National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics

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National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics
The official seal of NACA. It depicts the first flight by the Wright brothers.
Agency overview
FormedMarch 3, 1915
DissolvedOctober 1, 1958
Superseding agency
JurisdictionFederal government of the United States

The National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) was a United States federal agency. It was founded on March 3, 1915. The agency researched flight technology and aircraft. On October 1, 1958, the agency was dissolved. Its employees were moved to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Founding[change | change source]

NACA was founded on March 3, 1915. At that time, technology and culture were changing quickly. American flight technology was not as advanced as Europe's. The American public had mixed feelings about flight technology. Some people thought that flying was dangerous and foolish. Some thought that it was an important achievement in technology. But in Europe, people were more confident in flight technology. [1]

When World War I started in Europe, the Europeans were already using advanced flight technology. The Germans used airships to bomb British cities. Airplanes were used to spy on enemies. This worried the Americans, who realized that their flight technology is behind Europe's. In response, the federal government of the United States created NACA on March 3, 1915.[2]

Research[change | change source]

By the 1920s, the NACA's mission was to promote military and civilian flight. The NACA did this by researching new flight technologies. To help this research, the NACA built many testing facilities. This included wind tunnels, test stands, and flight test facilities. The agency received a budget of $5000 in 1915. [1]

World War II[change | change source]

The NACA was involved in World War II. They helped research many flight technologies. A lot of the research that the NACA did before World War II was used to make American fighter planes fly better. They researched how to reduce drag. Drag slows down airplanes when moving in the air. They also researched how to stop the propellers of the plane from freezing. [3]

NASA[change | change source]

On November 21, 1957, Hugh Dryden, NACA's director, established the Special Committee on Space Technology. This committee was created to help develop a space program.

Chairmen[change | change source]

No. Portrait Name Term President
serving under
1 George P. Scriven Brig. Gen. George P. Scriven
(United States Army)
1915–1916 Woodrow Wilson
2 William F. Durand William F. Durand
(Stanford University)
3 John R. Freeman John R. Freeman
4 Charles Doolittle Walcott Charles Doolittle Walcott
(Smithsonian Institution)
Warren G. Harding
Calvin Coolidge
5 Joseph Sweetman Ames Joseph Sweetman Ames
(Johns Hopkins University)
Herbert Hoover
Franklin D. Roosevelt
6 Vannevar Bush Vannevar Bush
(Carnegie Institution)
7 Jerome C. Hunsaker Capt. Jerome C. Hunsaker
(Navy, MIT)
Harry S. Truman
Dwight D. Eisenhower
8 James H. Doolittle Lt. Gen. James H. Doolittle
(Shell Oil Company)

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Bilstein, Roger E.; Anderson, Frank Walter (1989). Orders of Magnitude: A History of the NACA and NASA, 1915-1990. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Office of Management, Scientific and Technical Information Division. Archived from the original on 14 July 2019. Retrieved 17 February 2022.
  2. "The National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics". NASA. 1 May 2019. Retrieved 17 February 2022.
  3. "U.S. Aviation Research Helped Speed Victory". NASA. Retrieved 17 February 2022.