Category Archives: aeronautics

Boarding the Spaceplane?


I posted this originally to the blog, “Above and Beyond,” on June 15, 2015. I thought I would reprint here. During the administration of President Ronald Reagan, senior government officials began to discuss the possibility of developing an “Orient Express,” … Continue reading

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Stimulating Aerospace Capabilities in America


Historians five hundred years hence may well characterize successful human flight, and all that followed in both air and space, as the most significant single technology of the twentieth century. Has it fundamentally reshaped our world, at once awesome and … Continue reading

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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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Wednesday’s Book Review: “To Save a City”


To Save a City: The Berlin Airlift, 1948-1949. By Roger G. Miller. (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2000. Pp. x, 253. Illustrations, maps, notes index. ISBN: 0890969671. $34.95.) I first read this book when it appeared in 2000, in … Continue reading

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A Short History of USAF’s Strategic Air Command in the Cold War


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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United States Aerospace Corporations and the Changing Nature of Global Markets


During the period between the 1960s and the 1990s the share of the market enjoyed by American aerospace manufacturers fell sharply as foreign corporations—either private or state-run—gained greater portions of the market. In 1986, for example, United States high‑technology imports exceeded … Continue reading

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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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