NACA Centenary Symposium at Smithsonian March 3-4, 2015

The Douglas D-558-II test force with the team behind it in 1952. (NASA photo)
The Douglas D-558-II test force with the team behind it in 1952. (NASA photo)
The Douglas D-558-II test force with the team behind it in 1952. (NASA photo)

Press Release:

Before there was NASA, there was the NACA. On March 3, 1915, Congress established the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, or N-A-C-A, “to separate the real from the imagined and make known the overlooked and unexpected” in the quest for flight. In 1958, the NACA’s staff, research facilities, and know-how were transitioned to the new NASA.

Over Tuesday, March 3rd and Wednesday March 4th, 2015, the National Air and Space Museum and the NASA History Program Office will host a special symposium open to the public that commemorates a century of aerospace research and development. Entitled NACA Centenary: A Symposium on 100 Years of Aerospace Research and Development, the sessions will feature experts from the National Air and Space Museum as well as other aerospace experts.

To register for the event, please contact Nadine Andreassen at histinfo@hq.nasa.gov
Please provide your name, email address, and affiliation.

Note: three symposium sessions will be webcast on the National Air and Space Museum website as part of the What’s New in Aerospace? program series. See the What’s New in Aerospace? website for details.


Organizers:

Dr. William P. Barry, NASA Chief Historian
Dr. Roger D. Launius, National Air and Space Museum
Dr. Richard Hallion, Florida Polytechnic University


Location:

Moving Beyond Earth Gallery
National Air and Space Museum, Independence Avenue, Washington DC


The Schedule will be as follows:

Tuesday – March 3rd, 2015

8:45 – 9:15        Registration

9:15                     Welcoming Remarks

9:30                    Keynote Address:

What is the NACA Model of Research and Development? Reflections on a Century of Flight –
Roger D. Launius, NASM

10:15 – 11:45    Setting the Stage

Moderator: William P. Barry, NASA Headquarters

Flight Not Improbable: Octave Chanute tackles aeronautics as a civil engineer — Simine Short, National Soaring Museum

False Start: The Langley Aerodynamical Laboratory, 1911-1915 — Tom D. Crouch, National Air and Space Museum

The US Military and the Creation of the NACA — Laurence Burke, Carnegie Mellon University

11:45 – 1:00       Lunch Break

1:00 – 2:30        Early History of NACA

Moderator: Stephen Garber, NASA Headquarters

Bringing aerodynamics – and aeronautical engineering – to the American University — Deborah G. Douglas, MIT Museum

NACA, Naval Aviation and MIT: Establishing the Practice of Aeronautical Engineering — John Tylko, MIT

Transplanting Göttingen to the Tidewater: The NACA and German Aerodynamics, 1919-1926 — Richard P. Hallion, Florida Polytechnic University

The War, the NACA and the Convention: Laying the Ideological Foundation for Federal Regulation during the Wilson Administration — Sean Seyer, University of Kansas

2:30 – 3:00       Break

3:00 – 4:30       Flight Test and Research

Moderator: Richard P. Hallion, Florida Polytechnic University

Conducting Research in Flight: A Unique NACA Contribution to Aerospace — Robert E. Curry, NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center, Retired

The NACA, the Airplane Propeller, and World War II — Jeremy R. Kinney, National Air and Space Museum

“The Real Right Stuff”: An Historical Examination of the Culture and Accomplishments of the NACA Research Pilot, 1917-1958 — James R. Hansen, Auburn University

Flight Test to Moon Shot: The NACA, the Astronauts, and the Culture of Experiment, 1959–1969 — Matthew H. Hersch, University of Pennsylvania

Linear Aerospike SR-71 Experiment (LASRE) refueling during first test flight in October, 1997. (NASA photo)
Linear Aerospike SR-71 Experiment (LASRE) refueling during first test flight in October, 1997. (NASA photo)

Wednesday – March 4, 2015

9:10                     Houskeeping/Keynote Introduction

9:15 – 10:00      Keynote Address:

The NACA in the 1930’s – Trailblazing the Technical World of Aerodynamics — John D. Anderson, National Air and Space Museum

10:00 – 11:45    Key Aspects of NACA Research

Moderator: Michael J. Neufeld, National Air and Space Museum

The NACA and Research Policy at the Hands of History — Robert Ferguson, Independent Researcher

Epochs of Space Technology at NASA: NACA to OART and Beyond — John C. Mankins, Artemis Innovation Management Solutions, LLC

Women of NACA: STEM Stories to Inspire Future Generations — Adrienne Provenzano, STEAM Educator

The NACA at Lewis Laboratory, a Legacy of Ohioans Solving the Problem of Flight — Shannon Bohle, Archivopedia, LLC

11:45 – 1:00      Lunch Break

1:00 – 3:00       Transformations

Moderator: F. Robert van der Linden, National Air and Space Museum

The NACA Transition to Space: Validating the Blunt Body — Glenn Bugos, NASA Ames Research Center

Reaction Control Systems and the NACA — Christian Gelzer, NASA Armstrong Research Center

Tin Soldiers and Glass Slippers: How Postwar Competition Sailplane Development Shifted from America to Europe — Russell Lee, National Air and Space Museum

Towards Victory: NACA Public Relations on the Coattails of the Cold War, 1946-1958 — Kristen Starr, Auburn University

3:00 – 3:30       Break

3:30 – 5:00       The Next Assignment: A Panel Discussion

Chair: Peter Jakab, National Air and Space Museum

Mark Lewis, IDA Science and Technology Policy Institute

Michael Gorn, Research Associate, National Air and Space Museum

Janet Bednarek, University of Dayton

Peter Westwick, University of Southern California

NACA photo from 1954 showing some of Douglas Aircraft's experimental aircraft - the X-3 Stiletto, D-558-I Skyrocket, XF4D Skyway and D558-II Skyrocket on the dry lake bed out at Muroc, California (now Edwards Air Force Base). (NASA photo)
NACA photo from 1954 showing some of Douglas Aircraft’s experimental aircraft – the X-3 Stiletto, D-558-I Skyrocket, XF4D Skyway and D558-II Skyrocket on the dry lake bed out at Muroc, California (now Edwards Air Force Base). (NASA photo)

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