tv Politics and Public Policy Today CSPAN August 18, 2016 9:00am-11:01am EDT
>> that's when president ford made the reference. in the lifetime of president ford and people in that time, they had seen the full span, the full arc. >> if you think of any other occupation or industry or endeavor that has a learning and performance curve that can match that, you can't find one. i mean, it's just absolutely amazing and the benefits. look at the world travel, for example. we can fly cross country in one couple of hours where it used to
take three months to start back in the old days. even took two or three days when we first started doing it by air because they flew by day and then took the train at night and flew by day and took the train. so the range speed pay load and the capabilities and safety, safety is a really major portion of this entire program. >> you're going to keep it for a few more minutes and then show our audience some of the artifacts and exhibits here at the museum but let me get a call joining us from oregon. you're on the air. >> oh, awesome. it's very nice to meet you, general. my question for you is actually a two-part question. one, how many exhibits are actually on display? and what is your favorite exhibit? >> we have 22 galleries. and the, probably, i'm not going to give you a number but it's, i'll say it's more than 160 actual artifacts. i'm talking about large artifacts. if we count the metals and the
patches and some of the other smaller things, it gets into the thousands, actually. so, and i mentioned earlier we've got a boeing f-4 b-4 back in 1934 and the exact airplane we have on display so that's clearly my favorite. >> i'm going to have you look up there and just tell me what that is. >> that's a v-1 buzz bomb. the one that used to, it was used to bomb london and other places. and then, of course, the v-2 is right next to it. we're showing the evolution of rocket powered devices and that was so you can hear it. i call it a buzz bomb because it was on, off, on, off. they weren't very accurate but so the way they controlled where they landed was how much fuel they put in them and then dropped where they happened to be. >> state of the art. >> and didn't deviate very much
from this in our beginnings. >> well, you know, i was a professional marine and when vietnam started years ago, and it was, i actually consider myself fortunate. >> general daly, it's really a pleasure to be able to speak be you, sir. and the wide range of exhibits. it's amazing and you cover everything. a little bit about the controversy. who was the first to fly. and of course, we see who was the first to fly? >> on the record. >> the wright brothers were the first to fly. and we'd be willing to debate that with anyone. there are other claims. by the way, all the others that have been made, we have
investigate thoroughly and the evidence is not there to substantiate those claims. we have two researchers here on our staff. dr. tom crouch and peter jacob. they are the world's leading authorities on the wright brothers and they have, but they are very conscientious in trying to make sure we know the right answers. we're very careful to make sure that we, when we say something, we can prove it. and in this case, we can. if i could just say one other thing because this is kind of important.
when the wright brothers were successful over their flight, they got a patent that essentially said if you fly a manned powered controlled device, then you violated our patent. well glen curtis did that very thing very quickly after they had flown successfully so they sued him. so litigation was an early part of aviation and one of the things that came out of this was the smithsonian was also competing. dr. langly, essentially the chief scientist of the united states, eight days prior to the wright brothers success tried to fly off a houseboat here in the potomac. it went into the water and said it had the flying qualities of a hand full of mortar but later after dr. langly had died, his deputy talked to glen curtis and said if we could get you this airplane to fly, then we could
declare dr. langly as the father of aviation. so curtis who had a lawsuit, that will clear him of that problem, he put 52 modifications on the airplane including the bigger motor. 52 horsepower compared to the horsepower and bounced down the potomac and said, hurray, dr. langly's the father of aviation. that infuriated, and orville had passed away by this time but orville was so upset, he gave it to the museum of science in london. not until 1937 when we formally apologized and said, you're right. the wright brothers are the fathers of aviation. but the war started and so the icon spent the war in a tunnel outside of london and we didn't get it back until after the war. so, you know, it's kind of
interesting to see how some of these things have come around but the wright flier was the first to fly and we can prove it. >> and how significant was david mcculloch's book on the wright brothers and research, identifying what they did and meant for america and the world's flight? >> he's a fine writer. and maybe the most important part of that is his books are widely sold and read and so the word gets out to the public through that means he did a lot of research with dr. crouch and dr. jacob and actually references them freely in his book. so yes. that's one of the things about this whole place is getting the information to people. to spark that interest where they want to know more. this is a question we can welcome. let's try to figure this out. let somebody come in and try to prove something different on this. so we're anxious to hear from folks. >> it's clear this still excites
you after all these years. >> it does. >> let's hear from wayne from massachusetts with general jack daly. >> good evening, general. semper fie from a former marine on camp platoon, north carolina. >> hurrah. >> the movie about gary powell shot down in the u2 spy plane, big hit with tom hanks. i understand the remains of the spy plane are still in the soviet, the former soviet union. what are the possibilities of getting that from the russians so that it can be implemented into the program there at the museum? >> wayne, thank you. >> i'm not familiar with any efforts to recover the wreckage. and it was an embarrassment to
the country. and we don't have room for it. >> bill, last call from new york. go ahead, bill. >> hello, general daly. thank you for taking my call. i just want to ask you something. my dad used to work for grummond's in the '60s and had artifacts from the lem. do you have any and semper fi, general daly. >> great to have all these marines on the line tonight. i'm not sure i understand. do we have additional artifacts from the lem?
is that the question? the ones who went to the moon are still there. because the program was cut short, it was a reason why we had this equipment available to us. but this one that we have on display now, this configured to the one that went with apollo 11. we do have other artifacts with lems but everything that we have is installed, in fact, this is the most complete display that we've ever had on this particular artifact. it's been on display for 40 years but now, an individual actually involved with the original configuration did the work on this. so it's -- we're very pleased with this exhibit and its authenticity. >> if you could look ahead 40 years tonight, what would they look like? >> it would look better than it does today because it would have all new stone and exhibits and they would now be starting along
with a tooth and we'd be looking for more money to redo the whole place. >> general jack daily. thank you for being with us. the most popular museum in this smithsonian. >> can i put in a plug? at 8:30 eastern daylight time, we have an opening ceremony for our exhibit at boeing milestone and next to where we are now and open to the public and we stay open all night. come on down. we're going to have a grand time. >> i put a plug for c-span 3 because we carry it live. we show you around, thank you again for being with us and this terrific facility. this museum and some of the artifacts and one of a kind items only here at the air and space museum.
what supports the artifacts up 060,000 individuals small and medium artifacts. what we're going to talk about today is the story of higher, faster, farther. it has a real meaning. we look at the people who made this quest of flying in the third dimension a reality. the idea of flying the highe ee altitu altitude, fastest speed. it tells aunt the airplane and the reinvention of what the wright brothers do. behind me you see the wright flyer, the world's first airplane. on the morning of december 17th, 1903 at 10:35 a.m., orville wright at the controls takes
flight for 120 feet. that is the first time a man entered into the air in a powered flying machine. at the end of the day, after four flights where orville and wilbur alternate, the fourth flight with wilbur at the controls, 852 feet. 30 miles per hour, at an altitude of 30 feet. and they usher in this aerial age. the age of aviation. and how they came to create that moment is very important because not only do the wright brothers invent the airplane, but they invent aeronautical engineering, the processes that are needed to create actual flying machines. so beginning in 1899, wilbur and orville write, wilbur is the older, orville is the younger. they are unmarried. they own a bicycle shop, they are yankee mechanics. they know tools and mechanical devices and they take that interest and apply it to printing presses and bicycles, and they apply it to the problem of creating a flying machine.
in 1899 they write the smithsonian institution and ask for all the literature on flight. they learn about the predecessors, george daily, samuel langley, who is going to be the care out aor of the smithsonian and a competitor. they learn about all the aeronautical engineers. what sets the wright brothers apart is they break the problem down. they have to look at the airplane as a system of systems. looking at propulsion, structures, control, and arrow dynamics, the science of flight. and so between 1899 and 1902, they start flying gliders. they have -- start with kites. they have their gliders. by 1902 they have a controllable glider in which we've made this new fundamental contribution
called wing warping. rather than usingor weight to shift the balance of the glider they have a mechanical system where they can twist the wings. how they come to that conclusion is that the brothers always implemented each other as intellectuals. so they argued how are we going to control this airplane, how are we going to make it move in the air? how can we keep it from flying in a straight line. it's one day in the bicycle shop where wilbur is talking to a measure is and he has a inner tube box for a bicycle tire and he is twisting it as he talks to this individual. and he sees in his mind's eye, non-verbal thinking, the mine's eye, 3d technology and he says if the we twist the wings of our glider you can control it. one goes down, and the other comes down and you can turn. that's how had he come up with the new ideas of how the airplane works. they create the world's first wind tunnel to do the math of previous experimenters like john
smeaton and they find out he is wrong on the coefficient of lift on the wings and they recalculate it and apply it to their work so they design wing that are capable of creating lift. by 1902 they have a working glider where they are flying for up to almost 30 seconds from the dunes of kiddy hawk, north carolina, the kill devil hills, in which they have traveled there because it's the one spot in america that has consistent winds as well as isolation so they can work in peace without distraction. so through 1902 and 1903, they add the last big part of their airplane. so they have done the wings. the arrow dynamics. they have done the structure which was influenced by octave and the pratt trust which you have seen on the railroads in the 19th century. then you look at the control system, the wing warping. the last ingredient is the propulsion system. they acknowledge it's going to be a recipro kating engine. they create a horizontal force
on their 12 horse power engine. they know they need that much power to generate the thrust of the propellors. that's a specific choice the wright brothers make, it's going too much propellers on their flying machine. how do propellers work? they anything your they can go to existing data on ship propellers and that doesn't give them any answers. so the same sort of intellectual give andic at that. the brothers are gnashing at each other. they are going at it. and they realize that a propeller is a rotating wing in a helical path. this he take their wind tunnel data, adapt to design a propeller. and they design propellers capable of producing 67 to 70% thrust over that 12 horse power engine. you see the two propellers on
the, about of the wing. they are called pusher configurations is what it's called. they want the propellers to turn in opposite directions, counter-rotating. taking their knowledge of working in workshop in which you want to change the direction of the machine you twist the belt of the power system from the roof you can see the chain system is twisted. that last ingredient, the propulsion system enables the brothers to go to kitty hawk in the late fall, early winter of 1903 where they start readying their flying program. they have a crash. they are down for a couple of days. but it's december 17th, 1903 that they actually fly this airplane that you see behind me. it's that moment, that reaching of that actual -- getting into the air under the power and looking at all the technology here in terms of you have your aluminum engine, you have spruce propellers and spruce structural members. you have metal fittings and you have must listen fabric, pride of the west, horn of the brand. that all comes together in this system of the airplane that they create.
after those four flights a big wind comes up at kitty hawk and the flyer tumbles and it's demolished. but they claim success, they pack it up and go back to dayton, where they are from, and they send a telegram to their father, success, four flights. and they make the announcement. this is really -- that's the very quiet way of saying that the aerial age has emerged. by 1905, in an improved flyer, wilbur and orville are flying up to half an hour for long distances and figure eights over huffman prairie just outside of
dayton, ohio. so the '03 flyer as it's going to be called is for gotten. it sits in crates. it goes through a flood. and where all the crates have been soaked with water and mud. and then orville is starting to reassemble the airplane and put it on different displays through the 1920s. in 1926 it goes to england where it's at the science museum. during world war ii it's actually stored west of london during the blitz, during attacks on england. but it comes to 1948, when orville, with great fanfare donates the wright flyer to the smithsonian institution. and it's been on public display, whether at the old arts and industries building in the classic continue shed which existed for many years and the opening of the national air and space museum in 1976, the wright flyer went on display. and in 2003 in the centennial of the wright brothers' first flight this gallery was opened to tell that story of the making of the first airplane. and with it air nauticg arrest
engineering. original airplane, the wright flyer. but it has been restored and things have been changed over the years. so the fabric that you see there is not the original fabric from 1903. but it's actually been applied in the same sewing methods and construction as the 1903 airplane. so orville removed the fabric and they made the airplane look better for when it went to england.
but in the 1980s, this airplane underwent a restoration. see the spruce structural members, the engine, one of the propellers, that's all original. over in the corner of the gallery is one of the original propellers you will see. because when the airplane took its tumble it cracked and split that and broke that propeller. we've just left the wright brothers, and the invention of the arrow age gallery. now we are in legend memory and
great war in the air. the world war i gallery. the airplane behind me is a spad xiii. in many ways this is the configuration of the french and the rest of the arrow nautical community take what the wright brothers create in 1903 and any make it their own. this is a 1917 design. it's the highest performance french fighter of world war i. what that means is that it can go 130 miles per hour. so 100 miles an hour faster than a wright flyer. but it's also just a large strut and wire braced airplane just like the wright flyer. but it's in the tractor configuration with the engine and the propeller are in the front. and there is a central fuselage, note that french word, fuselage with two by plane wings. and ailerons for control at the tops of each of the wings.
more french influence. after the creation of the airplane, the wright brothers bring it to the world. there is some french and other european experimenters flying airplanes but the french really run with it. and they take a lead, as well as other nations. but in looking at this airplane, it is the epitome of that strut and wire and brace configuration of the wright brothers, but improved and enhanced. spad xiii is the product of a designer named louie bechereau. he designed a number of series of spad series. the vii was used in world war i. and the spad xiii reflects the epitome of french high performance design. it has air foils like the wright flyer and that allows it to go very fast. and it's fabric covered. it's the engine, the hispano suiza v8 engine that's the core of it. you see the radiator shutters, so it looks round but there is actually a v8 engine underneath that cowling. what i mean is there is a tight fitting metal covering over the engine. it makes it streamlined and allows the air to flow over it more efficiently. so mark burkett of the spano suiza company, translation, spanish swiss, has designed a seriousr series of automobile engines in the prewar era. he adapts those by taking two of his in line four cylinder engines and makes them into a v8. what makes it different, he cast a row of cylinders out of the solid piece of aluminum and he has cooling passages in the aluminum blocks that allows improved cooling and more power. instead of a rotary engine dog 110, 120 horse power you are looking at 200, 220 horse power with these engines by the time they are introduced in the spad xiii. there is a push pull over the western front in world war i in custom the germans have an advantage with their aircraft like the folker d 7 that you can see in this gallery. but the spad xiii is the french answer to that airplane. and it's not maneuverable but it
has the speed. it can dive you a way. so they are going to take this airplane and develop new group fighter tactics in response. the german group fighter tactics. so this first generation of significant high-scoring french aces fly these airplanes in the french squadron. so this becomes -- as the highest performance airplane, it has two .30 caliber machine guns shooting through the propeller and because the airplane is fast and can dive and fly away and come back and attack that gives the french fighter squadron the advantage. the creation of a gun sin conieser system means you can mount a machine gun right in front of the pilot with sight and as you point the airplane you can point the machine guns and hit your target. the problem is you have a spinning wood propeller in the way.
the creation of a mechanical linkanage set up with a cam on the propeller shaft as the probeller blade crosses in front it turns off the machine gun. as the blade is passed, the machine guns are turned back on. as 1917 proceeds into 1918 and the entry of the united states into the war, you have american air service pilots coming into the western front and they are being equipped with french aircraft. there is not a front line-ready american fighter for the conflict. and this particular spa did 13 that you see here that is in american air service markings it was built by one of the manufacturers contracted to make spads, there were 8400 spaads made total and the -- he scores one air spad.
and so this spat 13 flew with the first generation of american combat pilots. now ray brooks flies it. he names this airplane after his fiance's school. and most people would name after their girlfriends themselves but he made a conscious decision. he want want this airplane damaged sitting it in the field ruthy is damaged. we've got to fix her. he wanted to keep her out of the situation. so he names it after the college.
smith iv is in its 1918 camouflage but see it along the fuselage and wings of smith iv the small black squares with german crosses on them and those represent bullet holes that are shot through the fabric from combat so there's a small little indications of this being a combat airplane and surviving. the squares would have been applied by ground mechanics in the field because there's no need to completely cover the airplane and one of the interesting advantages of a strut and wire braced fabric covered airplane is that if the
bullet just goes through the fabric, it just passes through the other side. so all it needs to be is patched and that's what the job of the mechanic does. just the patch to restore the integrity and keep fighting. now, at the end of world war i in november, 1918, this airplane is set aside by the army air service and brought back to the united states. so it's to display what kind of aircraft americans flew, a high performance french fighter but it's also given to the smithsonian institution where it stays in the collection for decades. and it's not until the 1980s that the airplane is fully restored and put on display in the world war i gallery. if you look at the panel, you can see fabric from the original airplane on the display. the fabric here is not original. it's restored fabric. but nonetheless, this is one of four remaining spads in the world and tells how it was maximized and changed but still essentially the same in terms of the materials and the propulsion system and the systems that make it up. but it was a formidable combat fighter of world war i. and now we're going to look at
technology. it's twofold campaign they're waging. what results is an improvement in the airplane in terms of the high speed technology. to encourage the development of technology. he thought they needed to be developed. what the competition becomes and even as early as the period when it starts is the high stakes high speed competition between first the international aviation clubs of each country and then the military governments take over in the 1920s. so this curtis rc 3-2 is the world's fast airplane in the fall of 1825. this racer with a young air
surface pilot was flying this airport. in the international needer competition. it's a national race. it's pitting the army and navy and marine pilots against each other. it's and mitchell field on long island new york cyrus flies the same airport with wheels and a skid installed and the number 43 like you see here to win that
race. they are the world's fastest men. and the justification of justification of national government encourage the development. you see the curtis rc 3 and it's a racing system. instead of having it at the airplane that creates drag it's it dragging over the wing. it's cooling the gin through the radiators. you see struts and wires on the construction of it. you see a tightly benefitting cowling over the 600 horsepower
engine. you see a metal propeller, which is one of the latest innovations in the mid '20s. it's built and designed by albert reid. it's a innovation in terms of transitioning from wood and metal in airplane constructive materials. it's a hallow shell. and it incorporate's an overall stream lined shape and allows the airplane to get faster because the ability to causeless drag.less drag.
jimmy had a technique where he would start at one and dive toward the base of it and then pull up and turn and go around the other side. and the short wingspan faci facilitated that. the short stacks of the v 12 engine are making a loud popping noise. the propeller itself is going super sonic. they are the first air gnat call to go super sonic. you hear a banging and clanging
noise. the throaty barking noise of the exhaust and the airplane going by at eye sight level is an amazing thing to see. after he wins the pulitzer. the next year at the schneider trophy race in virginia a marine pilot comes in second in the competition in the same airplane. so after that race, the rc 3 is given to the smithsonian institution. then it goes to the national museum of the u.s. air force and restored by personnel there and returns for installation in the pioneers of flight gallery you see it here today. the jimmy doodle i mentioned won the schneider cup race in this racer goes on to fame in aviation. he's a famous test pilot.
he's a certified aeronautical engineer. it's at topening of world war i as jimmy leads the famous raid against japan in april of 1942. he wins the medal of honor and goes on to be one of the leading bomber generals in world war ii. now we look at a defining airplane. this airplane in may 1927 flew 3600 miles and 33 1/2 hours from new york to paris. flown by charles lindbergh who is the one known pilot. his goal is to win the prize of $25,000 for the first non-stop
flight from new york to paris. he was a hotel entrepreneur and he wanted to join his former country france with -- aviation is part of the telling of the airplane and this transformation of the airplane of what the wright brothers created and have it transition over the 20s and 30s of what we call the airplane. so lindbergh was an unknown air mill pilot in 1926, who is flying from the st. louis to chicago air route fly was thinking about is this possible? and building upon that idea he gets financers from st. louis. people he trained them to fly. he looks to purchase a long distance airplane. what happens he ends up in san
diego. he meets a chief engineer and they design a airplane. and lindbergh calls it st. louis in honor of his backers of st. louis. it's a product of his vision of what a long distance airplane would be. it's not necessarily the most advanced airplane. it represents many of the known ideas about technology with some gambling he includes in the airplane. working with don hall through the spring of 1927, lindbergh creates this airplane. so we see it's a high wing model plane. it's a wood wing externally braced to the fuselage. it has underneath the fabric tubular steel framework. that's an innovation that eme e emerges in world war i. it's a diversion from the wood
racing we've seen since the wright brothers. it uses wires and is a framework. but you know it works. and so it's also the basic design of the airplane called the m-2 they based the airplane on. the aircraft is designed for one thing. flying across the atlantic ocean with one pilot, which is a gamble. all the other airplanes had multiple crew members as well as multiple engines. lindbergh makes the gamble. i can control it. this is an airplane built for the boards. 450 gallons of geasoline. it almost doubles the weight. he has to learn how to handle the airplane. when it's finished in april of 1927, he break s san diego to s.
louis transcontinental record. then he flies on to new york and then on to paris. lindbergh's choices come into play. you don't see a canopy on the door. you see a door on the side. he used a periscope so he could see forward or he would twifl to look out outside. what is in front of him is the engine. he has all that in front of him in case he crashes he has it in front of him instead of the gasoline tank crushing him or catching on fire and burning him alive. look forward the fuel tank area where it says spirit of st. louis. you see the radio and it's a whirlwind which is a corner stone technology which is the revolution. it's a radial engine cooled by
the air traveling over the cylinders. you see them sticking out there so i that can be cooled as the air flow goes over them. but it's a reliable engine. it stays, you know, it stays running for 33 hours. it's a conscience choice. it's advanced technology. so tubular steel fuselage, wood wing, externally braced p those are known technologies. but the state-of-the-art is the engine. and right in front of that engine is an aluminum alloy. it's just like a wright brothers propeller. it creates thrust for the operating regime but it has a little innovation included in the standard steel propeller company. it's ready by the time lindbergh says i want a metal propeller for the "spirit of st. louis." what i mean by what he means is you can't change the angle of
the blades in the air, but if you need to change the pitch on the ground you can loosen two rings, change the pitch for whatever setting you want it to be so they can get you off the ground with the fuel but give you enough cruise efficiency to get across the atlantic. it's a comprise. so in many ways the airplane overall is a comprise to get lindbergh across the atlantic ocean. so the flight itself lindbergh didn't have advanced navigati navigational tools like a gps. he did have a compass and he had this method in which you use the stars and maps to fly his path. he's going to fly the polar routes across instead of flying over the shipping lanes. she's flying a shorter distance over the curvature of the earth. if he gambles that, he's going to figure out where he is at as soon as he gets to europe and
make his way to paris. he does that over a course of day and a half. and he land just north of paris and is met by over 100,000 adoring fans. people cheering him on. and at that moment, the flight technologyist that created this airplane enters into this legendary status as probably the supreme aviator of the world, especially the united states. he becomes a household name. it in which the growth and the aviation industry is seen as a result of what he's done in this flight. even though it's an indication of things that are moving along. he exacerbates and improves and expands the idea of an aviation industry. people want to learn to fly as a result of him. by christmas, you can get a copy of the book called "we" and it means lindbergh and the spirit together in their flight. so this pop culture phenomenal
that lindbergh becomes as a result of this flight. it's this defining moment which america turns the page in terms of understanding the power of the airplane. the excitement for that. and the wake of this flight to paris, lindbergh returns with "the spirit" and he is going to do a national tour through 1927, in which hundreds of thousands of americans will see him fly. see the spirit. they have read about the flight. now they get to see it come to their hometown. by the end of the year, lindbergh goes on a tour of latin america. in which he's, you know, extending further releases with latin america and doing his long distance flying there, as well. when you look at the front of the spirit, you see the flag of nations that lindbergh visited during his latin american tour. you see military stickers.
the return of the flight in february and then in the spring of 1928, lindbergh gives "the spirit of st. louis" to the smithsonian institution. that art fact stays on display in the arts and industry building throughout the history of the old national air museum and then on display in 1976 for the opening of the national mall building and the national air and space museum. it's been on display ever since. so the art fact you see behind me is the original "spirit of st. louis" it has had some work but it's the original fabric. once again, it's one of a kind original artifacts that makes the smithsonian aviation collection so important and why you need to see it. lindbergh's flight from new york to paris is a very important
one. but there are aviators that show how the airplane evolves and this idea of reinventing the airplane, especially pushing the farther, faster that builds to crescendo in the 1930s. just a few months after lindbergh's flight in "the spirit of st. louis." on july 24th, 1927 an airplane takes to the airplane, just like you see behind me. this is the result of the pairing the lock heed aircraft company with a self-taught intuitive designer. not being educated in an engineering school, he has a feel for what it should look like. there's no supporting braces or wiers. you have an internally supported
wing. you also see a plywood fuselage. you take the heritage of the curtis rc-3 racer. you have a plywood fuselage. it doesn't need an external as well as internal brace. the idea of a clean airplane is manifested in this. it has a radial engine in this. and it has a metal extension prong. the problem with the aidial engine, which becomes a corner stone technology you see the spirit of st. louis. and seeing it here the problem with the radial engine is it's situated like a flower bed in the front of the fuselage. it's like the equivalent of a model t radiator on the car. it creates a lot of drag. but the cylinders need the air to travel over them to cool the
cylinders. so the designers are making the choice do you have an exposed radial engine like the "spirit of st. louis" or cover the engine aerodynamic efficiency to clean up the disturbing air, the drag to make the airplane more efficient. and so this is actually a fundamental question being looked at by the naca in langley, virginia. fred weick who has a 20 foot wind tunnel that he starts playing with the idea of a cowling for a radial engine. it's design number ten that results in flowing air through the cowling to cool the engine whilst controlling the streamline of the air on the outside. and so that technology is what makes the vega such an important aircraft in terms of its efficiency and it maximizes its ability to fly 165 miles per hour cruise and the ability to
fly passengers in what the original design of the airplane was for. and so the naca cowling which wins the highest award for achievement in aviation is still given today. jack northrup, takes it, puts it on this airplane. he also thinks about this is a high reliever airplane. where would you put the landing gear on this? so you have fixed landing gear from the bottom of the aircraft. and you have these big rubber tires and wheels that create drag. and so his ideas, well, i'll put pants on the tires and the wheels. so there's tear dropped streamline wheel pants are an idea of, well, you have to have fixed landing gear. but why don't we make them as streamline as possible. so the cowling over the radial engine. the pants over the wheels. increases the performance and efficiency of the vega. and so this becomes known as a high performance airplane.
and it's taken by several individuals like amelia earhart who in the spring of 1932 flies this airplane across the atlantic ocean. the first woman to fly across the atlantic nonstop. in august of 1932, she flies nonstop across the united states. so she's rapidly becoming this leading aviator in the united states. flying a vega. after earhart flies nonstop across the united states, she sold her airplane to the franklin institute. then in 1966, the airplane became available to the smithsonian institution and entered its collection. so the vega becomes the airplane of choice for record breakers. in 1931, wiley post, the oklahoma wildcatter who loses an eye in an oil rig accident, he has started flying.
he chooses the vega. and so his characteristic white and blue winnie may he flies around the world with a navigator in 1931. and eight days in 1933 he flies around the world all by himself in seven and a half days. and he starts learning these -- tail wind on his airplane as he's flying from the jet stream. he learns because he's flying so high. he's experimenting. he's also the first to experiment with the pressure suit. so the vega is the choice of aviators who want to push the limits of not only speed and distance but altitude. in regards to what this airplane can do. so this is amelia earhart's characteristic red vega. it shows her story of being the
leading pilot flying across the u.s., flying across the atlantic. and it's in another airplane, a lockheed electra that she disappears trying to fly around the world. so lockheed becomes synonymous with what important aviators choose to make these flights. but still, this is a wood airplane. and it's very interesting to see the performance being pushed which seems counterintuitive in regards to what this airplane is. it doesn't have a tubular fuselage like the spirit of st. louis. but it's looking towards the future in terms of its shape. if we're looking at this 1926 to 1934 period of innovation that we're seeing a lot of these airplanes i've been talking about emerge, the vega is one of the first to represent the future of what the airplane, how it's going to become modern over the course of the 1930s.
so the vega through pilots like amelia earhart and wiley post, they ramped up the enthusiasm in terms of flying over oceans and around the world. the next airplane we're going to look at, the boeing 247-d is a commercial airliner that embodies new innovations that enable airplanes to fly higher, faster, farther. the 247-d is called one of the first modern airliners. it's one of the first modern airplanes overall when it is introduced in 1933. and so it reflects this heritage of reinventing the airplane after world war i. it has all metal construction. so there's been a significant transition from strut and wire brace construction of the wright brothers to the plywood construction of the vega, the tubular of the spirit of the st.
louis. now you're looking at an all metal airplane. and you make these aircrafts bigger, put engine pods on them with gas turbine engines and you have jetliners of the 1950s. we're looki ining at the beginn of that with this airplane. in the 1930s the boeing company want to build upon this new aircraft design called the b-9 bomber. it's an all metal plane and they want to develop that into a commercial airliner. and the 247 is the result of that. which embodies all metal construction as i said. but also the idea of the streamline design that the vega represents. and so you have incorporated into an airplane made to make money these innovations to make it go faster. so with the unveiling of the 247, you have 170 mile-per-hour airplane. capable of carrying ten passengers. that's a pretty stunning jump
over a motor you can see up here goes at cruise of -- so it's carrying people longer distances. and it compresses that 27 hours of flight time across the united states into 19 1/2 hours. so here's another element that, you know, plays into this equation is that the vast distances of the united states really push the development of commercial aircraft. and so by 1933 you have an airliner with two engines capable of flying faster than the most advanced army pursuit airplanes. and that kind of shapes the knowledge and the perception of what these airplanes can do. so the united aircraft and transport corporation is the parent company of boeing aircraft. and it also owns pratt and witty engines. standard propellers. and they also own several airlines. including united airlines.
and so boeing builds these airplanes and under the corporate umbrella they only can go to united corporation family companies. that means other airlines like american airlines don't have this airplane available. and so what results is that twa under jack frye asked other aircraft manufacturers, can you help us out. we want a replacement for the ford tri-motor, what can you do? what results is a bid from the douglas company for the dc-2 airliner. which becomes the dc-3 you see back here above the 247. so as the 247 starts, it has some innovations built in. they're actually quite traditional. it has fixed pitch propellers. it has the cowling ring. it has a forward sloping wind screen. and the result of the need to compete with the dc series of airlines from douglas, you have
what results in the 247-d model that you see here. the rarer slanting wind screen, full cowlings just like a lockheed vega, and variable pitch propellers. and what i mean by that is hydraulic mechanisms that actually change the blade pitch as the propeller is rotating. so it's an advanced propeller that increases speed. but the 247 can't compete. and so the dc series, especially the dc-3 becomes the preeminent modern airplane. but there's a story in which the dc-2 and the 247 get into a race in the fall of 1934. sir macphearson robertson, and it's 11,300 miles and it's an
international race. and they want to see who can win. at the end, a douglas dc-2 and a boeing 247 that you see here come in second and third. the first airplane is a purpose built air racer. but the dc-2 and the 247, they show how american aeronautical technology has surpassed and jumped ahead of european technology. and the dc-2 flies and makes stops along the way. it's the 247-d you see here flown by the famous pilot roscoe turner and his co-pilot clyde paingborn. they make stops, get lost for three hours, have engine trouble. but they make it. and it's the airplane that you see here that made that flight and it's part of that story in which the international press says, the united states has
jumped ahead in aeronautical technology. how do we catch up? it's such a shock in terms of the performance of the airplanes. now, after the mcrobertson race, this aircraft goes back into the inventory as an airliner. it goes out of service eventually and has several owners. in the early 1970s, it's given to the smithsonian from united airlines. and it's restored. and the view you see here on the right side is in its united airlines markings it had after the mcrobertson race. on the other side are the markings there had on it during the race. so you can see both histories of that airplane in 1934 and afterwards. and so with the creation of the air and space museum in 1976 and the opening, this was put on display in the air transport gallery. now america by air.
to show that story of that first very crucial moment of the modern airplane. in this case an airliner appearing in the mid-1930s. the boeing 247-d we were just discussing was the state of the art for 1933. and it really epitomized the technology that was going to become the modern airplane. and something that, you know, in its various iterations, it's the aircraft we all know in terms of the structure, the shape, especially in terms of jet airliners today. the airplane behind me, the north american x 15 is a different type of airplane that emerged in the late 1950s. it's a research plane. beginning with the bell x-1. the airplane first designed to investigate supersonic flight. you know, mach 1. there's this new generation of aircraft created through the
naca building airplanes just for investigating aerodynamic phenomenon. and so x 1 was the supersonic regime. you have a succession of aircraft that are going to look into mach 1, mach 2, mach 3. look at construction techniques of different types of wings. but it's the program that begins in 1959 that investigates the hypersonic regime. to speeds beyond mach 4. and so looking at the partnership between industry, north american in this case. the military, the u.s. air force, the primary benefactor of high speed aircraft and the national advisory committee which quickly transitions into the space administration nasa from 1959 to 1968. it has to test this as an
aerospace plane. no longer are we talked about just in the atmosphere. here is a vehicle to transition from the earth's atmosphere into the edges of space. over the courses of 199 flights, there are three built. taking that formula and pushing that idea of especially higher and faster, you're looking at a vehicle that in its present form you see designed for the hypersonic regime. what that means is it has to be a vehicle that can fly in e the atmosphere. it has traditional controls to allow it to move in the atmosphere. it also needs a system. you see the holes in front of the white rectangle, those are reaction control jets. as the aerodynamic ability to control goes away, it uses reaction control jets to control the aircraft. so this is a true aerospace plane that's designed as a
research plane. and the idea is how do you do this and make the aircraft survive? well, the distinctive shape is there for the hypersonic regime. so it's more of the shape of the fuselage. you don't see a large wing with, it's a compact structure with stubby wings. that tail is to facilitate control in the hypersonic regime. now, the air traveling over the surface of this vehicle was estimated up to 1200 degrees fahrenheit. so that warranted the creation of a new material to make the aircraft out of that would influence other high speed aircraft. it's a nickel alloy. so these are space age materials being put into an aerospace plane. the pilots wear pressurized suits like astronauts. and this is a concurrent program with the mercury and gemini and
early apollo program. and so last element is the reaction motor's thrust rocket engine. this is not an airplane designed to take off and land from the ground. it's designed to be carried by a b-52 bomber that's been converted to a mothership for nasa. it will be carried up to 40,000 feet. it will be dropped. and the pilot would engage the rocket engine and then he would do whatever flight profile he need ed to do. beginning of 1959, scott crossfield, the north american test pilot makes the first flight for the x-15. and so it's seeing how it can fly. and then by the mid-1960s you have a flight program that is really influenced and encouraged how the space program developed.
so there's the high range that these aircraft are operate and flown over. and they're tracked. just like tracking a satellite or capsule, you're tracking this aircraft. and so by the mid to late 1960s, x-15 flights are pushing that regime in terms of flying 67 miles high or 345,000 feet. and then flying at the high speed of mach-6 or 4,500 miles per hour. so the pilots of these vehicles are primarily nasa pilots or air force pilots. and so these are missions that are pushing people to believe and encouraging them, is this the way into space? is this what's going to be developed to make this transition? so you have to think when this
first launched in 1959, charles lindbergh was alive. you know? and these generations of fliers and the memory, they're seeing this. so this idea of higher, faster, and farther is really being symbolized by the flight of the x-15 through the late 1960s. so this is x-15 number one e flown by scott crossfield. also flown by a number of nasa test pilots and others including neil armstrong who was employed as a nasa research pilot at the time. it's something he was proud of in terms of flying. so this was an alternate path that another type of vehicle was chosen for the atmosphere to space access in the form of the space shuttle primarily, but also in terms of the capsules of the mercury, gemini, and apollo programs. so in a lot of ways this was an at mat path way that never
happened. but the knowledge of the technology of designing a hypersonic vehicle in which, you know, this x-15 holds the record as the fastest man-carrying vehicle even to this day. but the x-15 is still a symbol of what might be the next plateau in terms of hypersonic flight. there are many individuals especially nasa today in aeronautics who believe hypersonic travel is possible. they see these as a direct result of this work. and research vehicles like this x-15. well, i hope you've enjoyed this look at some of the one of a kind path-breaking aircraft to illustrate this theme of higher, faster, and farther in the collection of the smithsonian national air and space museum. you can choose other examples, but these are the ones i felt really illustrated the idea of
pushing the envelope, reinvention, as well as looking at the spectacle of flight. how people get excited seeing these. that really touches upon these ways of experiencing flight. we have our pilots. we have our engineers that create the aircraft. we have passengers on airliners. but we also have just people watching and reading and learning about these stories, these very important stories in aviation that have shaped and transformed our world. and so in looking at these artifac artifacts, that's one of the primary roles of the museum is to preserve the artifacts and share them with the world. in terms of our success but also in terms of us telling these stories and trying to present that in new ways to share that, to really show these different levels of experience as well as the importance of that technology. and so in many ways, the museum has grown from a celebration of technology and these important
milestones and moments to show how society and culture has been affected as well as how that in reverse has affected the technology. that's at least my take on that in terms to share that with visitors. >> you can watch this or other american artifacts programs at any time by visiting our website c-span.org/history. and we are back live outside the smithsonian national air and space museum located along the national malin washington, d.c. it was on this date 40 years ago that president gerald ford dedicated this museum, the most popular among the smithsonian. and inside, among the displays, america by air from our earliest days of flight aviation with air transportation and mail carriers to the jet age of the 1950s through today. space operations and missiles, it's all here.
and i want to share an article that was in "the washington post" earlier this week on the spirit of st. louis. one of the iconic planes that charles lindbergh had. it's been in the news because of some of the findings and notes on the plane when it was refurbished back in 1975. jeremy kinney is joining us, the curator. we saw you a moment ago in that taped piece, but talk to us about the spirit of st. louis and the interesting things that you've found over the last year or so. >> a true milestone of flight. charles lindbergh makes that epic transatlantic flight in may 1927 and it's always been a signature artifact of the smithsonian, since the building opened in 1976. so this opportunity to redo this gallery, the milestones of flight gallery, looking at this airplane and seeing the elements that are left by the people who made the airplane, the people at ryan airlines in san diego, the flags from the tour of europe as well as latin america and the markings of the unit.
so you see these people making contact with lindbergh and being part of this great story of aviation in the 1920s. >> you showed us some of the artifacts on display here. but your own background, why are you so interested in this area? >> i've always been interested in aviation history. growing up it was all about old airplanes. and i found an opportunity to study history and especially aviation history and it was just a passion that i had that i was able to cultivate and grow and study and work hard and i ended up at the smithsonian. >> i'm going to ask you what is probably an impossible question. was there a turning point or turning points in america's aviation history? >> well, you know, we have to look at two eras. the era of the propeller driven airplane up to world war ii. lindbergh is a turning point, he really shows people that aviation is possible. after that the invention of the jet engine. you see this moment in which you can increase the popularity of jet air travel and almost anyone can travel anywhere in the world
as a result of that. >> you get a new display, no plane, new flight plan, where does it all awe go? how do you find space for it all? >> that's always the challenge, the large artifacts, the airplanes, the spacecraft take up a lot of space. we have the national mall building, almost 100 big artifacts here. we have the center out near dulles international airport. and we have a lot of items on loan or in storage as well. it's always a challenge. but the history of the flight is and out of the atmosphere is always developing and evolving. we have to think, what's the next big object we're going to collect. >> 202-748-8901 if the live in the mountain and pacific time zones. our guest here is jeremy kinney, the curator at the national air and space museum. we're coming to you today because of the importance of today 40 years ago.
>> that's right. the opening of the national air and space museum on the mall. this is the first time that a major national museum has been dedicated to the story of air and space. it's an immensely popular activity for people visiting to come to the air and space museum. >> do you have a favorite exhibit? >> for me a favorite exhibit is probably the one i'm most currently working on. the pioneers of flight gallery, my favorite because of the curtis rc-3 object. but i'm working on the new speed gallery that's going to be opening in a few years as part of our transformation in the museum. >> we can't see it right now but behind me is some early computer technology, i say early, 1960s, early 1970s as they're trying to intercept some of the technology from space by russia. and it's just fascinating because it's a big bulky computer. of course we've grown and changed, but that is really part
of the story of aviation as well, isn't it? >> yes, collecting data. there's always a race. there's a race in the 1920s and '30s between europe and the united states. and the cold war, you have the technology being driven by the need for information. and the technology being driven to compete. who's going to get to the moon first? >> and what about computer technology? >> well, that's going along for the ride. that's a byproduct of the need to push the technology to reach these new challenges. and commuter technology is a reflection of that. in many ways, the miniaturizization that you need influences the development of computer technology. >> let's get to some calls. wayne is joining us from georgia. go ahead, please. >> caller: thank you, sir. happy july 4th. i was wondering if the movie with jimmy stewart was anything like this actual flight of charles lindbergh. >> the billy wilder film which
is based on lindbergh's autobiography comes out in 1957 is based on that book. and it's a story that follows the book pretty well, but it's also changed for dramatic hollywood effects. for example, the fly that you see in the cabin as lindbergh is crossing the atlantic, that's a cinematic invention. but it's also the story of how he goes through those stages, going back and forth between the flight as well as creating the airplane, that back story, especially as a barnstormer and a mail pilot. that is true and part of the story. a very accurate film. jimmy stewart was a big fan of charles lindbergh and wanted to be in the film. in many ways the accuracy is there because stewart and wilder are so passionate about the story of charles lindbergh. >> the wright brothers, charles lindbergh but there are others not so well known. who are they?
>> aviation is a story of people and communities. and so looking at we have these big names, amelia earhart, charles lindbergh, jimmy doolittle. but you'll also have engineers. you have entrepreneurs. these people who really come out of these story. for example, the curtis race their you guys saw on the tour, we know jimmy doolittle flew it in the competition. but siras is an unknown person from the '20s and '30s but was considered the best pilot in america when he flew that plane but he died young, probably two years later in a crash. so he disappears from history when he probably would have been just as famous as doolittle but he died in a plane crash. >> we began our conversation talking about america by air. i wonder if you could take a step back and explain the significance of commercial air transportation to the u.s., to the world, to the economy. >> well, you know, this great connection and story between the united states and commercial
aviation is there. it's the great distances of the american continent. you know, the 48 states, trying to connect the continent by air which drives a lot of the technology in terms of the long distance reliability, the aptitude, the speed. that really shapes that technology and becomes a major industry connected between the people who carry mail and cargo and passengers and the people who make the airplanes and that really drives the technology. it really puts the united states on the ground floor of this world aviation industry where the united states is a pre-eminent member of the community. >> born and raised in north carolina where did you go to college and where did you learn about all of this? >> i was an undergraduate. i went to greensboro college in north carolina. but i went to auburn university for my graduate degrees. that is a place you could go and study aerospace at the graduate level. for me that facilitated my desire to learn more about aviation to study that, i had professors who cultivated that and that enabled me to come to
the smithsonian national and air and space museum where i was the curator since 2000. >> if history is the story of the united states and this is the story of aviation, what is the story here at the museum? >> the story of the air and space museum is to share with visitors from the united states as well as the rest of the world this epic story of how man went into the third dimension and the idea of creating technology and having the vision to create flying machines that could carry people, could carry weapons, but also trigger the imagination and stimulate passion for technology. so this is a history of science and technology museum. it's directly connected to american history, european history and all of those levels are always interconnected. but the story of how man overcame the challenge of getting into the air is the primary story of this museum. >> as the museum prepares to reopen for an all-night celebration, earlier as you walk through and see young families and young kids look up in awe at
these spacecrafts, the lunar module, that 1940s plane that is above you. what do you think when you see these young people look in inspiration and awe? >> i really like to see the connection between visitors and artifacts whether you have a parent and a grandparent or a child showing their parents and grandparents, look at that technology. and look at that capsule, look at that airplane. i read about that in school. i saw that in a movie or i know who this person is. these connections that visitors have, whether it's the wright brothers, the idea of two brothers inventing the technology, the idea of military aviation in world war ii, so many americans have the connection to today as well as commercial aviation, everyone flies. these connections are really exciting to see how people connect and those technologies and see the first of the people who are important in those stories being represented in this museum. >> and how often do you see a military pilot or commercial
pilot who says, i used to be in one of those? >> a lot. we see those a lot. it's those personal connections that are astounding for me. which i came up through an interest in aviation but i really didn't have the personal connection. you say wow, these people flew these objects, they had a connection, operated them. >> do you fly yourself? >> i do not. i saw history as my opportunity to learn about aviation. i have some other hobbies that i do. >> let's go to mike joining us from delaware. again we're live here on c-span3's american history tv in washington, d.c., 40 years old this weekend. go ahead. >> caller: very interesting. i was there 15 on 20 years ago. i need to get another trip back there. in any event, i was curious. kind of a two-part question. how do new artifacts get into the museum? do you folks go and look for things or do people on the outside want to donate that kind of a thing? and also, i guess, what's on the drawing board now? do you have maybe a way of
example you could answer the question by what do you have on the board now that you're trying to get into the museum? >> mike, thanks for the call. so first, new artifacts. >> it's a great question. it's really a story of how people connect with the museum with their own personal ways. primarily the way the museum has gotten their artifacts is transfers from the national government as well as individuals contacting us. so it can be a cold call on the phone, an e-mail from contacting us on the website, it can be through another curator or staff member. people contact us in a variety of ways to offer their stories to the museum. and once a curator identifies the object as we are interested in that, we want this object, we take it to our collections committee, fill out the paperwork. we have to argue for the artifact. and once it passes muster, it can come into the collection. but there's a full vetting between curators, collections personnel, conservators. and so we always discuss and really argue for these artifacts. an example of an artifact that's
coming on the horizon for us, is one of the collections i curate is the air racing. there's a nemesis nxt that we're having come in the fall that's going to go on display. it's the world's fastest airplane that's built from a kit, 400 miles per hour. so it tells the story of individual initiative, high-technology, and especially it's produced in one of the air racing pilots, teams, and designers. and so these are the kinds of stories we want to share with the american public and the rest of the world. and it's a way that we have to fully vet and justify the technology, the artifacts coming into the museum. >> are there other museums like this elsewhere in the world? >> there are other national museums in the u.s. and the rest of the world. we have our national military museums, the national museum of air force, national museum of
aviation, the seattle museum of flight. but you also have national museums outside of paris. you have the imperial war museum, the science museum, the rf museum in england. you have these museums that are looking at aviation especially from the national stories of the countries that they're in and they have some pretty impressive artifacts, as well, in their collections. >> we're talking about the renovations that will be under way over the next six to seven years. when we come back in 2022 or 2023, what's going to change? >> it's going to be a completely changed museum. i mean, over 20 major exhibitions. the idea is to really reinterpret, represent the history of flight. and to do that in ways that really stimulate early 21st century audiences. and so looking at military aviation a different way, looking at the development of civilian and commercial aviation, looking at space, the idea of where the planets, what's the idea of earth in our
story of human kind. and so it's going to be very bold, but the idea is to really present a new take on aerospace history. and so we have this -- as our current generation of curators, collections people, we are really excited about telling those stories. >> let's hear from kevin joining us from north carolina. thank you for waiting. go ahead with your question or comment. kevin? >> caller: yes, sir. i was wondering what kind of a -- maybe a static display about the b-36 and the 47 because they're so large and your space constraints. do you have any plans of having kind of like a small display of the history of those airplanes? >> so kevin was asking about the b -- the consolidated b 36 bomber and the boeing b-47
strateget which are two very important cold war bombers. we don't have examples of those in the collection. the national museum of the air force does, as well as some other air force museums do. we due to size constraints and the fact that they're covered in other museums, we don't have any plans to do anything with those aircraft, but you never know. but at this time we haven't collected one for our collection. >> we have a caller from michigan. mike, go ahead, please. mike, go ahead, in michigan. we'll try one more time for mike in michigan if you're there. how many people work with you as the curator? >> it's a team. we have curators, we have a dozen curators in both aeronautics and space history divisions. we have an entire team of
collections where they work in conservation, collections processesing with and preservation and restoration. it's a pretty large team. we have about 150 employees, i think, total on the staff. and they all interact in some way. one thing that we've really expanded is this idea of outreach. so we've been doing things like our s.t.e.m. 30 programs, a lot of ways to reach outside the museum to connect with visitors from around the world. >> let's hear from dan who is joining us from kentucky. dan, if you're on the air, we would love to hear from you. go ahead with your question. >> caller: yes. this is a two-part question. i was wondering about what was the fastest the sr-71 was ever flown and who flew it. >> a little bit of feedback but the fastest it was flown, do you know? >> so as i heard the question is was the sr-71 the fastest?
it is the fastest airplane with air breathing engines. the engines make it the fastest. the air breathing engine is the key. the fastest man carrying object besides the space shuttle from the space age is the north american x 15 we saw on the tour which is a mach 4 airplane. but the sr-71 itself, for example, the one we have in our collection it's a 2,000 mile-per-hour airplane, goes up to 3,000. and its delivery flight to the air and space museum in the early 1990s, it broke a intercontinental speed record in under two hours. so this is a fast airplane. one interesting thing is that we don't really connect people specifically with that airplane. but we have pilots who flew sr-71s that we know that actually we have as giving tours of our museum. such as buzz carpenter. these are the air force pilots
that flew them in the late 20th century as those strategic reconnaissances pilots. >> back to your calls. logan in florida, you're next. go ahead, please. >> caller: hi. i wanted to know what the relationship between scott crossfield and chuck yeager was during the age of trying to break the sound barrier. >> logan, how old are you, by the way? >> caller: huh? >> how old are you, logan? >> caller: i'm 9. >> and you're interested in aviation? >> caller: yes. >> thank you for the call. maybe a future curator. >> that's right. they're always welcome. so thank you for your question, logan. so chuck yeager is the first man to fly the paid of sound you can see here in the air and flight gallery. scott crossfield is the pilot who flew for north american. we know him best through looking at the x 15.
the first person to fly the x-15 in 1959. but in the early '50s it's chuck yeager and scott crossfield duelling on these mach one, mach 2 records. and so they're competitors. and that's one of the interesting and dynamic things about pilots, especially in the 1950s. they're hyper competitive. and so they want to see who's the best. they want to really outdo each other. they're a great example of that. >> if people are interested in studying aviation history, obviously you have done your research at auburn, but where are some of the leading institutions in this country? >> well, in a lot of ways you can go to a focused program like auburn had or you could go to -- just go to any first rate graduate school. and you can study history and as part of your theme, you can put aviation into the story. so we've had through our fellowship program we've had students from yale, princeton, the other ivy league schools.
so you can pretty much tailor your history program at the graduate level to fit what you want in terms of how you want to study. but it all really falls down to your own initiative, who you study with, what you're writing about, and how lucky you are in terms of getting that original idea out there. >> send us a tweet at c-span history. this is from one viewer on the spirit of st. louis. the question is before 1976, before the building open, where was it stored? >> so the spirit of st. louis came to the smithsonian in 1928 and it was stored on display in the arts and industries building where it was hanging over the traditional oak and glass cases, other objects, not just aviation artifacts. and so it was there more or less over the years on display in the arts and industries building which you can still see today. but that was -- in a lot of ways this building was intended to put the spirit of st. louis in that very important spot in the milestones of flight gallery to
display it. >> i'm going the have you think about this as we listen to dave from new york. but what questions, what things are unanswered in terms of aviation history? think about that. let's go to dave in new york. go ahead, please. >> caller: just had a question, two questions actually. i visited the museum in 1976 and i remember it very well when it first opened. how have the artifacts -- have any of them degraded over the past 40 years? that's my first question. the second question is what is on your most wanted list as far as things you want to collect? >> those are great questions. thank you. the first question, have objects degraded, you know, in the museum since it opened. yes. that's the short answer. and it's just the objects get old and they do break down. and so in terms of -- we take these opportunities like the boeing milestones of flight gallery to reassess and address things that have been happening to the artifacts. the spirit of st. louis is a great example.
the wright flier. we have also had things on display that we've taken out that we discovered the museum standards of the 1970s weren't as up to par with the museum standards of today. we learn a lot of lessons from that. it's constantly evolving, a constant battle to keep the artifacts and safe and stable. >> and yet no shortage of visitors. >> that's correct. no shortage of visitors. >> we'll go to your home state of north carolina. ted is next. go ahead, please. >> caller: good afternoon. first i want to express my appreciation. i was just at the indoctrination of the first coast guard aircraft out there, the helicopter. i happened to be one of those guys who used to fly it. it was really neat to watch it, see how it's displayed. you did an outstanding job on that. i was wondering if there's any additional thought about continuing some additional history of the coast guard aviation, like hurricane rescues, new orleans rescue, things of that sort. >> we're at the u.s. coast guard aviation centennial this year.
it's been an exciting opportunity for us to display the coast guard helicopter. and so i think as we expand our idea about what constitutes aviation history and especially military history, we will look at how we could incorporate stories like the coast guard in them. i can't speak to if we have any specific plans beyond what we've done this summer, but that's always a dynamic topic. and i have to say that some of our staff members are former coasties and they'll take any chance they can to talk about coast guard aviation. they're very proud of it. >> chris, you're next in massachusetts. thanks for being with us. >> caller: jeremy, hello. can you hear me? >> we sure can. >> caller: i think that the 243-b you have in there is so beautiful. that aircraft was so influential on american aviation, the b-47, a lot of the designs came from
that airplane. my question i wanted to ask about, was the m-163. does the museum have any? >> yes, it's a rocket glider, and there's one on display in its original condition. you can head out there and see it anytime you like. >> next call is jeff in nevada. thank you for being with us. we're talking to jeremy kinney. he is the curator here at the national air and space museum in washington, d.c. >> caller: first i would like to say that you probably have the best job on the planet. and my congratulations to you for acquiring it. with the renovation that's coming up here, you say it's going to be what, a five-year thing. are people still going to be able to come into the museum and understand, you know, what you have there as you switch things around?
>> the goal for the renovation of the museum is to close it in stages. so there will always be a part of the museum that's open so that way visitors can still come and see exhibits and experience the air and space museum on the national mall. and so there's galleries such as speed, earth will be opening and closing as we go along through the successive stages. this will be a phased renovation. there will always be something open. >> jay is next. he's joining us from pennsylvania. go ahead with your question or comment. good evening. >> caller: hello. i wanted to know a little bit more about the bell x-1 and the man that broke the speed record for sound and how fast was it going? >> so the bell x-1 is the airplane that first breaks the speed of sound. it's flown by chuck yeager. yeager is a former b-51 mustang
fighter pilot in europe during world war ii. he's an ace. and he become as test pilot in the high desert of california, what becomes edwards air force base. so the x-1 is the first research airplane. the x-15, i talked about that this partnership between the u.s. air force, the national advisory committee nor aeronautics and bell aircraft. the whole premise of the aircraft is to investigation the super sonic regime. so yeager in this airplane flies 714 miles per hour which is mach 1 in this aircraft. he breaks that mythical sound barrier and helps initiate the thinking, the ideas of what becomes the jet age through the '50s and '60s. >> so what are your questions? what are the unknowns? what answers are you looking for? >> aviation is a very interesting topic to be studying right now because in a lot of ways, you know, we've gone through the hundred years. we'll pass that after the flight
of the wright brothers. many people said the story has been told, it's a mature technology. there's nowhere else you could go with that. and so what's fascinating to me is this idea what are the next steps and how will that be traced as an historical evolution today. are we watching the first hypersonic jets, are they going to enable you to fly from new york to tokyo in two and a half hours? and so how are we going to track that? are we seeing those technologies, those ideas being formulated now? are we aware of them? that's a big question for me. >> what about private billionaire entrepreneur missions to space? >> that's a major impetus in aviation history, especially with spacex and all that. but yeah, it was to stimulate aviation and promote harmony. between france and the u.s.
the macrobertson race. that was another. so these ideas of entrepreneurs providing funding or building companies with new innovation is always part of that idea of pushing that envelope of technology. >> a few more minutes. john is next in massachusetts. go ahead, please. >> caller: hello? >> yes, john. go ahead. >> caller: okay. yeah. i was just at the air and space museum a few weeks ago, actually both of them. i was very impressed with everything that was there. i want to thank everyone for what they've done. my question is will they be expanding at some point the world war ii section that's there? >> it's a great question because world war ii is this major story in aviation that people just draws people to it. so the current gallery today is gallery 205 world war ii aviation. it's the original gallery from 1976 and it was made by people who flew fighter airplanes in
world war ii, i mean people who were in world war ii. so the reference there is that people know what they're seeing. so now we're looking at through this transformation of the museum, we're going to do a new world war ii gallery. we're going to combine the sea, air operations gallery, world war ii. and we're going to provide a larger contextual story of world war ii. and so the goal is to present for new visitors and here's the scary thing. this gallery opens in 2023. 2039 is the 100th anniversary of world war ii. we're thinking about preparing for that. we want to do this story right. we want to tell the stories of people, technologies, events in a way that really gauges all levels of visitors, ages, backgrounds, wherever they come from in the world. >> rick, you get the last call in the segment, from wisconsin. good evening. >> caller: my name is rick, calling from madison, wisconsin. i have two comments to make.
the first one is i really appreciate your show. i think it's great, especially seeing all of the artifacts that you have. and my question is do you think that there are many items missing from your display, and how many do you think that you have money to purchase over the next few years? >> as part of our professional duties, we have what's called a collections rationale. and it actually lists the objects that we have, discusses why they're important and also says what we need, what are the new objects that we -- what we would take. so it can range from a complete airplane like a boeing b-17 from world war ii to part of an airplane, such as a drop tank. so a b 51 mustang used drop tanks to fly to europe in world war ii, a critical element in this story. we do not have a drop tank. we're looking for one.
those are the kinds of objects we want to accentuate, to improve our displays as well as to record the story of the technology, the people, and the events. >> as general dailey pointed out earlier, only a small percentage is here. you have more in storage than you're able to show. >> correct. we just have a certain percentage here on the national mall and at the center. but it's quite a few of our artifacts are on loan or in storage. >> jeremy kinney, he is the curator here. thank you very much for your time. >> thank you. >> happy 40th birthday. >> thank you very much. >> it's more than aviation, it's also space exploration from moon to mars as we continue our tour inside this museum. each week american artifacts takes viewers into archives, museums, and sites across the country. up next we visit the air and space museum located on the national mall in washington, d.c. our tour guide is valerie neal.
who shows us artifacts that tells the story of space exploration from the moon to mars. >> i'm valerie neal. we're in the boeing milestones of flight hall at the center of the museum and this is the hall where we display the pioneering aircraft and spacecraft that transformed the modern world. when this museum opened in july of 1976, almost every space artifact on display had recently been in the news. this was very much a museum of contemporary space flight and it was for most people their first chance to see what had lotted in the 1960s and early 1970s during this heroic age of space exploration when humans first
ventured off the planet into space and all the way to the moon, when the united states and the soviet union began sending craft out to explore the nearby planets. all of this was exciting, thrilling, and people just flocked into the museum to see it. in the 40 years since this building opened, we have continued to acquire treasures of space history. we have now about 17,000 artifacts related to space history. we have just over a thousand of them on display in our two locations here in the washington area. then we have another 1,500 on display in other museums around the world. in our tour today, we're going to look at some of the original artifacts that where the stars of the show when the national air and space museum opened and
we're also going to look at artifacts from history that has been made since then. we'll start our tour right here with the lunar module. the icon for the landing on the moon in july 1969. it actually has a companion spacecraft, the apollo command module. and the command meteorology -- mod yuge, the lunar mod yuge together carried three astronauts, neil armstrong, buzz aldrin, and michael colin to the moon. the command module also brought them back safely. this lunar module is an actual lunar module that never flew in space. lunar module 2. it was intended to be used in a earth orbital test flight but the test was canceled as unnecessary. and so nasa transferred this lunar module to the national air
and space museum. it consists of two parts, the base, which has the legs, and the rocket engine in it. and then the oddly shaped top which is the crew module or crew cabin. and this was attached to the command module for the flight from earth to lunar orbit. and once in lunar orbit, the two crew members who would descend to the surface, armstrong and aldrin climbed into the lunar module. it separated from the command module where michael collins stayed to orbit the moon and it began its descent down to the surface. >> picking up some dust. more forward. more forward. drifting to the right a little. now back right. okay. engine stop.
>> we copy you down, eagle. >> the eagle has landed. >> this was a thrilling moment in history. and almost everybody who was alive at that moment remembered where they were, whether they were watching it on television in their own homes, or if they were standing in an appliance store watching it on a television, people around the world stopped to watch the landing on the moon and the first steps of human beings on the moon. >> i'm going to step off the lam now. that's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind. >> after the apollo 11 crew had climbed out, done some
exploration close to the lunar module, collected some samples of lunar soil and rocks, taken some photographs, placed a u.s. flag on the moon, they went back into the lunar module and this became their vehicle for their trip home. they launched the small top portion, leaving the base on the moon. they ascended back up into lunar orbit, rendezvoused with the command module again, exited the lunar module and once they were secure inside the command module, reunited with michael collins, the lunar module was detached and it fell back to the moon with an intentional crash on the moon. because geologists and seismologists wanted to be able to track what kind of impact it made on the moon. so from a space historian's
point of view, these two craft, the apollo command module and the lunar module are the icons of the space race, along with along with the suits worn by the astronauts on the moon, these symbolized that very historic moment in time, july 1969, when human beings first set foot on another body in our solar system. and in effect, won the space race. when children look at this spacecraft, they often say that doesn't look like a spaceship, because we tend to think that spacecraft are always streamlined and made to look like rockets more than anything else. but this spacecraft has an interesting design and in many ways it's fairly primitive given
the job it needed to do. it didn't need to be stream lined on the outside because it was not going to operate in the atmosphere. it would only operate in the vacuum of space. and it would not be subject to strong gravitational field on the moon. so it's actually fairly flimsy in some areas. the legs are obviously strong and mount for the rocket engine is strong but the craft itself and particularly the crew module or crew cabin was really fairly spartan. it had two windows. neil armstrong had command of the craft during the final descent to landing. both of them were standing. they were fully suited in their space suit and they pretty much filled that interior volume in that position with those space suits on. it was not really designed for comfort. it was designed for the purpose of landing, giving the crew an exit so they could spend a
couple of hours on the surface of the moon and then launching again along with their precious cargo of lunar soil and rocks to bring back home to demonstrate that they had been there and to have those materials for scientists to begin analyzing and better understand the moon. it's also amazing to think that the computing power required in that day to send these craft to the moon and program them for the descent and launch, was done with fairly primitive computer programs and memory was minuscule compared to the memory we have now. it's often said that the computing power we hold in our hands every day with our smartphones is vastly more than it took to send people to the moon and back.
it gives you a sense of the ingenuity of the engineers in that day to device the solutions to get people to the moon and back safely. so we have seen the iconic artifacts from the heroic age of space flight in the 1960s. just feet away from it is a much more contemporary spacecraft, space ship one, the first craft that was privately developed not by nasa, not by the u.s. government, but by a company headed by burt rutan, an ingenious aircraft designer. spaceship one was the first privately developed craft to be launched into space, return to earth, be launched again, return to earth. with a human onboard. by doing that in the year 2004,
spaceship one won the prize, a prize of $10 million that was posted to encourage commercial development of spacecraft that could be used for space tourism. spaceship one operates as a suborbital craft. it doesn't go into orbit around the earth, but like allen shepherd did in 1961, it goes up, makes a loop into space, and then glides back down to a landing like an airplane would land. there is a mothership that is the actual transporter aircraft, and spaceship one snuggled up under it. the mother ship is the one that flies it around here in the atmosphere. and then it's released from that, and after its release is when the rocket engine egnites and it shoots straight up.
spaceship one is a very innovative design in that it has a hybrid rocket that is part liquid propellant and part solid propellant. it can hold three people, though in its prize-winning flights, it had only the pilot and some ballasts to indicate the weight of two other people. and it has a very distinctive design. as you can see right now, it's in a configuration with its wings up at about, oh, 50,000 feet, 40,000 to 50,000 feet. those wings are down, and it's very streamlined looking, but as it shoots up into orbit and reaches that threshold of about 100 kilometers or 62 miles, the wings pivot up, and that stabilizes the craft for that loop over in orbit. and the loop lasts about six
minutes during which the pilot and any passengers would be able to experience weightlessness. if they wanted to unbuckle their seat belts, they would rise out of their seats. they can look through all the round windows and get a wonderful view of the curvature of the earth and the blackness of space. and then as the craft begins to descend, the feathered wings, what they're called, the feathered wings stabilize the spacecraft just the same way that the badminton birdie or a shuttlecock is stabilized so the nose stays downward pointing and the whole craft stays stable. it also creates more drag and flo floats the spacecraft more quickly so it doesn't need a bulky heat shield. as it comes back in the atmosphere, once it's in the part of the atmosphere where there's enough air that it can
fly aerodynamically again, the wings pivot back down into the streamlined position. and the whole thing glides back down to a landing on a desert or a runway. this little star spangled craft, to me, is reminiscent of a racecar. it's sleek. it looks aerodynamic. it looks speedy, and it looks sporty. and it just looked like the kind of craft that a person who wanted to go up into space for a quick look and a quick experience of weightlessness might want to climb in and go for a ride. where this may go is to the next step, which is a larger spaceship, too, and for richard branson, who operates virgin or owned virgin atlantic airways, partnered with burt rutan and his company, scale composites to
do a larger version of spaceship one. he's named it virgin galactic, and it will hold 12 people. and it is being developed for the express purpose of providing space flight to paying customers who want to have the experience of space flight. they don't have a set debut date yet. they suffered a real setback when one of their test flights crashed. but it's still out there on the horizon as something that's likely to happen. and virgin galactic is by no means the only such company. there are other companies who are developing spacecraft for the very same reason. and we may be on the threshold of a new era in human space flight. most of the spacecraft that are in the collection of the national air and space museum come from our space agency. nasa is our principle donor, and at the end of nasa's need, the
agency will transfer spacecraft, space suits, and a great variety of other equipment to the museum so it can be preserved and displayed and even used for research. spaceship one is a different case in that it came from private enterprise and so in this case, we work directly with the owner/manufacturer/designer, burt rutan and his business partner, paul allen, who is one of the cofounders of microsoft, and we approached them after the first flight in june of 2004 and said, regardless of whether you win the x-prize or not, we think spaceship one deserves to be in the national collection because it was the first privately developed spacecraft piloted by a human being to go into space and return.
you might notice there's a small dent in the nozzle of the engine on the back of spaceship one. and that is not damage that was caused by delivering it to the museum or suspending it from the rafters. rather, that buckled in space during its first test flight when the engine ignited and just the heat and the force of the engine ignition buckled the nozz nozzle. for the second flight and the third flight, a different nozzle was used, and they also made some corrections to the ignition sequence so they didn't have that buckling problem again. but when we asked to have spaceship one delivered to us for the national collection, we asked to have it returned to its original configuration from