In the news...and selected stories
"In the 1950's, the United States was locked in a race with the Soviet Union for dominance in space. The competition grew out of the Cold War. On Jan. 2, 1959, the Soviet Luna 1 spacecraft made the first lunar flyby at a distance of 3,725 miles (5,994 kilometers) from the moon's surface. The Russians were also the first to impact the moon on Sept. 12, 1959, with the second Luna mission.
But on May 25, 1961, President John F. Kennedy issued a challenge in his speech to Congress: "I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to Earth" [source: NASA]. American astronauts accepted the challenge, and on March 3, 1959, the Pioneer 4 probe became the first American spacecraft to fly by the moon." Courtesy- How Stuff Works
Downey's Aerospace History 1947-1999
Aviation/Aerospace Retirees- Tell Your Story
Oral History Project- Pioneers of Aviation
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
"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...
"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
Last Bald Eagles Luncheon 2017
James Kindelberger Graham
... spoke at the North American Bald Eagles Retiree luncheon Saturday April, 29.
Jim is the grandson James Howard "Dutch" Kindelberger,
American aviation pioneer who led North American Aviation from 1934-1960.
"James Howard "Dutch" Kindelberger was born in Wheeling, W.Va., on May 8, 1895, the son of steelworker Charles Frederick Kindelberger. Kindelberger started working in the steel industry with his father but, in 1916, when he was 21 years old, went to study at the Carnegie Institute of Technology.
The United States entered World War I in 1917, and Dutch Kindelberger joined the Army to serve in the Aviation Section of the Signal Corps. He was a pilot instructor based at Park Field in Memphis, Tenn.
After the war, Kindelberger looked for work in aviation. In 1919, he married Thelma Knarr and, in 1920, became chief draftsman and assistant chief engineer with the Glenn L. Martin Aircraft Company in Cleveland, Ohio. Five years later, he joined Douglas Aircraft in California as chief engineer. Kindelberger remained with Douglas for nine years, leading development of the DC-1 and the DC-2.
In 1934, Kindelberger became president and general manager of General Aviation, later renamed North American Aviation Inc., and served as general manager until 1948, when he became chairman and chief executive officer. Under his guidance, North American Aviation broke technological barriers; produced propeller- and jet-powered fighters and bombers, military trainers, rocket engines, and rocket-powered aircraft; and began its role as the prime contractor for the country's space program.
Kindelberger retired in 1960 as chief executive officer at the age of 65 and was succeeded by Lee Atwood. Kindelberger remained chairman of the board until his death two years later." Source- Boeing
Early Southern California Aviation
Hover over image for caption
by Denham S. Scott
Aviation Pioneers- Southern California
James Howard "Dutch" Kindelberger and Donald Douglas Sr.
Early Aviation in Southern California Photo Library
Unique ads- "Engineering to the Nth power..."
Remembering "The Fallen"
"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
Southern California / America's Aviation and Aerospace History