Thirty-Ninth Annual Report of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics: Administrative Report Including Technical Reports Nos. 1111 to 1157
Description: This is the fiftieth year since Wilbur and Orville Wright at Kitty Hawk N. C., made their powered flight. That airplane was a fragile and unsteady machine of no immediate utility. It flew for only a minute but it disclosed the solution of the age-old problem of human flight. The Wrights were the first in the history of man to fly. There was no one to teach them. They had to discover principles and to learn the art by cautious and methodical experimenting. From their own research they obtained the practical information needed to design their successful flying machine. The Wrights received no effective aid from the theoretical studies of flight made by the mathematicians of the nineteenth century. The science of aerodynamics was developed in response to the practical demands of aeronautics in the years to follow. In 1908, the Wrights demonstrated at Fort Myer, Va., a vastly improved flyer, the first military airplane. It carried a passenger and flew for more than an hour. Following this public demonstration, the development of the airplane was taken up vigorously. At first France and Germany took the lead, then Great Britain, but the United States lagged behind in the furthering of this greatest American development of the century. With war clouds in view in 1915, the Congress established the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics to undertake the scientific study of the problems of fight with a view to their practical solution. President Wilson appointed the members of the first Committee, consisting of the heads of the military and civil agencies of the Government concerned with aeronautics and experts from private life.
Date: January 1, 1955
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