NASA's Contributions to Aeronautics, Volume 1 (ePub eBook)

NASA's Contributions to Aeronautics, Volume 1 (ePub eBook)
NASA's Contributions to Aeronautics, Volume 1 (ePub eBook)
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National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has passed beyond the half century mark, its longevity a tribute to how essential successive Presidential administrations—and the American people whom they serve—have come to regard its scientific and technological expertise. In that half century, flight has advanced from supersonic to orbital velocities, the jetliner has become the dominant means of intercontinental mobility, astronauts have landed on the Moon, and robotic spacecraft developed by the Agency have explored the remote corners of the solar system and even passed into interstellar space.The Space Shuttle, the International Space Station, the Hubble Space Telescope, and various planetary probes, landers, rovers, and flybys speak to the creativity of the Agency, the excellence of its technical personnel, and its dedication to space science and exploration.

But there is another aspect to NASA, one that is too often hidden in an age when the Agency is popularly known as America’s space agency and when its most visible employees are the astronauts who courageously rocket into space, continuing humanity’s quest into the unknown. That hidden aspect is aeronautics: lift-borne flight within the atmosphere, as distinct from the ballistic flight of astronautics, out into space. It is the first “A” in the Agency’s name and the oldest-rooted of the Agency’s technical competencies, dating to the formation, in 1915, of NASA’s lineal predecessor, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). It was the NACA that largely restored America’s aeronautical primacy in the interwar years after 1918, deriving the airfoil profiles and configuration concepts that defined successive generations of ever-more-capable aircraft as America progressed from the subsonic piston era into the transonic and supersonic jet age. NASA, succeeding the NACA after the shock of Sputnik, took American aeronautics across the hypersonic frontier and onward into the era of composite structures, electronic flight controls, and energy-efficient flight.

This volume, the first of a two-volume set, traces contributions by NASA and the post–Second World War NACA to the field of aeronautics. It was that work that enabled the exploitation of the turbojet and high-speed aerodynamic revolution that led to the gasturbine-powered jet age that followed, within which we still live. The subjects covered in this first volume are an eclectic mix of surveys, case studies, and biographical examinations ranging across multiple disciplines and technical competencies residing within the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The topics are indicative of the range of Agency work and the capabilities of its staff.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Sweep and Swing: Reshaping the Wing for the Jet and Rocket Age
Richard P. Hallion

Richard Whitcomb and the Quest for Aerodynamic Efficiency
Jeremy Kinney

NACA-NASA and the Rotary Wing Revolution
John F. Ward

Softening the Sonic Boom: 50 Years of NASA Research
Lawrence R. Benson

Toward Transatmospheric Flight: FRom V-2 to the X-51
T.A. Heppenheimer

Physical Problems, Challenges, and Pragmatic Solutions
Robert G. Hoey

NASA and the Evolution of Computational Fluid Dynamics
John D. Anderson, Jr.

NASA and Computational Structural Analysis
David C. Aronstein

High-Temperature Structures and Materials
T.A. Heppenheimer

Fly-by-Wire: Making the Electric Jet
Albert C. Piccirillo

Advancing Propulsive Technology
James Banke

Leaner and Greener: Fuel Efficiency Takes Flight
Caitlin Harrington

Good Stewards: NASA's Role in Alternative Energy
Bruce I. Larrimer



Engineers, historians, scientists, and others interested in aeronautics and NASA would enjoy this publication.

Product Details

National Aeronautics and Space Administration
  • Hallion, Richard P.
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