Partners in Freedom

Partners in Freedom : Contributions of the Langley Research Center to U.S. Military Aircraft of the 1990's

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For over 80 years, Langley Research Center has exemplified the cutting edge of world class aeronautics research for civil and military aircraft. Established in 1917 as the nation's first civil aeronautics research laboratory under the charter of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), Langley initially existed as a small, highly productive laboratory with emphasis on solving the problems of flight for the military and the civil aviation industry. During World War II (WWII), the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory directed virtually all of its workforce and facilities to research for military aircraft. Following WWII, a more balanced program of military and civil projects was undertaken. The emergence of the Space Age and the incorporation of the NACA and Langley into the new National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) led to a rapid growth of space related research and the cultural change of the old laboratory into a major research center. Today, Langley research efforts encompass critical areas of both aeronautics and space technology. Throughout its history, Langley has maintained a close working partnership with the Department of Defense, U.S. industry, universities, and other government agencies to support the defense of the nation with fundamental and applied research. Many of the legendary contributions of Langley to military aircraft technology have been discussed and documented by specialists, the media, and historians. Langley contributions to famous military projects such as the aircraft drag cleanup studies of WWII, the advent of supersonic flight and the X-1, the development and tests of the Century-series fighters, the X-15, and many, many others have been archived in detail. The objective of this particular undertaking is to document the contributions of Langley Research Center to specific military aircraft that were operational in the 1990's. Virtually all military aircraft that participated in Operation Desert Storm, Kosovo, and other peacekeeping missions of this era have Langley technical contributions to their design, development, and support. In some instances Langley research from one aircraft development program helped to solve a problem in another development program. At the conclusion of some development programs, Langley researchers obtained the research models to conduct additional tests to learn more about previously unknown phenomena. These data also proved useful in later developmental programs. Perhaps the most consistent element in all of the research programs is the length of time for the development and maturation of new research concepts before they are implemented in new aircraft. Many of the military aircraft in the U.S. inventory as of late 1999 were over 20 years old. Langley activities that contributed to the development of some of these aircraft began over 50 years prior. This publication documents the role-from early concept stages to problem solving for fleet aircraft-that Langley played in the military aircraft fleet of the United States for the 1990's. The declassification of documents and other material has provided an opportunity to record the contributions of Langley personnel and facilities and discuss the impact of these contributions on Department of Defense aircraft programs.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 270 pages
  • 216 x 279 x 14mm | 630g
  • English
  • Illustrations, black and white
  • 1493656899
  • 9781493656899

About National Aeronautics and Administration

Joseph R. Chambers is an aviation consultant who lives in Yorktown, Virginia. He retired from the NASA Langley Research Center in 1998 after a 36-year career as a researcher and manager of military and civil aeronautics research activities. He began his career as a specialist in flight dynamics as a member of the staff of the Langley 30-by 60-Foot (Full-Scale) Tunnel, where he conducted research on a variety of aerospace vehicles including V/STOL configurations, reentry vehicles, and fighter aircraft configurations. He later became a division chief with responsibilities for all research projects in the Full-Scale Tunnel, the 20-Foot Vertical Spin Tunnel, drop-model tests, and piloted simulator studies in the Differential Maneuvering Simulator (DMS) at Langley. When he retired from NASA, he was manager of a division that conducted systems analysis of the potential payoffs of advanced aircraft concepts and research investments. Mr. Chambers participated in the development of virtually every Air Force and Navy aircraft of the past 30 years, including all fighter-attack aircraft. He is the author of over 50 technical reports and publications and coauthor of NASA Special Publication SP-514 on the subject of airflow condensation patterns for high-performance aircraft. Mr. Chambers received the Exceptional Service Medal and the Outstanding Leadership Medal, two of NASA's highest awards. He received the Arthur Flemming Award in 1975 as one of the 10 Most Outstanding Civil Servants for his management of NASA stall-spin research for military and civil aircraft. He also was a corecipient of the 1973 H.J.E. Reid Award presented by Langley for the most outstanding technical paper. In 1977, he was a corecipient of the Mechanics and Control of Flight Award of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. This award was presented for his contributions to technology to predict high-angle-of-attack, stall, and spin characteristics for aircraft and for improving those characteristics through combined aerodynamic and automatic control design. Mr. Chambers has a bachelor of science degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a master of science degree in Aerospace Engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech).
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