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Kimberly W. Land
(757) 864-9885

RELEASE: 00-008

For Release: Jan. 28, 2000


BREAKING THE SOUND BARRIER:
The Aerodynamic Breakthroughs That Made it Possible

On October 14, 1947, the Bell XS-1, with Chuck Yeager at the controls, flew faster than sound; this was the first piloted aircraft to exceed Mach one. It did not happen by chance. It was preceded by 30 years of research work carried out by NACA that finally led to the proper intellectual understanding of the nature of high-speed aerodynamics around and above Mach one.

Portrait of Dr. AndersonDr. John D. Anderson, Jr., curator for Aerodynamics at the National Air and Space Museum, in Washington D.C. will present "Breaking the Sound Barrier: The Aerodynamic Breakthroughs that Made it Possible" at a colloquium at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 1, at NASA Langley's H.J.E. Reid Conference Center.

This achievement is one of NACA's most stellar success stories and Anderson will share the exciting story of how researchers at NACA during the 1930's were able to make the design of the Bell XS-1 through aerodynamic breakthroughs.

Media Briefing
A media briefing will be held at 1:15 p.m. in the Wythe Room of the H.J.E. Reid Conference Center, 14 Langley Blvd. at NASA Langley. Media who wish to attend the briefing should contact Kimberly W. Land at (757) 864-9885.

Anderson received his Ph.D. in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering in 1966 from the Ohio State University. Dr. Anderson served as professor of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Maryland where he became the Glenn L. Martin Distinguished Professor for Education in Aerospace Engineering. He is a Fellow of AIAA and of the Royal Aeronautical Society. In 1999, he retired from the University of Maryland and was appointed Professor Emeritus.

The public is invited to the Sigma Series lecture at the Virginia Air and Space Center that evening, at 7:30 p.m.

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