Roger E. Bilstein: Testing Aircraft Exploring Space An Illustrated History of NACA and NASA



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The National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics forerunner of today's NASA emerged in 1915 when airplanes were curiosities made of wood and canvas and held together with yards of baling wire At the time an unusual example of government intrusion and foresight given the importance of aviation to national military concerns the committee oversaw the development of wind tunnels metal fabrication ropeller design and owerful new high speed aircraft during the 1920s and '30s In this richly illustrated account acclaimed historian of avi.

Ation Roger E Bilstein combines the story of NACA and NASA to rovide a fresh look at the agencies the Spring Snow problems they faced and the hard work as well as inventive genius of the men and women who found the solutionsNACA research during World War II led to critical advances in US fighter and bomber design and Bilstein explains contributed to engineering standards for helicopters After 1945 the agency's testilots experimented with jet owered aircraft testing both human and technical limits in trying to break the so called sound bar.

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Rier In October 1958 when the launch of the Soviet Sputnik signaled the beginning of the space race NACA formed the nucleus of the new National Aeronautics and Space Agency The new agency's efforts to meet President Kennedy's challenge safely landing a man on the Moon and returning him to Earth before the end of the 1960s is one of the great adventure stories of all time Bilstein goes on to describe NASA's recent lanetary and extraplanetary exploration as well as its less well known research into the future of aeronautical design.