Category Archives: aeronautics

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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Calling All Involved in Aerospace Museums: The 2016 Mutual Concerns Conference is Coming Soon


Please consider attending the 2016 Mutual Concerns of Air and Space Museums Conference on 1-4 April 2016 in the New York City area. Conference co-hosts are the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum and the Cradle of Aviation Museum. Registration, as … Continue reading

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The Great Air Mail Fiasco of 1934 in the American West


With the recent blizzard in the mid-Atlantic, I thought it appropriate to discuss an earlier event in aviation history in which bad weather played a key role. One of the most significant events affecting aviation in the American West occurred … Continue reading

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Pancho Villa and the Rise of American Military Aviation


By the end of the first decade of the twentieth century the United States Army had begun to perceive, albeit reluctantly, the significance of military aircraft to the conduct of warfare. This realization led to the establishment of a military section … Continue reading

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