Learn about what the NACA does and their influence in flight solutions.
Read the full transcript »
The Flight Solutions of NACA At Kitty Hawk in 1903, success of the Wright Brothers put America at the leading edge of aviation. While the Europeans pulled ahead during World War I, that edge was recaptured and maintained by the NACA, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics. For 75 years, the NACA NASA team has continued to fulfill this mission to supervise and direct the scientific study of problems and solutions for flight both inside and outside the cockpit. Dramatic advancements have been made in reducing drug and increasing speed. For instance, in 1947 while piloting the X-1 Chuck Yeager brought a sound barrier for the first time and the X-5 proved that the variable sweep wing could fly. The X-15 tested from 1958 to 1968 was the first aircraft to fly 67 miles high along the fringes of space. Reaching 4500 miles per hour, it came back to an aerodynamically controlled landing. Inside the cockpit, control panels once a myriad of dials are being consolidated into easy to read monitors enabling pilots to fly better and safer. Also helping the pilot are flight simulations for a while the only way to get the feel of an aircraft was to fly it. Flight simulators show how an aircraft will perform without leaving the ground. Together with wind tunnel testing and computational fluid dynamics, ancient use in pilots had the base information possible before actual flight tests begin. Even though there are clinical improvements like these led NASA to a blending of air and space. One example is the lifting body concept, half spacecraft, half aircraft, the lifting body achieves aerodynamic lift from the shape of its body alone, lifting bodies that developed into NASA’s successful space shuttle.