Aerospace Legacy Foundation

Your portal to America's aerospace history

Aerospace Legacy Foundation (ALF) is a community based non-profit organization (501c3) including aerospace retirees and the public at large. Preserving Southern California's Aerospace and Aviation History including Downey's aerospace legacy.

 

Bulletin Board

In the news...and selected stories

 

 

NASA's Human Research Program

"The Human Research Program is headquartered and administered at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. Many program-related studies and engineering projects are conducted in collaboration with research teams at other facilities and institutions. Use the links below to find out about these research facilities and to discover more about the types of experiments that are conducted at each site." More here...

NASA’s Human Research Program aims to mitigate the harmful effects of the space radiation environment on astronaut health outside of the relative protection of the Earth's magnetosphere. Credits: NASA / SOHO

NASA’s Human Research Program aims to mitigate the harmful effects of the space radiation environment on astronaut health outside of the relative protection of the Earth's magnetosphere.

Credits: NASA / SOHO

NASA Protects Its Superheroes From Space Weather

Aug. 16, 2017 (Courtesy- NASA)

It’s not a bird or a plane but it might be a solar storm. We like to think of astronauts as our superheroes, but the reality is astronauts are not built like Superman who gains strength from the sun. In fact, much of the energy radiating from the sun is harmful to us mere mortals.

Outside Earth’s protective magnetic field and atmosphere, the ionizing radiation in space will pose a serious risk to astronauts as they travel to Mars. High-energy galactic cosmic rays (GCRs) which are remnants from supernovas and solar storms like solar particle events (SPEs) and coronal mass ejections (CMEs) from the sun can cause harm to the body and spacecraft. These are all components of space weather.

 

NASA’s Human Research Program aims to mitigate the harmful effects of the space radiation environment on astronaut health outside of the relative protection of the Earth's magnetosphere.

Credits: NASA / SOHO

"When astronauts travel in space they can’t see or even feel radiation. However, NASA’s Human Research Program (HRP) is studying the effects radiation plays on the human body and developing ways to monitor and protect against this silent hazard.

“Dosimeters and modeling techniques are used to determine how much energy is deposited in the space explorer’s bodies along with inflight tools to try to estimate what type of biological effects they might be experiencing,” said Tony Slaba, Ph.D., NASA research physicist. “Solar storms can cause acute radiation sickness during space flight which has to be dealt with in real time. There’s also an additional risk from exposure to GCRs which may cause central nervous system effects and delayed effects related to cancer and cardiovascular disease after the mission.”

While shielding strategies for GCRs remain difficult due to their extremely high energies, pharmaceutical countermeasures may be more effective than thick shielding to protect the crew from GCRs. NASA also is developing space weather forecasting tools to provide advance warning of SPEs. Solar protons can be easily shielded against for protection.

The HRP is performing a variety of research to identify and validate biological countermeasures for protection. It researches an array of shielding design strategies that include ways to mitigate exposure from all forms of space weather. Historical worst and best case space weather scenarios are used to drive designs. Habitat design and overall vehicle optimization is being investigated to reduce the inflight risks from solar storms. These design strategies, coupled with the human research on the biological effects of space radiation will allow astronauts to travel farther from Earth than ever before.

As NASA embarks on the next big journey to send humans to Mars, it is imperative to protect our superheroes against the dangers of space. By implementing the best methods and technologies against the villain of space radiation, the journey may not be faster than a speeding bullet, but it will be safer.

***

NASA's Human Research Program (HRP) is dedicated to discovering the best methods and technologies to support safe, productive human space travel. HRP enables space exploration by reducing the risks to astronaut health and performance using ground research facilities, the International Space Station, and analog environments. This leads to the development and delivery of a program focused on: human health, performance, and habitability standards; countermeasures and risk mitigation solutions; and advanced habitability and medical support technologies. HRP supports innovative, scientific human research by funding more than 300 research grants to respected universities, hospitals and NASA centers to over 200 researchers in more than 30 states." More here from NASA...

Visit- NASA HRP

Visit- NASA HRP


November 1, 2017- 

NASA is “SIRIUS” About Its Analog Missions

"Before humans will go to Mars, NASA has practice missions on Earth. The SIRIUS missions are the latest spaceflight analogs NASA is utilizing to help us understand the risks of travel further into the solar system. This ground-based analog is a complement to human research being conducted on the International Space Station, such as Scott Kelly’s One-Year Mission. These missions are paving the way to learn how the human body reacts in unique environments.

An analog environment is a situation on Earth that produces effects on the body similar to those experienced in space, physically, mentally and emotionally. These studies are expected to help advance human spaceflight from lower-Earth orbit missions into deep space exploration. NASA is associated with at least 15 analog environments throughout the world. The SIRIUS analog takes place at the Institute for Bio-Medical Problems (IBMP) in Russia. Other NASA-associated analogs are in Germany, Canada, Antarctica, and at sites in the United States.

 

The SIRIUS (Scientific International Research In a Unique terrestrial Station) missions are the first time NASA’s Human Research Program (HRP) partners with Russia’s IBMP Ground-based Experimental Complex (NEK) to conduct a series of analog missions. The first of these missions is SIRIUS-17, named because of its 17-day duration and it will take place in 2017. The mission is to begin on Nov. 7.

 “The SIRIUS-17 mission, from a NASA perspective, is designed to test the capabilities of the Russian facility,” said Lisa Spence, Flight Analogs Program Manager. “We want to exercise the facility capabilities, mission planning and integration procedures to identify challenges or issues now as opposed to during a longer duration mission.”

SIRIUS Logo / Credits: IBMP

SIRIUS Logo / Credits: IBMP

Elevated view of the IBMP facility where the SIRIUS-17 two-week analog mission begins Nov. 7, 2017. Participants will spend 17 days in a simulated space mission environment.

Credits: IBMP

The goal is for NASA to work with the IBMP to conduct at least three follow-on missions: a four-month mission in 2018, an eight-month mission in 2019, and a 12-month mission in 2020.

SIRIUS-17 will have six human participants who will be isolated and confined in a mock-spacecraft habitat for the mission’s duration. During the mission, they will be performing a suite of scientific experiments. Training for the crew began the week of Oct. 9." Complete article from source- NASA

 

 

                

Shuttle Orbiter 102 Crewmen STS-1 Young and Crippen

Shuttle Orbiter 102 Crewmen STS-1 Young and Crippen

NASA STS Recordation Oral History Project

"This effort involved the collection of history from key individuals formerly and currently associated with the agency’s Space Shuttle Program (SSP), focusing on the Space Shuttle Orbiter and its related components. These interviews include information on a number of Space Shuttle Program aspects from concept development to retirement, and focus on design, hardware evolution, and changes in response to the two Space Shuttle accidents."

Edited Oral History Transcript        

Donald H. Emero Oral History Interviews

 

Wright: Today is August, 26th, 2010. This interview is being conducted with Don Emero in Downey, California as part of the NASA STS Recordation Oral History Project. The interviewer is Rebecca Wright. Also present is Bob [Robert] Sechrist, who is videotaping for the Aerospace Legacy Foundation. Thank you for coming in this morning and visiting with us.

Emero: My pleasure.

Wright: Could you please start by briefly telling us how you became part of [North American] Rockwell [Corporation] and then how you began with the Space Shuttle program?

Emero: My first job after I got out of graduate school was with North American Aviation [Inc.], which became [North American] Rockwell [Corporation], and now [The] Boeing [Company] after many iterations. I worked for 37 and a half years in the industry, 30 of them with Rockwell.

Wright: Tell us some of the first jobs that you had when you came on board.

Emero: The first job—the Air Force awarded North American Aviation a contract to design the XB-70, an aircraft that the Russians [Soviet Union] couldn’t shoot down. A design criteria was to cruise at three times the speed of sound, cruise at 70,000 feet. It was roughly twice as high as the commercial airliners go. At those speeds the vehicle would be subjected to aeroheating, so to keep the weight down on the forward half of the vehicle, from the air intakes to the nose was made out of a new titanium material. Manufacturing and engineering had a lot to learn about the material—how to work with it, how to make it perform satisfactorily, make sure we could assemble the two vehicles and they could perform at the required Mach 3 [at] 70,000 feet.

When the XB-70 made the first flight, they had it painted all nice and gleaming white. This was before paints were developed for the Apollo Saturn [rocket] which were made resistant to heating. If you had red paint, it came back red. On the XB-70 they didn’t have any heat-resistant paint. So this nice white gleaming aircraft took off, went and did its Mach 3 runs and a few other things, came back, and it was a tan aircraft. All that heat scorched the paint job. 

We built two vehicles in Palmdale [California]. I was helping out a lot, and that required lots of trips back and forth from the airport area where North American stored its transport vehicles for its own people. The first time I flew on it, when I got to the location where the flight office was, it was a DC-3 [aircraft]. I hadn’t seen a DC-3 in a long time. They started making them in the 1930s, and as far as I know there’s probably DC-3s still somewhere around the world still flying and doing a good job. Simple aircraft, but it was key to winning World War II—not so much because of their size, but because we had so many of them. 

The pilot I knew came back from the war, and he told me that he served in the China, Burma, India theater. He was flying DC-3s “over the hump” from northern India into China. The first flight he took was with an experienced pilot and it was foggy and cloudy. The visibility was lousy. “We had to go all compass headings and altitude control.” The second day it was clear. He says he almost fainted because the pathway that the aircraft was taking was a control flight down the center of these valleys. You didn’t have to climb above every peak, you’d miss a lot of them at the altitude. But when those mountains went by—he said, “After that I became the most thorough checkout pilot in the squadron.” 

Any little blemish, anything not quite right was critical—because if you overloaded [the DC-3] and then you got into some really gusty wind conditions, the wing joints and the wings would twist slightly. Then the next time you’d try to fly it, because it’s not a perfect airfoil aligned properly, it wouldn’t fly with the same load it had carried before. So they had to send a checkout pilot with the first flight, to make sure you at least get it off the ground.

We only built two XB-70s. During the flight testing program one was involved with a midair collision. General Electric [Company (GE)] had a lot of jet engines in vehicles which were at Edwards Air Force Base [California] at that time. They asked for and received permission from the Air Force to get a grouping of all the vehicles that had GE engines. On the XB-70 delta wing, the wingtip would fold down with the top of the wing actually pointing down. That gave them better lateral control, because it funneled the air going over the wing right through that passageway between the two tails. 

One of the GE demonstrators got pushed into the tail of the XB-70, flipped it upside down, went across the vehicle. It knocked off the two vertical tails, and then the aircraft went into a horizontal spin and it couldn’t recover from that. So that left one XB-70. If you ever go to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, there’s a beautiful museum there. The one and only XB-70 is still there. Now that I think about it, just about everything I’ve worked on is a museum piece."

The Complete Interview here at Johnson Space Center

2 more interview links below image

XB-70 Ship 2

XB-70 Valkyrie Story

 

Master List- NASA Oral History Project Participants

ALF member interviews From JSC

Click name-   STAN M. BARAUSKAS

INTERVIEWED BY JENNIFER ROSS-NAZZAL

DOWNEY, CALIFORNIA – AUGUST 24, 2010

Click Name-  GERALD BLACKBURN

INTERVIEWED BY REBECCA WRIGHT

DOWNEY, CALIFORNIA – AUGUST 24, 2010


 

Here are the most stunning images NASA has ever taken of our planet

From- Business Insider

The Moon.

The Moon.

Mass, density and gravity

"The moon's mass is 7.35 x 1022 kg, about 1.2 percent of Earth's mass. Put another way, Earth weighs 81 times more than the moon. The moon's density is 3.34 grams per cubic centimeter (3.34 g/cm3). That is about 60 percent of Earth's density. The moon is the second densest moon in the solar system; Saturn's moon Io is denser, with 3.53 g/cm3.

The moon's gravitational force is only about 17 percent of Earth's gravity. A 100-lb. (45 kilograms) person would weigh only 17 lbs. (7.6 kg) on the moon. A person who can jump up 10 feet on Earth would be able to jump almost 60 feet on the moon." More from Space .com

Valley of the Moon, Atacama Desert. Image- Microsoft

Valley of the Moon, Atacama Desert. Image- Microsoft

 

The U.S. Officially Says They Are Sending Humans to the Moon

Vice President Mike Pence speaks to the National Space Council

Vice President Mike Pence speaks to the National Space Council

"Earlier this month, NASA said it was prepared to shift its focus away from Mars, and toward the Moon, whenever the current administration gave the “go” for logistical launch. Now the organization will have to put their plans into motion, because the present administration just announced a renewed effort to get back to the Moon, and beyond.

In an op-ed published to The Wall Street Journal on October 4, Vice President Mike Pence explained an executive order had been signed to restore the National Space Council, with him as its head.

On Thursday the council will hold its first meeting in nearly 25 years, and as its chairman, I will deliver a simple message: America will lead in space again,” he said, citing the national space policy’s lack of a coherent vision as the reason the U.S. has been left behind, while countries like China and Russia move forward with their own plans. Pence also explained how desperately the U.S. needs technology of its own in space, to protect its surveillance, communication, and navigation systems from hacking attempts."More here from Futurism

 

How NASA Plans to Get Humans Back to the Moon (Video)

By Elizabeth Howell, Space.com Contributor

From Space .com

"It has been 45 years since a crewed spacecraft journeyed toward the moon with a "trans-lunar injection," but NASA plans to make that happen again in just a few years. The agency recently released a video showing the profile for the first uncrewed test of its new moon mission profile, called Exploration Mission 1 (EM-1).

The test is scheduled for 2019 (following some delays), and will be the first integrated test of both the Space Launch System — NASA's rocket to bring astronauts into deep space — and the new Orion spacecraft. 

The mission will take roughly 25.5 days, and its highlight will be putting the spacecraft in a lunar orbit that will take it farther from Earth than any other crew-capable spacecraft has been. Orion's peak distance will be 270,000 miles (435,000 kilometers) from the planet — about 1,000 times the distance from Earth to the International Space Station. [Exploration Mission 1: A Step-by-Step Return to the Moon in Pictures]

The plan calls for EM-1 to depart Earth, cruise for four days to the moon and then inject itself into an elliptical orbit around the moon. After working in the moon's neighborhood for a week, EM-1 will leave lunar orbit and spend four days returning to Earth. It will re-enter the atmosphere at 24,500 mph (39,450 km/h) and splash down in the Pacific Ocean within sight of a recovery ship.

"This is the first of many missions to come that will use the deep-space exploration system to prepare our team, our ship and our astronauts for human operations in deep space," NASA mission manager Mike Sarafin said in the video. A human test mission is scheduled to follow around 2023. 

Although the test has been in the works since the Obama administration — it was framed as a stepping-stone to bring astronauts to Mars — it has a different significance for the Trump administration. Earlier this month, Vice President Mike Pence announced that the United States will target human moon landings as well as Mars missions; the last human crew to the moon departed from there in 1972." More here from Space .com

 

These links provide access to many of the NASA image collections.


NASA Image Gallery
 

NASA Multimedia Gallery-Videos
 

 

After 37 years, Voyager 1 has fired up its trajectory thrusters

This week, the scientists and engineers on the Voyager team did something very special.

 

The Voyager team is able to use a set of four backup thrusters, dormant since 1980. They are located on the back side of the spacecraft in this orientation.

The Voyager team is able to use a set of four backup thrusters, dormant since 1980. They are located on the back side of the spacecraft in this orientation.

ERIC BERGER - 12/1/2017, 12:45 PM from ARS Technica

"At present, the Voyager 1 spacecraft is 21 billion kilometers from Earth, or about 141 times the distance between the Earth and Sun. It has, in fact, moved beyond our Solar System into interstellar space. However, we can still communicate with Voyager across that distance.

This week, the scientists and engineers on the Voyager team did something very special. They commanded the spacecraft to fire a set of four trajectory thrusters for the first time in 37 years to determine their ability to orient the spacecraft using 10-millisecond pulses.

FURTHER READING

The Voyagers have reached an anniversary worth celebrating

After sending the commands on Tuesday, it took 19 hours and 35 minutes for the signal to reach Voyager. Then, the Earth-bound spacecraft team had to wait another 19 hours and 35 minutes to see if the spacecraft responded. It did. After nearly four decades of dormancy, the Aerojet Rocketdyne manufactured thrusters fired perfectly.

"The Voyager team got more excited each time with each milestone in the thruster test. The mood was one of relief, joy, and incredulity after witnessing these well-rested thrusters pick up the baton as if no time had passed at all," said Todd Barber, a propulsion engineer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California.

In recent decades, Voyager had been relying on its primary thrusters to keep the spacecraft properly oriented so that it can maintain a communications link with Earth. But these attitude control thrusters have been degrading over time, requiring more and more energy each time they've been used.

By switching to the spacecraft's "trajectory correction maneuver" thrusters, last used during the spacecraft's encounter with Saturn in 1980, engineers say they will be able to extend the lifetime of Voyager by two or three more years before its waning power reserves expire."

 


Remembering Atomic's International

Atomic reactor at North American Aviation in Downey, California. 1952.

Atomic reactor at North American Aviation in Downey, California. 1952.

"Atomics International was a division of the North American Aviation company (later acquired by the Rockwell International company) which engaged principally in the early development of nuclear technology and nuclear reactors for both commercial and government applications. Atomics International was responsible for a number of accomplishments relating to nuclear energy: design, construction and operation of the first nuclear reactor in California (1952), the first nuclear reactor to produce power for a commercial power grid in the United States (1957) and the first nuclear reactor launched into outer space by the United States (1965).

Atomics International undertook the development of nuclear reactors soon after being established: a series of commercial nuclear power reactors beginning with the Sodium Reactor Experiment (SRE) and a range of compact nuclear reactors culminating with the Systems for Auxiliary Nuclear Power SNAP-10A system. Both efforts were successful, despite nuclear accidents at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory, but overall interest in nuclear power steadily declined. The division transitioned to non-nuclear energy-related projects such as coal gasification and gradually ceased designing and testing nuclear reactors. Atomics International was eventually merged with another division of the same parent company. As of 2010, All of the Atomics International facilities, except for the few remaining facilities located in the Area IV test area at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory (SSFL), have been demolished, cleaned and reused, or awaiting final cleanup." Wiki

Atomics International ad. Chicago Tribune Sun Dec. 11 1955

Atomics International ad. Chicago Tribune Sun Dec. 11 1955


 

Chuck Yeager

Chuck Yeager image from Chuck Yeager's official website. 

Chuck Yeager image from Chuck Yeager's official website. 

Major Chuck Yeager exiting a YC-131C Convair aircraft Fort Worth.jpg

Major Chuck Yeager exiting a YC-131C Convair aircraft Fort Worth.jpg

The X-1 proved an aircraft could travel faster than sound and gathered transonic flight data that is still valuable.
— Smithsonian Air & Space
The Miami News SunJan 31, 1954.

The Miami News SunJan 31, 1954.

American manned rocketplane. Study 1951. The X-1A, B, and D were essentially identical rocketplanes intended to reach speeds above Mach 2.

American manned rocketplane. Study 1951. The X-1A, B, and D were essentially identical rocketplanes intended to reach speeds above Mach 2.

"At Edwards, in fact, it was every bit as spirited – and far more immediate – between many of the Air Force and NACA pilots. Everest assigned Maj. Chuck Yeager to take over the X-1A envelope expansion program and Yeager and his long-time sidekick and flight test engineer, Maj. Jack Ridley, devised a flight program they dubbed “Operation NACA Weep”to steal the NACA and Navy’s thunder before the 17 December anniversary." More here...

Journal and Courier Monday October, 13, 1997.

Journal and Courier Monday October, 13, 1997.

"The Bell X-1 was a rocket engine–powered aircraft, designated originally as the XS-1, and was a joint National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics–U.S. Army Air Forces–U.S. Air Force supersonic research project built by Bell Aircraft. Conceived during 1944 and designed and built in 1945, it achieved a speed of nearly 1,000 miles per hour (1,600 km/h; 870 kn) in 1948. A derivative of this same design, the Bell X-1A, having greater fuel capacity and hence longer rocket burning time, exceeded 1,600 miles per hour (2,600 km/h; 1,400 kn) in 1954.The X-1, piloted by Chuck Yeager, was the first manned airplane to exceed the speed of sound in level flight and was the first of the X-planes, a series of American experimental rocket planes (and non-rocket planes) designated for testing of new technologies and often kept secret." Wiki

Chuck Yeager

Chuck Yeager


 

From Here to Eternity- The Northrop Flying Wing (s)

Northrop Flying Wing

Northrop Flying Wing

The XB-35, the Flying Wing

"Like many smaller aviation firms, Northrop found his company contributing to the war effort by building components of other companies’ aircraft while only managing a handful of its own projects. But that changed on November 22, 1941, when the US Army Air Force (AAF) initiated Project MX-140. The idea was to develop a high altitude, long range, heavy bombardment aircraft. Northrop won the contract, and it was exactly the project Jack Northrop needed to get his flying wing off the drawing board.

The aircraft was called the XB-35, and it was a flying wing; it was designed without the familiar central fuselage and rear tail. It was also massive, its 172-foot wing span promised to dwarf the wildly popular B-17 Flying Fortress, which was just over 104 feet across. And it included a host of new technical developments. Northrop’s flying wing boasted power operated elevons and rudders, which necessitated attaching springs to the control wheels and under the rudder pedal to give the pilot a “feel” for his control surfaces. Ram air pressure in a bellows attached to the control columns gave the pilot the same "feeling" of his elevator control. On the plane’s exterior, trim flaps, elevons, landing flaps, and split flaps for rudders were arranged along the trailing edge, the rear width of the wing. It also used wing tip slots with automatically controlled covers for increased longitudinal stability at high angles of attack." Popular Science Article here...

 

1930

The Wentzville Union Friday Mar 28 1930.

The Wentzville Union Friday Mar 28 1930.

1941

St. Louis Post Dispatch Sun Oct 26 1941 .

St. Louis Post Dispatch Sun Oct 26 1941 .

"The original 1941 contract had called for one XB-35, but it was amended before long to include a second aircraft as a backup. In late 1942, thirteen service test models designated YB-35s were added to the contract, and by June, the final number of production XB-35 bombers was raised to 200. But Northrop couldn’t meet this demand, even when the Army Air Force brought the Glenn L. Martin Company in to help with the program. The partnership proved more of a hindrance than a help. There was confusion over the “X” and “Y” designations, a marked lack of coordination with other ongoing programs by both companies, and an overall loss of engineers to the draft. When the AAF reviewed the program in May of 1944, the decision was to cancel it." Popular Science

1946

The Sheboygan Press Wed May 1946

The Sheboygan Press Wed May 1946

"While the XB-35 program moved forward, the AAF decided to pursue an experimental jet-powered version of the flying wing. And in an attempt to keep production costs down, the decision was made to convert existing aircraft to their jet-powered versions rather than build completely new aircraft. And so two B-35s then under construction were converted to YB-49s. Eight jet engines replaced the four propeller engines, vertical fences and fins were added for stability, and two of the bomb bays were converted to fuel tanks.

It was far from a perfect aircraft. Though sleek and manoeuvrable, the YB-49s range was far less than the original flying wing contract specifications. Another problem was its relatively small bomb bays. The XB-35 had been designed to hold WWII era bombs, not larger post-war versions. The larger bombs demanded the bay doors remain partially open in flight, adding significant drag, the very thing Northrop had been keen to eliminate with the flying wing design.

In spite of these issues, production moved forward and the first YB-49 was rolled out in Hawthorn on September 29, 1947. A month later on October 20, Max Stanley was again at the controls for the first taxi test. The very next day, the pilot took the jet-powered wing on its maiden flight, another run from Hawthorn to Muroc. It was an uneventful 34 minutes in the air." Read the entire article

 

1947

The Indianapolis Star Sun October 12 1947.

The Indianapolis Star Sun October 12 1947.

1988

The Press Democrat Sun Nov 6 1988.

The Press Democrat Sun Nov 6 1988.

"The YB-49 and its modern counterpart, the B-2 Spirit, both built by Northrop Grumman, have the same wingspan: 172.0 ft (52.4 m). Flight test data collected from the original YB-49 test flights was used in the development of the B-2 bomber.

Thirty years later, in April 1980, Jack Northrop, then quite elderly and wheelchair bound, was taken back to the company he founded. There, he was ushered into a classified area and shown a scale model of the Air Force's forthcoming but still highly classified Advanced Technology Bomber, which would eventually become known as the B-2; it was a sleek, all-wing design. Looking over its familiar lines, Northrop, unable to speak due to various illnesses, was reported to have written on a pad: "I know why God has kept me alive for the past 25 years." Jack Northrop died 10 months later, in February 1981, eight years before the first B-2 entered Air Force service." Wikipedia


Remembering the Blackbird...

"The original Blackbird was designated the A-12 and made its first flight on April 30, 1962. The single-seat A-12 soon evolved into the larger SR-71, which added a second seat for a Reconnaissance Systems Officer and carried more fuel than the A-12. The SR-71's first flight was on December 22, 1964". More

(1990) - March 6; SR-71 flew from Los Angeles to Washington D.C. in 1 hour, 4 minutes, 20 seconds at average speed of 3,418 kph (2,124 mph) setting a new record. The plane was handed over to the Smithsonian and is now on display.

(1990) - March 6; SR-71 flew from Los Angeles to Washington D.C. in 1 hour, 4 minutes, 20 seconds at average speed of 3,418 kph (2,124 mph) setting a new record. The plane was handed over to the Smithsonian and is now on display.

Historical Notes

"The SR-71 was designed for flight at over Mach 3 with a flight crew of two in tandem cockpits, with the pilot in the forward cockpit and the Reconnaissance Systems Officer (RSO) operating the surveillance systems and equipment from the rear cockpit, and directing navigation on the mission flight path.  The SR-71 was designed to minimize its radar cross-section, an early attempt at stealth design. Finished aircraft were painted a dark blue, almost black, to increase the emission of internal heat and to act as camouflage against the night sky. The dark color led to the aircraft's nickname "Blackbird"More here...

Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird

Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird

"The records set are many: The Blackbird was and remains the world’s fastest and highest-flying manned aircraft. On its retirement flight from Los Angeles to Washington in 1990, to its final resting place in the Smithsonian Air & Space collection, the plane flew coast to coast in 67 minutes.

Most importantly, the aircraft delivered on its strategic responsibilities, providing the United States detailed, mission-critical reconnaissance for more than two decades. Only a select few know the true extent of the role the Blackbird’s intelligence played in the Cold War. But its legacy as a game-changer will be admired for generations". Lockheed Martin

Hypersonic SR-72 Demonstrator

Reportedly Spotted at Skunk Works

Skunk Works logo.jpg
Lockheed SR-72

Lockheed SR-72

Lockheed SR-72

Lockheed SR-72

Hypersonic Research and Development


"SR-72 is not the first hypersonic Skunk Works® aircraft. In partnership with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, engineers developed the rocket-launched Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2 (HTV-2). The HTV-2 research and development project was designed to collect data on three technical challenges of hypersonic flight: aerodynamics; aerothermal effects; and guidance, navigation and control.

The SR-72’s design incorporates lessons learned from the HTV-2, which flew to a top speed of Mach 20, or 13,000 mph, with a surface temperature of 3500°F.

A hypersonic aircraft will be a game changer." Lockheed- More here

"Lockheed Martin's Advanced Development Programs, better known as Skunk Works, might be further along in the development process for the SR-72 than it has let on. A proposed hypersonic reconnaissance and strike aircraft, the SR-72 would serve as a replacement for the famed SR-71 Blackbird, which was retired by the Air Force back in 1998. In June, Lockheed announced early progress on the program, and now a source told Aviation Week that they spotted a small demonstrator aircraft landing at Skunk Works facilities in Palmdale, California, possibly associated with early tests for the unmanned SR-72 program." Popular Mechanics

Lockheed jet.jpg

Lockheed Air Mobility

Lockheed Air Mobility.

Lockheed Air Mobility.

More on the SR-72...

"In fact, an SR-72 could be operational by 2030. For the past several years, Lockheed Martin Skunk Works® has been working withAerojet Rocketdyne to develop a method to integrate an off-the-shelf turbine with a supersonic combustion ramjet air breathing jet engine to power the aircraft from standstill to Mach 6. The result is the SR-72 that Aviation Week has dubbed “son of Blackbird,” and integrated engine and airframe that is optimized at the system level for high performance and affordability." More here...


Artist’s concept of the XS-1 spaceplane before releasing its expendable upper stage. Credit Boeing

Artist’s concept of the XS-1 spaceplane before releasing its expendable upper stage. Credit Boeing

A reusable suborbital spaceplane the size of a business jet being developed by Boeing and the Defense Department’s research and development arm could be launching and landing at Cape Canaveral in 2020, officials said after the defense contractor won a competition last month to design and test the vehicle.

Designed for rapid reusability, the XS-1 spaceplane will take off vertically like a rocket — without a crew — deploy an upper stage after traveling beyond the edge of space, then return to landing on a runway for inspections and reuse.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, selected Boeing to finish designing the spaceplane last month. Boeing beat competitors Northrop Grumman and Masten Space Systems to win the $146 million contract." More here...

 

Look Familiar?

Rockwell Space Division's X-33

Rockwell Space Division's X-33

Image- X-33 Proposal, Rockwell Space Division (Boeing). ALF Archive image.

Image- X-33 Proposal, Rockwell Space Division (Boeing). ALF Archive image.


Rockwell/North American Aviation Retirees

People Who Make A Difference

Retirees from Rockwell at Apollo 13 Reunion 2010. More here...

Retirees from Rockwell at Apollo 13 Reunion 2010. More here...

 Dale Myers at AL:F Apollo 13 40th Anniversary Luncheon Bldg. 290 at Downey Studios in 2010.

 Dale Myers at AL:F Apollo 13 40th Anniversary Luncheon Bldg. 290 at Downey Studios in 2010.

Bob Mires and Norm Casson

Bob Mires and Norm Casson


Early Southern California Aviation

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Copy of naa logo sandstone epsNewsFinal2_360x460.jpg

The Fallen

 

Frank H. Beckman

February 17, 1923 - October 9, 2017 Celebration of Life Memorial will be held Friday, November 3, 2017 at 2:30 pm at the Cornerstone Lodge No 659 1701 W. La Habra Blvd. La Habra, CA 90631 "WHAT A RIDE".

Frank Beckman in 1940's standing with an F4U Corsair.

Frank Beckman in 1940's standing with an F4U Corsair.

Frank H. Beckman

Frank H. Beckman

"Frank H. Beckman, Jr. son of Frank H. Beckman, Sr. and Laura Newhall Evans-Beckman.  Born and raised in a farm house in Seabrook, New Hampshire. As a kid he would spend hours making model airplanes from scratch in the front room of the family farm house.  His father would send him outside to play, saying to him go out and explore. This idea increased his imagination to explore new idea's like making a parachute from a sheet and jumping off of the barn. That idea didn't land well nor did he. Then when he got the idea to make a make shift sea diver's helmet. This idea also didn't go well and he nearly drowned. Frank was always a kid with a vision and spent nights looking up at the stars.  After Navy WWII this vision turned into a reality, which brought him into the Space Age..North American Aviation, which became his next vision to explore. Projects included the X-10, X-15, Navaho Project (black), Satellites, Saturn, Gemini, Atlas, Apollo, GPS, Space Shuttle, Space Station just to name a few. Yes, this vision became a reality for him with a few idea's that sometimes didn't land well.  Frank is survived by his loving wife of 55 years, Marjorie Beckman, children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces, nephews and many friends."

Celebration of Life Memorial to be held on Friday, November 3, 2017 at 2:30 pm at the Cornerstone Lodge No 659 Free & Accepted Masons 1701 W. La Habra Blvd. La Habra, California 90631

 

 


Charles B Livergood

Charles B Livergood

Charles B Livergood

"My 71 Year Affair with Aviation - Charles B Livergood.  For the last 71 years I have owned 7 general aviation airplanes. I progressed from private pilot up the ladder to Airplane Transport Pilot (ATP). I also obtained an FAA mechanic certificate (A&E) and an FAA IA certificate. I worked for North American Aviation for 34 years and did some test flying in the Sabreliner Business Jet and became manager of technical publications for the B-1B Bomber with 160 people reporting to me. In February 2002, the FAA awarded me the Charles Taylor Master Mechanic award. Charles Taylor was the mechanic who designed and built the 12 HP engine that powered the Wright Brothers' plane. This award was presented to me for 50 years of dedicated service in aviation safety. Since my retirement in 1985, Stacy and I have flown our 1963 Beechcraft Debonair all over the western part of the United States and we have the fondest memories of all of our adventures." 

NAA retiree (1985), Chuck Livergood, passed away 29 August 2017 after a lengthy battle with cancer. He retired in 1985 as Manager of Technical Publications, B-1B Program".

Courtesy- Stacey Livergood


 

 

Aerospace Legacy Foundation

Preserving Our Past, Focusing On The Future

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Southern California / America's Aviation and Aerospace History