For Release: October 30, 1997
RELEASE NO. 97-124
WHY DO AIRPLANES LOOK THE WAY THEY DO?
Sometimes it seems the only thing airplanes have in common is
that they all have wings - and even those seem to vary from plane
to plane. On Tuesday, Nov. 4, Dr. John Houbolt, a NASA Langley
retiree who helped get Americans to the moon, will explain the many
factors that influence the way an airplane looks.
During the Apollo program, Houbolt, an aeronautical engineer,
conceived and developed the lunar orbit rendezvous (LOR). The LOR
was the final piece of the puzzle that took humans to the moon and
returned them safely to Earth.
Houbolt began his career at Langley Research Center in 1942 and
served in a variety of positions before retiring as Langley's Chief
Aeronautical Engineer in 1985. Houbolt has received the NASA
Exceptional Scientific Achievement Award for the conception and
development of the lunar orbit rendezvous for manned lunar landings
and the Space Act Award for the lunar orbit rendezvous concept. He
has authored or co-authored over 140 technical reports.
Houbolt was selected as the 1989 Peninsular Engineer of the Year
and was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1990.
A media briefing will be held at 1:15 p.m. in the Wythe Room of
the NASA Langley H.J.E. Reid Conference Center, 14 Langley
Boulevard in Hampton. Media who wish to attend this briefing should
contact Janice Johnson at (757) 864-6123. Houbolt's talk begins at
A similar presentation will be given by Houbolt at 7:30 p.m. at
the Virginia Air and Space Center in Hampton.
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