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National Aeronautic Association (NAA) Archives (1918-1976), 1918-1976

Creator:
National Aeronautic Association (U.S.)
Subject:
National Aeronautic Association (U.S.)
Aero Club of America
National Air Races
Physical description:
51.72 cubic feet (10 legal document boxes) (41 records center boxes) (23 shoeboxes)
Type:
Correspondence
Collection descriptions
Records
Manuscripts
Photographs
Publications
Scrapbooks
Awards
Date:
1918
1918-1976
Notes:
The Aero Club of America, established in 1905, was reorganized in 1922 as the National Aeronautic Association (NAA). The NAA was created to advance the 'art and science of aviation and related subjects and the diffusion of knowledge thereof by educational means.' The NAA has tried to meet this goal by keeping the public informed on the importance of aeronautics and space, by instituting space education programs to stimulate youth interest and by promoting and aiding competitive and sporting aeronautic events.
Summary:
This collection consists of records of the NAA. The material includes documents on programs to heighten public awareness of aviation, such as the NAA newsletter and material on special events staged by NAA; material relating to the NAA's educational programs and clubs, such as college aviation clubs; material outlining NAA's active role in supporting and promoting competitive aeronautic events. The collection also includes F.A.I. license cards, business records, minutes, and correspondence of the NAA and material on aviation awards supported or given by NAA such as the Wright and Collier Trophies.
Topic:
Aeronautics--Exhibitions
Aeronautics
Gliding and soaring
Aeronautical sports
Aeronautics--Awards
Periodicals
Local number:
XXXX-0209
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access
Data Source:
National Air and Space Museum Archives

Correspondence, 1993-1995

Creator:
National Air and Space Museum (U.S.) Dept. of Aeronautics
Subject:
Anderson, John David
Dietz, Thomas J. 1958-
Jakab, Peter L
Lee, Russell 1956-
Neufeld, Michael J. 1951-
Pisano, Dominick 1943-
Van der Linden, F. Robert
Alison, Thomas M
Cochrane, Dorothy
Schneide, Karl S
Spencer, Alex M
Physical description:
2 cu. ft. (2 record storage boxes)
Type:
Manuscripts
Collection descriptions
Date:
1993
1993-1995
Summary:
These records consist of curatorial correspondence and memoranda from the National Air and Space Museum (NASM), Aeronautics Department, and pertain to the history of aeronautics, NASM exhibitions, and professional activities. Department correspondents include F. Robert van der Linden, Curator; Thomas M. Alison, Curator; Alex M. Spencer, Museum Technician; Thomas J. Dietz, Assistant Curator for Model Aircraft; Dominick A. Pisano, Curator; Russell E. Lee, Curator; John David Anderson, Special Assistant for Aerodynamics; Dorothy S. Cochrane, Curator; Michael J. Neufeld, Curator; Karl Schneide, Curatorial Assistant for Flight Material; and Peter L. Jakab, Historian.
Topic:
Aeronautical museums
Local number:
SIA Acc. 99-084
See more items in:
Memoranda 1966-1996 [National Air and Space Museum (U.S.) Aeronautics Division]
Correspondence 1965-2005 [National Air and Space Museum (U.S.) Aeronautics Division]
Data Source:
Smithsonian Institution Archives

Correspondence, 1993-1996

Creator:
National Air and Space Museum (U.S.) Department of Aeronautics
Subject:
Crouch, Tom D
Davies, R. E. G (Ronald Edward George)
Dietz, Thomas J. 1958-
Fishbein, Samuel B
Hardesty, Von 1939-
Jakab, Peter L
Neufeld, Michael J. 1951-
Van der Linden, F. Robert
Gernstein London, Joanne M
Leyes, Richard A
Alison, Tom 1941-
Physical description:
2 cu. ft. (2 record storage boxes)
Type:
Manuscripts
Collection descriptions
Date:
1993
1993-1996
Summary:
Includes curatorial correspondence and memoranda from the National Air and Space Museum (NASM), Aeronautics Department, documenting the history of aeronautics, NASM exhibitions, and professional activities. Department correspondents include Samuel B. Fishbein, Museum Specialist; R.E.G. Davies, Curator of Air Transport; Thomas M. Alison, Curator; Joanne M. Gernstein London, Curatorial Assistant; F. Robert Van der Linden, Curator; Peter L. Jakab, Historian; Tom D. Crouch, Curator; Richard Leyes, Curator for Aero Propulsion; Thomas J. Dietz, Assistant Curator for Model Aircraft; Von Hardesty, Curator; and Michael J. Neufeld, Curator.
Topic:
Aeronautical museums
Local number:
SIA Acc. 00-007
See more items in:
Correspondence 1965-2005 [National Air and Space Museum (U.S.) Aeronautics Division]
Memoranda 1966-1996 [National Air and Space Museum (U.S.) Aeronautics Division]
Data Source:
Smithsonian Institution Archives

Correspondence, 1965-1986

Creator:
National Air and Space Museum (U.S.) Dept. of Aeronautics
Subject:
Casey, Louis S
Garber, Paul Edward 1899-1992
Lopez, Donald S. 1923-2008
Newland, Kenneth E
Meyer, Robert B
Wooldridge, E. T
National Air and Space Museum (U.S.) Dept. of Aeronautics
Milestones of Flight (Exhibition) (Washington, D.C.)
Physical description:
36.5 cu. ft. (73 document boxes)
Type:
Mixed archival materials
Collection descriptions
Date:
1966
1966-1986
1965-1986
Notes:
For an administrative history of the Department of Aeronautics, consult the NASM curatorial departments agency history subrecord, 1960-1991.
Summary:
These records consist of the correspondence files of the Aeronautics Department, 1966-1986. The files document day-to-day concerns with exhibitions, loans, and research during a period which included planning for the new Museum, moving, installation of major exhibition halls, and the emergence of the National Air and Space Museum as the most popular museum in the world. Also included are internal memoranda, the Milestones of Flight First Day Cover series, and files of correspondence with artists and modelers.
Topic:
Aeronautical museums
Local number:
SIA RU000330
See more items in:
Program Files 1964-1994 [National Air and Space Museum (U.S.) Dept. of Aeronautics]
Correspondence 1965-2005 [National Air and Space Museum (U.S.) Aeronautics Division]
Memoranda 1966-1996 [National Air and Space Museum (U.S.) Aeronautics Division]
Data Source:
Smithsonian Institution Archives

Correspondence, 1997-1999

Creator:
National Air and Space Museum (U.S.) Aeronautics Division
Subject:
Alison, Tom
Cochrane, Dorothy
Crouch, Tom D
Davies, R. E. G (Ronald Edward George)
Hardesty, Von 1939-
Jakab, Peter L
Lee, Russell 1956-
Neufeld, Michael J. 1951-
Pisano, Dominick 1943-
Van der Linden, F. Robert
Physical description:
1 cu. ft. (1 record storage box)
Type:
Manuscripts
Collection descriptions
Date:
1997
1997-1999
Summary:
Consists of records documenting the history of aeronautics, NASM exhibitions, and professional activities of the curators. Correspondents include Tom D. Crouch, Chairman; Tom Alison, Curator; Dorothy Cochrane, Curator; R. E. G. Davies, Curator of Air Transport; Von Hardesty, Curator of Soviet Aviation; Peter L. Jakab, Curator; Russell Lee, Curator; Michael J. Neufeld, Curator; Dominick Pisano, Curator of the Social Impact of Flight; and F. Robert Van der Linden, Curator of Air Transport. Materials include correspondence and memoranda.
Topic:
Aeronautical museums
Museum curators
Local number:
SIA Acc. 03-077
See more items in:
Correspondence 1965-2005 [National Air and Space Museum (U.S.) Aeronautics Division]
Data Source:
Smithsonian Institution Archives

Museums, Smithsonian Institution, Exhibits, Arts and Industry (A&I), Aeronautical Propulsion (1966); Propulsion, Engines. [photograph]

Photographer:
National Air Museum
Type:
Two-dimensional graphics
Date:
1966
Summary:
Baseline view of Aeronautical Propulsion exhibit, National Air Museum, Smithsonian Institution Arts and Industries Building (A&I), Washington, D.C., 1966. Napier Nomad, English, 1953 [Napier Nomad Model E. 145 Horizontally-Opposed Diesel Engine (A19640017000)].
Topic:
Aeronautics
Propulsion systems
Museums
Local number:
NASM-A-2498
Restrictions:
Images are subject to Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum, Copyright and Image Use Restrictions. Usage requires prior written permission. Should you wish to use NASM still images in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Photographs, available at NASM's Permissions webpage: www.nasm.si.edu/research/arch/permissions.cfm
See more items in:
National Air Museum Photography Collection
Data Source:
National Air and Space Museum Archives

Museums, Smithsonian Institution, Exhibits, Arts and Industry (A&I), Aeronautical Propulsion (1966); Propulsion, Engines. [photograph]

Photographer:
National Air Museum
Type:
Two-dimensional graphics
Date:
1966
Summary:
Baseline view of Aeronautical Propulsion exhibit, National Air Museum, Smithsonian Institution Arts and Industries Building (A&I), Washington, D.C., 1966. Left to right: Packard (Rolls-Royce) Merlin, U.S., 1944; Constant-Speed Propeller, Aeroprop, 1940s (Gift of Aeroproducts Division, General Motors Corp.); unidentified V-12 engine.
Topic:
Aeronautics
Propulsion systems
Museums
Local number:
NASM-A-2498-B
Restrictions:
Images are subject to Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum, Copyright and Image Use Restrictions. Usage requires prior written permission. Should you wish to use NASM still images in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Photographs, available at NASM's Permissions webpage: www.nasm.si.edu/research/arch/permissions.cfm
See more items in:
National Air Museum Photography Collection
Data Source:
National Air and Space Museum Archives

Museums, Smithsonian Institution, Exhibits, Arts and Industry (A&I), Aeronautical Propulsion (1966); Propulsion, Engines. [photograph]

Photographer:
National Air Museum
Type:
Two-dimensional graphics
Date:
1966
Summary:
Baseline view of Aeronautical Propulsion exhibit, National Air Museum, Smithsonian Institution Arts and Industries Building (A&I), Washington, D.C., 1966. Display of (left to right) Fixed-Pitch Propeller, Adjustable-Pitch Propeller, and Controllable-Pitch Propeller.
Topic:
Aeronautics
Propulsion systems
Museums
Local number:
NASM-A-2498-A
Restrictions:
Images are subject to Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum, Copyright and Image Use Restrictions. Usage requires prior written permission. Should you wish to use NASM still images in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Photographs, available at NASM's Permissions webpage: www.nasm.si.edu/research/arch/permissions.cfm
See more items in:
National Air Museum Photography Collection
Data Source:
National Air and Space Museum Archives

Museums, Smithsonian Institution, Exhibits, Arts and Industry (A&I), Aeronautical Propulsion (1966); Propulsion, Engines. [photograph]

Photographer:
National Air Museum
Type:
Two-dimensional graphics
Date:
1966
Summary:
Baseline view of Aeronautical Propulsion exhibit, National Air Museum, Smithsonian Institution Arts and Industries Building (A&I), Washington, D.C., 1966. Clockwise from left front: Whittle Turbojet, English, 1944 [Power Jets (Whittle) W1X Turbojet engine (A19500082000)]; Westinghouse Turbojet, 1946 [Westinghouse J32-WE-2 (9.5A) Turbojet Engine, Cutaway (A19500103000)]; Pratt & Whitney Turbojet, U.S., 1949 [X-176, J-57 (JT3 8/10)]; General Electric Turbojet, U.S., 1944 [GE J31 Turbojet Engine, Cutaway (A19520085000)].
Topic:
Aeronautics
Propulsion systems
Museums
Local number:
NASM-A-2498-C
Restrictions:
Images are subject to Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum, Copyright and Image Use Restrictions. Usage requires prior written permission. Should you wish to use NASM still images in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Photographs, available at NASM's Permissions webpage: www.nasm.si.edu/research/arch/permissions.cfm
See more items in:
National Air Museum Photography Collection
Data Source:
National Air and Space Museum Archives

Museums, Smithsonian Institution, Exhibits, Arts and Industry (A&I), Aeronautical Propulsion (1966); Propulsion, Engines. [photograph]

Photographer:
National Air Museum
Type:
Two-dimensional graphics
Date:
1966
Summary:
Baseline view of Aeronautical Propulsion exhibit, National Air Museum, Smithsonian Institution Arts and Industries Building (A&I), Washington, D.C., 1966. Left to right: Pratt & Whitney Turbojet, U.S., 1949 [X-176, J-57 (JT3 8/10)]; Westinghouse Turbojet, 1946 [Westinghouse J32-WE-2 (9.5A) Turbojet Engine, Cutaway (A19500103000)]; General Electric Turbojet, U.S., 1944 [GE J31 Turbojet Engine, Cutaway (A19520085000)]; Whittle Turbojet, English, 1944 [Power Jets (Whittle) W1X Turbojet engine (A19500082000)].
Topic:
Aeronautics
Propulsion systems
Museums
Local number:
NASM-A-2498-D
Restrictions:
Images are subject to Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum, Copyright and Image Use Restrictions. Usage requires prior written permission. Should you wish to use NASM still images in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Photographs, available at NASM's Permissions webpage: www.nasm.si.edu/research/arch/permissions.cfm
See more items in:
National Air Museum Photography Collection
Data Source:
National Air and Space Museum Archives

Exhibition Records, 1971-1988

Creator:
National Air and Space Museum (U.S.) Department of Aeronautics
Subject:
National Air and Space Museum (U.S.) Paul E. Garber Preservation, Restoration, and Storage Facility
Air Traffic Control (Exhibition) (1974: Washington, D.C.)
Air Transportation (Exhibition) (Washington, D.C.)
Exhibition Flight (Exhibition) (Washington, D.C.)
General Aviation (Exhibition) (Washington, D.C.)
Golden Age of Flight (Exhibition) (Washington, D.C.)
Model Airplanes for Fun (Exhibition) (Washington, D.C.)
Sea-Air Operations (Exhibition) (Washington, D.C.)
Treasures from the Smithsonian Institution at the Royal Scottish Museum (Exhibition) (1984: Edinburgh, Scotland)
United States Customs Service Air Interdiction Program (Exhibition) (1987-1988: Washington, D.C.)
Vertical Flight (Exhibition) (Washington, D.C.)
World War I Aviation (Exhibition) (Washington, D.C.)
World War II Aviation (Exhibition) (Washington, D.C.)
Physical description:
2 cu. ft. (2 record storage boxes)
Type:
Manuscripts
Collection descriptions
Black-and-white negatives
Black-and-white photographs
Color transparencies
Black-and-white transparencies
Color photographs
Date:
1971
1971-1988
Summary:
This accession documents exhibitions created by the Aeronautics Division for the opening of the National Air and Space Museum in 1976 as well as updates, revisions, and new exhibitions in the late 1970s and early 1980s. This accession also documents exhibitions at the smaller museum located at the Paul E. Garber Preservation, Restoration, and Storage Facility during the same time period. Exhibitions documented include "Golden Age of Flight," "Air Transportation," "Treasures from the Smithsonian Institution at the Royal Scottish Museum," "General Aviation," "United States Customs Service Air Interdiction Program," "Sea-Air Operations," "World War I Aviation," "World War II Aviation," "Exhibition Flight," "Model Airplanes for Fun," "Air Traffic Control," and "Vertical Flight." Materials include scripts, label texts, images, correspondence, research, indices, object information, and related materials.
Topic:
Aeronautical museums
Exhibitions
Museum exhibits
Local number:
SIA Acc. 07-141
See more items in:
Exhibition Records 1971-2000 [National Air and Space Museum (U.S.) Aeronautics Division]
Data Source:
Smithsonian Institution Archives

Civil Aeronautics Conference Wright Airplane first day cover

Scott Catalogue USA 649Scott Catalogue USA 650
Medium:
paper; ink ( ) /
Dimensions:
Height x Width: 3 1/2 x 6 in. (8.89 x 15.24 cm)
Type:
Postage Stamps
Date:
December 12, 1928
Description:
First day cover for the International Civil Aeronautics conference, Washington, D.C., Dec. 12, 13, 14, 1928. cancelled: conference stamp and "Washington DC, Dec 12, 9am, 1928"
Topic:
National Stamp Collection
Object number:
0.260305.174.68.4
See more items in:
National Postal Museum Collection
On View:
Currently on exhibit at the National Postal Museum
Data Source:
National Postal Museum

Pin, Lapel, National Aeronautic Association, Glenn L. Martin

Materials:
Enameled Brass
Dimensions:
2-D - Unframed (H x W): 2.1cm (13/16 in. dia.)
Type:
AWARDS-Insignia
Country of Origin:
United States of America
Physical Description:
Enamel brass National Aeronautic Association lapel pin; gold engraved eagle on blue enameled background; "NAA" in red enamel lettering; clutch pin back.
Long Description:
Born in Macksburg, Iowa on January 17, 1886, Glenn L. Martin grew to become a pioneer aviator and aircraft manufacturer. Before the age of ten, Martin had already flown, built and sold box kites. In Santa Ana, California he rented an abandoned church in order to construct a biplane which he flew for the first time in August 1909. That same year, he established the Glenn L. Martin Aircraft Company and operated it out of the church. Martin taught himself how to fly and eventually received his Federal Aeronautique Internationale Aviator's Certificate on August 9, 1911. He toured the country in flying exhibitions and became famous as a barnstormer. Martin expanded upon his fame when he made the first extended over-ocean flight on May 10, 1912. He flew from Newport Bay, California to Catalina Island, a total of nearly 70 miles. In early 1913, with a bomb-sight of his own design, Martin made the first bombing test from an aircraft. He later invented a parachute that opened automatically. Martin continued to accomplish many firsts and established or broke numerous records during his diverse flying career. For example, he was one of the first to deliver mail, to deliver newspapers, to take motion pictures while in flight and to drop advertising flyers and coupons on an audience.
Martin's company flourished and had to be moved to Los Angeles, California in 1912 in order to accommodate the orders. In 1917, a short-lived partnership with the Wright Brothers produced the Wright-Martin Aircraft Corporation, but in the same year, Martin reestablished his own company and moved it to Cleveland, Ohio. In 1929, because of higher demands and lack of sufficient space, Martin moved his company once again, but this time to Middle River, Maryland.
Before 1913, the company manufactured sport and recreational aircraft, but that changed when the government ordered the Model TT, the Army's first training aircraft. From that moment on, the company became one the premier suppliers of military aircraft, especially for use in World War II. The first of the well known Martin Bombers, MB-1, was completed in 1918. Martin received the Collier Trophy from Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1932 for the introduction of the B-10 Bomber. He continued to receive various medals and awards such as the Daniel Guggenheim Medal in 1940, the Officer of the French National Order of the Legion of Honor in 1949 and the Boys' Club of America Service to Boys Award in 1951. Martin belonged to a large number of clubs and organizations including the Early Birds, the Wings Club, the Aeronautical Chamber of Commerce of America and was president of the Institute of Aeronautical Science in 1936.
Martin remained president of his company for over 40 years, but died in 1955. His company went through a merger in 1961 with American-Marietta Corporation and to form Martin Marietta Corp. In 1995, a similar merger occurred with Lockheed Corp. which created Lockheed Martin Corp.
Credit Line:
Donated by Miss Della Martin
Inventory Number:
A19590118001
Rights:
Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum
See more items in:
National Air and Space Museum Collection
Data Source:
National Air and Space Museum

Exhibition Records, c. 1972-1985

Creator:
National Air and Space Museum (U.S.) Department of Aeronautics
Subject:
Arts and Industries Building (Washington, D.C.)
National Air and Space Museum Building (Washington, D.C.)
Aerobatic Champions (Exhibition) (Washington, D.C.)
Air Traffic Control (Exhibition) (1974: Washington, D.C.)
Air Transportation (Exhibition) (Washington, D.C.)
Balloons and Airships (Exhibition) (Washington, D.C.)
Exhibition Flight (Exhibition) (Washington, D.C.)
General Aviation (Exhibition) (Washington, D.C.)
Milestones of Flight (Exhibition) (Washington, D.C.)
Sea-Air Operations (Exhibition) (Washington, D.C.)
World War I Aviation (Exhibition) (Washington, D.C.)
World War II Aviation (Exhibition) (Washington, D.C.)
Physical description:
1 cu. ft. (1 record storage box)
Type:
Manuscripts
Collection descriptions
Color transparencies
Black-and-white transparencies
Black-and-white negatives
Black-and-white photographs
Date:
1972
1972-1985
c 1972-1985
Summary:
This accession consists of photographs of object and exhibition preparation and installation at the Arts and Industries Building and the National Air and Space Museum Building as well as a few events. Exhibitions documented in this accession include "Exhibition Flight," "Air Transportation," "General Aviation," "Air Traffic Control," "World War I Aviation," "World War II Aviation," "Sea-Air Operations," "Milestones of Flight," "Aerobatic Champions," and "Balloons and Airships." Materials include black and white photographic prints as well as a few color and black and white transparencies and negatives and photocopies of photographs.
Topic:
Aeronautical museums
Exhibitions
Special events
Museum exhibits
Local number:
SIA Acc. 07-184
See more items in:
Exhibition Records 1971-2000 [National Air and Space Museum (U.S.) Aeronautics Division]
Data Source:
Smithsonian Institution Archives

2c Civil Aeronautics Conference Wright Airplane right plate block of six

Scott Catalogue USA 649
Printer:
Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Medium:
paper; ink (carmine rose)/ engraving; gum
Dimensions:
Height x Width: 3 x 3 3/4 in. (7.62 x 9.53 cm)
Type:
Postage Stamps
Place:
United States of America
Date:
1928
Description:
Block of 6 stamps; plate number 19709
Topic:
National Stamp Collection
Object number:
2005.2004.1269.1-6
See more items in:
National Postal Museum Collection
On View:
Currently on exhibit at the National Postal Museum
Data Source:
National Postal Museum

5c Civil Aeronautics Conference Globe and Airplane left plate block of six

Scott Catalogue USA 650
Printer:
Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Medium:
paper; ink (blue)/ engraving; gum
Dimensions:
Height x Width: 3 x 3 3/4 in. (7.62 x 9.53 cm)
Type:
Postage Stamps
Place:
United States of America
Date:
1928
Description:
Block of 6 stamps; plate number 19660
Topic:
National Stamp Collection
Object number:
2005.2004.1270.1-6
See more items in:
National Postal Museum Collection
On View:
Currently on exhibit at the National Postal Museum
Data Source:
National Postal Museum

Additional Online Media:

Rapport officiel sur la première exposition internationale de locomotion aérienne / organisée par l'Association des Industriels de la locomotion aérienne au Grand-Palais (Octobre 1909)

Author:
Exposition internationale de l'aéronautique (1st : 1909 : Paris, France)
Association des industriels de la locomotion aérienne
Subject:
Exposition internationale de locomotion (1st : 1909 : Paris)
Physical description:
127, [1] p. : ill. ; 33 cm
Type:
Exhibitions
Date:
1910
Notes:
"Imprimerie Paul Dupont ... Paris"--P. [1] at end.
Topic:
Aeronautics
Call number:
TL506.F8 E96 1910
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries

Aeronautics

Author:
Science Museum (Great Britain)
Royal Aeronautical Society
Physical description:
1 v. (unpaged) illus. (part col.) 16 cm
Type:
Exhibitions
Date:
1966
Notes:
"A Science Museum four-in-one book."
"Conceived as a Science Museum contribution to the centenary celebrations of the Royal Aeronautical Society."
Contents:
Aeronautics, 1: Flying up to 1909, by C. H. Gibbs-Smith.--Aeronautics, 2: Flying since 1913, by G. W. B. Lacey.--Power to fly, by W. J. Tuck.--Aeronautica: objets d'art, prints, air mail, by W. T. O'Dea
Topic:
Aeronautics
Aeronautics--History
Call number:
TL506.L7A47X
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries

Training Diagram, Shepard

Astronaut:
Alan B. Shepard Jr.
Manufacturer:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Materials:
Surface: coated fabric; cardboard backing
Rear: Cardboard
Dimensions:
Overall: 2ft 5 1/2in. x 3ft 4in. x 1/4in. (74.93 x 101.6 x 0.6cm)
Type:
EQUIPMENT-Training Devices
Country of Origin:
United States of America
Summary:
Mercury Astronaut Alan B. Shepard, Jr., used this diagram of the control console of the Freedom 7 spacecraft to familiarize himself with the instrument panel. The craft itself had extremely small quarters which would have made it awkward to study the actual control panel for extended periods of time.
Freedom 7 was launched on May 5, 1961, and lasted 15 minutes 28 seconds. Shepard reached an altitude of 116.5 miles, making him the first American in space. His suborbital spaceflight was conducted to determine the effectiveness of human space exploration and the performance of the Mercury spacecraft above the atmosphere.
NASA gave this diagram to the Smithsonian when the spacecraft went on exhibit at the Arts and Industries building in October 1961.
Long Description:
The Shepard Training Diagram
Before Alan Shepard flew his historic 1961 suborbital mission on Freedom 7, he had to learn how to operate his spacecraft. This simple photographic chart, which is 75 cm (29.5 in.) high and a bit over a meter (40 in.) wide, helped him memorize the layout of his instrument panel. The very simplicity of this training aid and of the instruments it represents provides a window on the earliest days of U.S. human spaceflight. The rather crude aid highlighted a central feature of Freedom 7's cockpit instrumentation: It was sparse, even compared to later Project Mercury orbital flights. Still, this simplicity can be misleading; the Mercury capsule was a complicated piece of machinery requiring equally elaborate training.
This diagram is labeled "Capsule 7" because Shepard's was the seventh spacecraft in the series. It shows the four main panels in front of the astronaut. The most noticeable feature (represented in bottom center) is the large circular screen used to display images from a periscope that looked outside the capsule-this provided Shepard's main view. In the original Mercury design, two small portholes also provided an exterior view, but a very limited one. The astronauts fought against the porthole concept and won a rectangular window in front of the astronaut's head-an intervention later made famous by Tom Wolfe's book The Right Stuff. Shepard, however, flew the last of the porthole-equipped capsules, so that during his brief time in suborbital transit through space, the periscope provided his only effective view of the Earth from a hundred miles up. But the view was "beautiful," leading him to describe cloud cover on the East Coast and the islands and reefs of the Bahamas.
Other instruments in the center panel provided basic orientation. A clock, along with a time counter in seconds, provided the time and the mission elapsed time-on a fifteen-minute mission he did not need to count hours, or even minutes, from launch. At the top of the panel there are three needles giving the orientation of the capsule in roll, pitch and yaw. At upper left on the center panel is a gauge giving acceleration and deceleration forces in "g's"-multiples of the Earth's gravitation pull. Shepard and all the early astronauts endured extremely heavy forces: eight "g's" on the way up and eleven coming back down. Finally, for the parachute descent of his capsule into the ocean, Shepard had an altimeter and a rate of descent gauge.
The far right panel provided fundamental information on the cabin atmosphere and cooling, on the capsule's batteries and electrical power, plus controls for the radios. Immediately to the left of the main panel are lights for various important functions such as separation of the capsule from the booster, retrofire and parachute deployment. They would light green when things worked; red when they did not. To the left are switches for manually overriding these critical functions, on which Shepard's life depended. Finally, switches and the gauge on the left provided control over cabin lights and the attitude control system. Shepard had two independent attitude control systems and two sets of control jets. A control stick in his right hand, not shown in the diagram, provided the mechanism for changing the attitude of his capsule in space by commanding the firing of the jets.
After his flight, Alan Shepard hung on to this poster-board diagram as a souvenir before giving it to the Smithsonian in fall 1965. Upon doing so, he signed it, making it an even more valuable artifact of the earliest days of humans in space.
Credit Line:
Gift of Alan B. Shepard, Jr.
Inventory Number:
A19670175000
Rights:
Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum
See more items in:
National Air and Space Museum Collection
Data Source:
National Air and Space Museum

Additional Online Media:

Edward Wellman Serrell Aeronautical Papers 1865-1867

Creator:
Serrell, Edward Wellman
Physical description:
.13 cubic feet (1 box)
Type:
Correspondence
Collection descriptions
Invoices
Notes
Place:
United States
Date:
1865
1865-1867
Civil War, 1861-1865
Notes:
Edward Wellman Serrell (1826-1906), a civil engineer and Union army general, was born in London on November 5, 1826. His family immigrated to the United States in 1831, settling in New York City. Serrell became a civil engineer, working in railroad and bridge design and construction. He worked at times for the Erie Railroad, the Northern Railroad of New Hampshire, the New Jersey Central Railroad, and the Union Pacific Railroad. He also assisted in the 1848 Panama Survey. Serrell prepared plans and supervised the construction of several bridge projects: the Niagara River suspension bridge at Lewiston in 1850, the St. John, New Brunswick bridge, and the St. Lawrence bridge at Quebec. He served as chief engineer of the Hoosac Tunnel (1855-56)
At the beginning of the Civil War, Serrell organized the 1st New York Volunteer Engineers (1NYVE). In October 1861, Serrell was appointed as a lieutenant colonel of the 1NYVE and was promoted to full colonel, commanding the unit, in February 1862. The 1NYVE took part in the 1862 South Carolina campaign, beginning with the expedition to Port Royal, October 21 to November 7, 1861. Serrell served as chief engineer of the 10th Corps and of the Army of the James, and also served as chief of staff of the Army of the James as a brevet brigadier general. While at Port Royal, General Ormsby Mitchell, commanding the 10th Corps, became interested in the possibilties of aerial reconnaissance. Serrell demonstrated a wind-up toy helicopter to Mitchell, and proposed building a full sized flying machine. Mitchell died soon thereafter, but Serrell later demonstrated in 1864 an improved toy to Major General Benjamin Butler, commanding the Army of the James. Serrell's toy helicopter reached an altitude of over one hundred feet. Butler ordered Serrell to build a full-sized machine. Moving to New York, and with funding provided by wealthy oilmen, Serrell designed a fifty-two foot cigar-shaped craft, equipped with a high-pressure steam boiler and "gliding planes" (wings), and four "fans" -- two for lift and two for propulsion. The rear fan was designed to swivel, thus serving as a vectored thrust propeller. The craft, variously called the "Valomotive" and the "Reconoiterer," was assembled in Hoboken, New Jersey. Serrell contacted with the firm of Bennett and Risley of New York City to build a powerful but light steam engine; the design and construction of their engine was delayed until the Confederate surrender in April 1865 ended Army interest in Serrell's project, though he continued to correspond on the project into 1866. After the war, Serrell worked as a consulting engineer to many corporations, and served as president of the Washington County Railroad. Edward Wellman Serrell died on April 25, 1906, at Rossville on Staten Island, New York.
Summary:
The collection consists of a draft of Serrell's report on his activities and on the design of the Valomotive, February 10, 1865; his undated memorandum on the design of the Valomotive; Serrell's undated notes for a pamphlet "On the Subject of Navigating the Air by Steam;" a drawing of rotors and machinery of the Valomotive; and a drawing of a flying machine designed by F. H. Raffey. Also included is a draft of an agreement or contract between Serrell and an unnamed correspondent, dated March 26, 1866. Correspondence in the collection includes eleven letters to Serrell from Mortimer Nelson (January to August 1866), an early aeronautical researcher who patented an "Aerial Car" in 1861; two letters from F. W. Brearey, the secretary of the Aeronautical Society of Great Britain; a letter from aeronautical pioneer F. H. Wenham of the Aeronautical Society to Brearey; and a photocopy of a letter to Serrell from P. T. Barnum, dated May 10, 1866, in which Barnum proposes exhibiting Serrell's Valomotive. The collection also includes several invoices or receipts from Serrell's project.
Cite as:
Edward Wellman Serrell Aeronautical Papers, Accession 2011-0040, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution
Topic:
Aeronautics
Steam engines
Serrell Helicopter (1861)l
History
Local number:
2011-0040
See more items in:
Edward Wellman Serrell Aeronautical Papers
Data Source:
National Air and Space Museum Archives

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