NASA Precursor National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics Met for First Time 104 Years Ago
By Space Coast Daily // April 29, 2019
SPACE HISTORY: In 1958, the NACA was chosen as the basis for creating NASA
(NASA) – In April 1915, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) met for the first time in Washington, D.C. In 1958, the NACA was chosen as the basis for creating the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
The NACA had been created as a result of a provision attached to the Naval Appropriations Bill that had been passed on March 3, 1915.
President Wilson named a dozen men to serve as unpaid volunteers on the committee.
Their mission was to “direct and conduct research and experimentation in aeronautics, with a view to their practical solution.”
The creation of the NACA was a direct result of the U.S. finding itself far behind Europe in aeronautics at the start of World War I.
Within five years the NACA grew into much more than just an advisory committee as it built a research laboratory, now NASA Langley Research Center, and carried out much of the cutting edge aeronautical research in the United States – often in close collaboration with industry.
By the late 1920s, the NACA was at the forefront of worldwide aeronautical research and earned the first of five Collier Trophies in 1929. The NACA grew dramatically just before and during World War II.
The NACA research during that period gave U.S. aircraft critically important improvements in performance that were an important advantage in achieving victory during the war.
Following World War II, the NACA pushed the boundaries of high-speed flight and did path-breaking work on rocketry and spaceflight.
In 1958, the NACA was chosen as the basis for creating the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
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