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September 10, 2001

Release: 01-62

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NASA and the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) partnered to produce an aviation book designed for middle school students. "Wild Blue Wonders: Exploring the Magic of Flight" was written by Lane Wallace, with the foreword by Chuck Yeager. The book debuted at EAA's AirVenture 2001, during the last week of July.

The education office at the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, Calif., conceived the idea for an engaging book aimed at this age level. Wallace was contracted to write the book. She interested the EAA as a publishing partner who distributed the book in time for AirVenture 2001. NASA's Aerospace Education Coordinating Committee funded the book's publication.

A Memorandum of Understanding was recently signed by officials of NASA and EAA. "Books like 'Wild Blue Wonders' that excite children about aviation are what this partnership between NASA education and the EAA is all about," said Dryden's Director of Education Marianne McCarthy, Ph.D. The agreement also includes development and implementation of education workshops.

The 160-page, soft-cover book is divided into four sections. "What Makes an Airplane Fly?" explains how air enables flight. The first section also offers an overview of the principles of flight.

The second section is entitled "Designing an Airplane." Wings, control surfaces, engines, landing gear, construction materials and supersonic requirements are all elements to be considered when designing an airplane. These elements combined with explanations for specific tasks an aircraft is designed to complete are presented in an illustrated format.

The final two sections, "Putting It All Together" and "Fly," address the components necessary to build an aircraft. Photographs of several cockpits highlight the basic instruments necessary for flight.

The book is available for $19.95 plus $5 shipping by calling EAA at 800-843-3612 or visiting EAA's on-line store Aeronautica at

The Dryden Flight Research Center is NASA's primary installation for flight research. Projects over the past 50 years have led to major advancements in the design and capabilities of many civilian and military aircraft. The Experimental Aircraft Association is a worldwide not-for-profit organization of aircraft enthusiasts founded in 1953 with the mission of making aviation accessible to all while maintaining high standards of safety and quality.


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