has sparked a measure of investigation and analysis about the place of the NACA in the history of flight in the twentieth … Continue reading

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Ed Daly and the World Airways Experience


Edward J. Daly, the entrepreneur who built World Airways, was one of the most unusual air transport entrepreneurs of the Cold War era. Forty years ago Daly made a name for himself during the evacuation of South Vietnam in March-April 1975. Although … Continue reading

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Jerome C. Hunsaker and the Development of Aviation in America


I gained a new appreciation for Jerome Clarke Hunsaker (1886-1984) at the recent NACA Centenary Symposium held in Washington on March 3 and 4, 2015. His fingerprints are all over the history of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics and … Continue reading

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Fielding New Army Air Forces Fighter Aircraft for World War II


During the 1930s the United States fell behind other nations in the development of fighter aircraft. This was explained in part by the Army Air Corps’ concentration on developing long-range bombers. At the opening of the war the U.S. relied … Continue reading

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NASA Aeronautics Research Goes Digital


During the latter 1960s and into the 1970s NASA pursued digital computational capabilities and achieved several significant results. One of the great successes in this arena has been the development of Digital Fly-By-Wire (DFBW) technology. The DFBW program originated at NASA’s Flight … Continue reading

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NASA Aeronautics in an Age of Spaceflight: Transformations


When the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) became NASA in 1958 the organizations that were still charged with aeronautical research underwent a transformation every bit as striking as the reorganization that made the great successes in spaceflight of the 1960s … Continue reading

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A Short History of the Birth of the NACA in Less Than 1,000 Words


On March 3, 2015, we will commemorate the birth of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) that took place in 1915. This organization was very much a product of its time and place and circumstance. For the first twelve years … Continue reading

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Announcing “The NACA Centenary: A Symposium on 100 Years of Aerospace Research and Development”


On March 3, 1915, Congress established the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, or N-A-C-A, “to supervise and direct the scientific study of the problems of flight with a view to their practical solution, and to determine the problems which should … Continue reading

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The NACA, World War II, and Jet Aviation


The National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) entered the effort to achieve victory in World War II by pursuing aeronautical R&D across a broad front. Overall, the NACA was justifiably pleased with its contributions in terms both of applied and fundamental … Continue reading

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