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Kimberly W. Land
(Phone 757/864-9885, 757/344-8611 mobile)

RELEASE NO. 03-065

Oct. 2, 2003


How much did Wilbur and Orville Wright know about aerodynamics in 1899 as they began to study heavier-than-air flying machines? How much of that knowledge did they use for their early gliders? What new aerodynamics lessons did they learn on the path toward the 1903 Wright flyer? Aerodynamically, how good was the Wright flyer?

John D. Anderson Jr., curator for aerodynamics at the National Air and Space Museum and professor emeritus of aerospace engineering, University of Maryland, will speak on "The Wright Brothers' Aerodynamics and the Future of Flight" at a colloquium at 2 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 7, at NASA Langley's H.J.E. Reid Conference Center.

Media Briefing: A media briefing will be held at 1:15 p.m. at the H.J.E. Reid Conference Center, 14 Langley Blvd., NASA Langley Research Center. Members of the media who wish to attend should contact Kimberly W. Land at (757) 864-9885 or 344-8611 (mobile) to arrange for credentials.

Questions about the Wright Brothers' knowledge of aerodynamics will be addressed during the first part of Anderson's talk. During the second half of his presentation, Anderson will take the audience from the past century of flight to the future of flight.

Anderson has a doctorate in aeronautical and astronautical engineering from Ohio State University. He is an honorary fellow of the AIAA, a fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, London, and a fellow of the Washington Academy of Sciences.

Anderson's "A History of Aerodynamics and Its Impact on Flying Machines" won the 2002 History Book Award from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). He is the author of eight other books and has written over 120 papers in radiative gas dynamics, re-entry aerothermodynamics, gas dynamic and chemical lasers, computational fluid dynamics, applied aerodynamics, hypersonic flow, and the history of aeronautics.



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