Skip to main content

tv   American Artifacts  CSPAN  August 18, 2016 9:10pm-10:11pm EDT

9:10 pm
because the program was cut short, it was the reason why we had this equipment available to us. but this one that we have on display now is configured as identically as the one that went with "apollo 11." so, we do have other artifacts associated with lems, but everything we have on this one is installed -- in fact, this is the most complete display that we've ever had on this particular artifact. it's been on display here now for 40 years, but now an individual who was actually involved with the original configuration of the lm for "apollo 11" came in and did the work on this. so we're very pleased with this exhibit now and its authenticity. >> if you could look ahead 40 years tonight, what will this facility look like? >> well, i'll tell you one thing, it would look a lot better than it does today because it would have all new stone and all new exhibits. and they would now be starting to get a little long in the tooth, perhaps, and we'd be looking for more money to redo the whole place.
9:11 pm
>> general jack dailey, thank you for being with us. we have a busy night. we appreciate it. the individual who runs this facility, the most popular museum in the smithsonian. thanks for your time. >> could i put in a plug? >> absolutely. >> at 8:30 tonight eastern daylight time, we're going to have an opening ceremony for our new exhibit, the "boeing milestones of flight" hall, right next door to where we are now, and it's open to the public. we're going to stay open all night. so, if you haven't got anything else to do tonight, even if you do, come on down, because the weather's clearing here. we're going to do it outside. we're going to have a grand time. >> and c-span american history tv is carrying it live. we're going to show you around. thanks again for being with us. >> sure. >> we're going to show you around this terrific facility, this museum, and some of the artifacts, one-of-a-kind items only here at the air and space museum. >> behind me you see the wright each week american artifacts takes viewers around the country. up next we visit the smithsonian national air and space museum
9:12 pm
located in washington, d.c., and just down the mall from the u.s. capitol. we show you some of the museum's race and one of the kind artifacts to show you the quest to go higher, faster, and farther during the first half century of aviation. and so looking at the story of flight in the atmosphere what i work in, we're looking at about 500 aircraft and helicopters. about 67 are on display, so what supports these artifacts is up to 60,000 individual small and medium artifacartifacts, but whe
9:13 pm
going to talk about today is the story of higher, faster, and farther, which is seen as a cliche in many ways, but has a real meaning to it, in which we look at the people who made this quest of flying in the third dimension a reality. and so the idea of flying the highest altitude, the fastest speed, and the longest distances tells us a lot about the technical development of the airplane and also the reinvention of what the wright brothers do and that's what i'd like to talk to you about in terms of the airplanes and the people that you can only see at the smithsonian that tells that story. so behind me you see the wright flier, 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 has 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
9:14 pm
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 wright, they are unmarried. they own a bicycle shop, they run a printing business. they are yankee mechanics. they know tools and they know mechanical devices, and they take that interest in applying to printing presses, to bicycles, and they apply it to solving a problem of building a flying machine. so, in 1899, they write the smithsonian institution, and they ask for all the literature on flight. and they learn about these predecessors like george cayley, the father of arial navigation,
9:15 pm
samuel langley, who's going to be the secretary of the smithsonian and going to be a competitor. they learn about octave chanute, who is all the knowledge between europe and the united states. but what sets the wright brothers apart is that they break the problem down. we have to look at an airplane as a system of systems, looking at propulsion, structures, control and aerodynamics, the science of flight. and so, between 1899 and 1902, they start flying gliders. they start with kites. they had their gliders. and by 1902, they have a controllable glider in which they've made this new fundamental contribution called wing-warping. rather than using your weight to shift the balance of the actual glider, they actually have a mechanical system where they can twist the wings. how they come to that conclusion is that the brothers always complemented each other as intellectuals. so, they argued, how are we
9:16 pm
going to control this airplane? how are we going to make it move in the air and not just move in a straight line? and one day in the bicycle shop, wilbur is talking to a customer and he has an innertube box for a bicycle tire and he's twisting it as he's talking to this individual. and he sees in his mind's eye -- and the wright brothers are all about nonverbal thinking, the mind's eye, envisioning what the actual dimension, you know, the three-dimensional technology is. and he says, well, if we start twisting the wings of our glider, we can control it. you lift one wing up, the other goes down, it will turn. and so, that's how they come one these new ideas about what the airplane is. they create the world's first working wind tunnel to actually do the math of previous experimenters like john smeaton, and they find out that he's actually wrong with the co-efficient of lift on the wings and they recalculate it and apply it to their work, so
9:17 pm
they design wings capable of creating lift. so, by 1902, they have a working glider where they're flying for up to, you know, almost 30 seconds from the dunes of kitty hawk, north carolina, the kill devil hills, in which they've 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've done the wings, the aerodynamics. they've done the structure, which has been influenced by octave chanute and the truss that you see on railroad bridges in the 19th century. then you look at the control system, the wing warping, so the last ingredient is the propulsion system. and they acknowledge it's going to be reciprocating piston engine. so orville and charlie taylor, their mechanic in the bike shop, create a horizontal force on their 12-horsepower engine. and they know they need that much power to generate the
9:18 pm
thrust of the propellers. and that's another very specific choice the wright brothers make, is going to have propellers on their new flying machine. so, how do propellers work? they figure they can go to existing data on ship propellers, and that doesn't give them any answers. so the same sort of intellectual give-and-take, the brothers are gnashing at each other, they're really going at it. and they realize that a propeller is a rotating wing in a helical path. and so, they take their wind tunnel data, they adapt it to the designing of a propeller and design two propellers capable of producing up to 67% to 70% thrust out of that 12-horsepower engine. you see two propellers on the wings, pusher configuration is what it's called. and they wanted the propellers to turn in opposite direction, so counterrotating. so, taking their knowledge of
9:19 pm
working in a workshop, you twist the belt from the power system going from the roof, you can see one of the chains twisted on the drive system of the flyer, what they called our flyer. and so, that last thing, 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're down for a couple of days. but it's december 17th, 1903, that they actually fly this airplane that you see behind me. and 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 the fabric, pride of the west, according to the brand. so, that all comes together in the system of the airplane that they create. so, after those four flights, a big wind comes up at kitty hawk and the flyer tumbles, demolishes.
9:20 pm
but they consider it a success. they pack it up and go back to dayton where they're from, and they send a telegram to their father, success four flights, and they make this announcement. that's the quiet way of saying that the aerial age has emerged. by 1905, in an improved flier, wilbur and orville are flying up to half an hour for long distances and figure eights above hudson prairie, just outside of dayton, ohio. so, the 03 flyer, as it's going to be called, is forgotten. and 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. and in 1926, it goes to england where it's at the science museum. and during world war ii, it's actually stored west of london during the blitz, during the
9:21 pm
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 it's at the old arts and industries building in the classic tin shed that existed for many years, and with 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 open to tell that story of the making of the first airplane, and with it, aeronautical engineering. what you see here is the 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
9:22 pm
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. so 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'll 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 air of age gallery, and now we're in "legend memory and the great war in the air," the world war i gallery. and the plane behind me is a spad xiii. and in many ways, this is what the configuration of the french and the rest of the aeronautical community takes what the wright brothers create in 1903, and they make it their own. so this is a 1917 design, and it's the highest performance french fighter of world war i. and what that means is that it can go 130 miles per hour, so 100 miles an hour faster than a
9:23 pm
wright flyer, but it's also just a large strut-and-wire braced airplane, just like the wright flyer. but it's now in what would be called the tractor configuration, where the engine and propeller are in the front. there's a central fuselage. and take note of that french word, fuselage, with two biplane wings, an empanage of the horizontal and vertical stabilizer, and you have airline alerons. so, there are french and others 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's the epitome of that strut-and-wire brace configuration that the wright brothers create, but it's been improved and enhanced. now, a spad xiii is the product of designer louis becheroau. he's designed air fighters, the spad vii is known for combat over france and the western front during world war i, but it's the spad xiii that enters service in may of 1917 that
9:24 pm
reflects the epitome of french, high-performance, fighter design. it has very thin air fulls like the wright flyer, and that allows it to go very fast. and it's fabric covered. but it's that engine, the hispano sweeza 220-horsepower v-8 engine that's the core of that. so, you see the radiator shutters and it looks like it's a round engine, but there's actually a v-8 engine underneath that cowling. and by cowling, there's a tight-fitting, metal covering over the engine, and it makes it all streamlined, allows the air to flow over it more efficiently. so, mark birkett of the spanno swezo company, the translation, spanish swiss, has developed a series of automobile engines in the pre-war era.
9:25 pm
he adapts this to the aeronautical world by taking two of the engines and makes it into a v-8. and what's unique is instead of having separate cylinders attached to the crank case, he casts a row of cylinders out of a solid piece of aluminum. and he has cooling passages in those aluminum blocks that allows improved cooling and more power. so instead of a rotary engine, you know, doing 110, 120 horsepower, you're looking at 200, 220 horsepower with these engines by the time they're introduced in the spad xiii. there's always a technological push-pull over the western front in world war i in which the germans have an advantage with their thick air fold tubular still fuselaged aircraft like the one in this gallery, but the spad xiii is the french answer to that airplane.
9:26 pm
and it's not as maneuverable, but it has the speed, it can dive away. and so, they are going to take this airplane and develop new group fighter tactics in response to the german group fighter tactics. and so, this first generation of significant, high-scoring french aces fly these airplanes in the french squadrons. and so, this becomes the, as the highest performance airplane, it has two 30-caliber machine guns firing through the propeller, and the ability for these airplanes to fly fast and dive and climb away and come back and attack, that gives the french fighter squadron an advantage. one of the major technological innovations for fighter aircraft in world war i is the creation of a gun synchronizer system. that means you can mount a machine gun right in front of the pilot with a sight, and as
9:27 pm
you point the airplane, you can point your machine guns and hit your target. the problem with that is you have a spinning wood propeller in the way. and so, the creation of a mechanical linkage set up to a cam on the propeller shaft. as the propeller blade crosses in front of the two machine guns or one machine gun, it actually turns off the machine gun. and then as the propeller blade is passed, the propeller would turn 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're being equipped with french aircraft. there's not a frontline-ready american fighter for the conflict. and this particular spad xiii that you see here, that is in american air service markings. it was built, one of the manufacturers contracted to make
9:28 pm
spads. there were 840 spads made total. and the 22nd aero squadron was assigned this airplane. and a young pilot named ray brooks painted the name of his fiancee's college on there, smith college, and he had three previous airplanes, so it's smith iv. and he goes into combat with this airplane. he scores one aerial kill, and this particular spad xiii. some other pilots in the same squadron shoot down at least five more. and so, this spad xiii flew with the first generation of american combat pilots. now, ray brooks flies it. you know, he names this airplane after his fiancee's school. and most people would name their airplane after their girlfriends themselves, but he actually made a conscious decision. he didn't want to have this airplane damaged, sitting at the end of the field and having the mechanic saying, well, ruthie's damaged, we've got to fix her. he wanted to actually keep her out of that situation. and so, he names it after her college. smith iv is in its 1918 camouflage, but you also see along the fuselage and wings of smith iv are these small, black squares that have german crosses on them. and those represent bullet holes
9:29 pm
that are shot through the fabric from combat. so, those are 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 recover 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 would be, is just to patch that to restore the integrity, and they'd keep fighting. now, at the end of world war i, you know, in november of 1918, this airplane is set aside by the army air service and brought back to the united states. as to display what type of aircraft americans flew, which is a high-performance french fighter. but it's also given to the smithsonian institution, where it stays in the collection for decades.
9:30 pm
and it's not until the 1980s that the airplane is fully restored and put on display in the world war i gallery. and so, if you look at this panel right here, you can see fabric from that original airplane right here on display. so, the fabric you see here is not original. it's restored fabric. but nonetheless, this is one of four remaining spads in the world, and it tells that story of how the wright brothers' original airplane 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 an era-defining airplane connected to charles lindbergh, the ryan nvp spirit of st. louis. this airplane in may 1927 flew the 3,600 miles in 33 1/2 hours from new york to paris. flown by charles lindbergh, who was an unknown male pilot. his goal was to win the ortege prize of $25,000 for the first nonstop flight from new york to
9:31 pm
paris. orteng was a hotel entrepreneur and he wanted to join his former country, france, with the united states. but what results is this grand spectacle of aviation, but it's a military spectacle, in which military officers are getting in these airplanes and take notice of that u.s. army on the tail of this air racer. they are promoting their own branch of service to see if they can become independent and push the technology, so it's a two-fold public relations and technical campaign they are waging.
9:32 pm
united states gets into air racing in 1922 where they show up at the schneider trophy competition. this is to influence and develop and encourage the development of c-plane technology, because you saw the world was covered by water and thought sea planes need to be developed, but what the competition becomes even as early as the preworld war i period, becomes a high stakes competition between first the international aviation clubs of each country and then the military governments take over in the early 1920s. this racer with a young air service pilot named jimmy doolittle is flying this plane
9:33 pm
and wins north of baltimore, maryland, at an average of 234 miles per hour. the next day he breaks a world record of around 240 miles per hour. so this gets into the public eye. this really shows the importance of the military. and military aviation overall. and just two weeks before, the same airplane wins the pulitzer trophy race, which it's not international like the schneider competition, it's a national race that's pitting the army and navy and marine pilots against each other. it's an aerial army/navy football game. the number 43 i7b stead of three like you see here to win that race at 248 miles per hour. so jimmy doolittle and cyrus are the world's fastest men, and
9:34 pm
bettis says i was not faster than the wind, he was faster than any wind in history. so this real belief in speed and pushing of the technology and justification of national governments to really encourage this development results in what we see here, the curtis rc3 and it's a racing system. look at the gold wings. you see the lines running between the fuselage and wing tips? that's a brass radiator. so instead of at the front of the airplane that creates drag, you have the air traveling over the profile of the wing and it's cooling the engine through those radiators. you see minimal struts and wires on the construction of it. you see a tightly fitted cowling over the 600 horsepower engine. you see a metal propeller, one of the latest innovations in the 1920s built and designed by
9:35 pm
albert reid and it's a true innovation in terms of transitioning from wood to metal and airplane construction materials. but probably the most important innovation as an airplane is that it's a plywood fuselage. it's built like a wooden boat and built in plies of spruce that's shaped to form the fuselage. that incorporates an overall streamline shape and it allows this airplane to go faster because of the ability to haveless things causing drag along the fuselage itself. what you have to realize about the curtis racer and aircraft like it is it is built for a very high speed, high turning environment. and so you have a 20-mile course marked out by three pylons, it's a virtual racetrack in the sky, so the short wingspan, the compact nature of the airplane
9:36 pm
allows it to make very tight turns as it goes along the pylons. he had a technique where he would start at one pylon, dive towards the base of it, and pull up and turn and go around the other pylon to get that speed. and that short wingspan facilitated that. so if you're a spectator watching one of the legs of this race, you would see doolittle climbing, turning, and diving to the pylons and doing that around the bend. you'd also hear the airplane, and so this curtis v-1400 engine are barking, making this really loud popping noise. then the propeller itself is going super sonic at its tips. the propeller are the first air nautical devices going super sonic, so the banging, clanging of the propeller, the sound of the exhaust, and the airport zooming by at eyesight level is a pretty amazing thing to see.
9:37 pm
so after cyrus bettis wins the pulitzer, after jamie doolittle wins the schneider, the next year at the schneider trophy race at norfolk, hampton roads, virginia. a marine comes in second in the competition in the same airplane, so after that race, the r 3 c is given to the smithsonian institution, then 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, where you see it here today. now, the man who won the schneider cup race in this racer goes on to fame in aviation. he's a famous test pilot. he's a certified engineer. he's an air racer again in the 1930s where he's racing across the united states. but it's at the opening of world war ii for the united states where jimmy doolittle becomes a
9:38 pm
national hero as he leads that famous raid that's named after him, doolittle raid, against japan in april of 1942. wins the medal of honor, then goes on to be one of the leading bomber generals of world war ii with the eighth air force. so the racer is a fast airplane and boosts the career of a pilot we know, jimmy doolittle. now we're going to look at the ryan nyp spirit of st. louis. this airplane in may 1927 flew the 3,600 miles in 33 1/2 hours from new york to paris. flown by charles lindbergh, who was an unknown male pilot. his goal was to win the ortege prize of $25,000 for the first nonstop flight from new york to paris. orteng was a hotel entrepreneur and he wanted to join his former
9:39 pm
country, france, with the united states. and so, that was the impetus of this flight. but what it represents in the history of aviation is part of the telling of the airplane and this transformation of the airplane from what the wright brothers created and how it transitions over the '20s and '30s to what we call the modern airplane. and so, lindbergh was an unknown air male pilot in 1926 who, as flying from the st. louis to chicago air route, flying the mail, was thinking about is this possible? and building upon that idea, he gets financiers from st. louis, people, you know, he trained them to fly, you know, interacted with him in the aviation circles. and he gets the backing to either purchase a long-distance airplane or to build one. and what happens is he ends up in san diego with ryan airlines, and he meets donald hall, their chief engineer, and they design a purpose-built transatlantic airplane, the new york to paris. and lindbergh calls it "the
9:40 pm
spirit of st. louis" in honor of his backers in st. louis, but this is a product of his vision of what a long-distance airplane would be. so, it's not necessarily the most advanced airplane. it represents many of the known ideas about technologies that are reliable and durable with some gambles that he includes in the airplane as well. so, working with don hall through the spring of 1927, lindbergh creates this airplane. and so, we see this. it's a high-wing mono plane. it's a wood wing that's externally braced to the fuselage. and it has underneath its fabric in the fuselage tubular steel framework. that's an innovation that emerges in world war i, especially from the fulker company, and that is a diversion from this wood bracing that we've seen since the wright brothers. but it still uses wires and it's still a framework like you would see with the internal
9:41 pm
strut-and-wire brace construction, but you know it works. and so, and then it's also the basic design of this ryan airplane called the m-2 they base this airplane on. and so, this 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. but lindbergh makes that gamble because he says, the lighter the airplane, the more simpler, i can control it. and so, this is an airplane built for endurance, you know. 450 gallons of gasoline, which doubles the weight to almost 4,000, 5,000 pounds. and so, he has to learn how to handle this airplane. and so, when it's finished in april 1927, the first thing he does is he breaks a san diego-to-st. louis transcontinental speed record. he visits his backers and flies on to new york, which is the jumping off point to this flight to paris. and so, this is where lindbergh's choices really come into play in which you don't see
9:42 pm
a canopy on this airplane. you see a door in the side. he actually used a periscope that he would actually deploy so he could see forward when he's taxiing the airplane or he would swivel the tail to look out the window in the side, because what's in front of him are the oil and main fuel tanks and then the engine. and so, that's to get all that in front of him in case he crashes, he's got that all in front of him, rather than having a big gasoline tank coming behind him and crushing to death or catching him on fire and burning him alive. and so, he's making these choices. but look forward of the fuel tank area where it says "spirit of st. louis," and you see the radial engine. that's a wright j-5 whirlwind, which is a cornerstone technology of what's going to become the aeronautical revolution, the creation of modern airplanes, is that it is a radial engine that's cooled by the air traveling over the cylinders. and so, you see them sticking out there so that they can be
9:43 pm
cooled as the air flow goes over them. but it's a reliable engine. it stays, you know, it stays running for 33 hours. he knows that. it's a conscious choice. so, that's an advanced technology that he's embracing. so, tubular steel fuselage, wood wing, externally braced, those are known technologies that work, but the state-of-the-art is that engine. and right in front of that engine is an aluminum alloy fixed pitch propeller. and so, it's just like a wright brothers propeller, where it's just fixed pitch, creates thrust for one operating regime, but it has one innovation in it that the standard steel propeller company novartis and is ready by the time lindbergh, who in his memoir says i want a metal propeller for the "spirit of st. louis," and what he means is the standard steel ground-adjustable pitch propeller. and what i mean by that is that 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
9:44 pm
whatever setting you want it to be, so they can get you off the ground with the heavyweight of the fuel but give you enough cruise efficiency to get across the atlantic. so, it's a compromise. in many ways, the airplane overall is a compromise to get lindbergh across the atlantic ocean. so, the flight itself. lindbergh didn't have advanced navigational tools like a gps. he did have a compass and a method called dead reckoning, where he would use the stars to plot his path. he's going to fly the circumpolar routes across instead of flying over the shipping lanes. he's flying a much shorter distance over the curvature of the earth, and he just gambles that he's going to fly this route, and as soon as he gets to europe, he's going to figure out where he's at, and he's going to make his way to paris. he does that over the course of a day and a half, and he lands at lebrege just north of paris and is met by over 100,000
9:45 pm
adoring fans, people cheering him on. and at that moment, the unknown lindbergh, the flight technologist, the person who worked with don hall to create this airplane, enters into this legendary status as probably the supreme aviator of the world, especially the united states, in which he becomes a household name, in which the growth in 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, but he really exacerbates and improves and, you know, expands the idea of an aviation industry. people want to learn to fly as a result of him. by christmas you could get a copy of the book called "we," and we means lindbergh and the spirit together and their flight. and so, this pop culture phenomena that lindbergh becomes is a result of this flight, and it's this era-defining moment in which america really turns the page in terms of understanding the power of the airplane, the excitement for that.
9:46 pm
in 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 are going to see him flying, see the "spirit." they've read about the flight. now they get to see him 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 friendly relations with latin america and doing his long-distance flying there as well. and when you look at the front of the "spirit," you see the flags of the nations that lindbergh visited during his latin american tour. but you also see some military insignia there, which are from the army and marine units that he interacted with over the course of that tour. upon return of that flight in february and then in the spring of 1928, lindbergh gives "the
9:47 pm
spirit of st. louis" to the smithsonian institution. and that artifact stays on display, arts and industries building, the old tin shed, throughout the history of the old national air museum and then is on display in 1976 with the opening of the national mall building of the national air and space museum, where it's been on display ever since. and so, the artifact that you see behind me is the original "spirit of st. louis." it's had some conservation work, but that's the original fabric, that's the original metal. so it is once again one of those 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 moment in the history of aviation, but there are aviators and aircraft that follow that show how the airport evolves and this idea of reinventing the
9:48 pm
airplane and especially pushing the farther and the higher, faster, and farther equation that really builds to crescendo in the 1930s. just a few months after lindbergh's flight across the atlantic and "the spirit of st. louis" on july 4, 1927, the first bega takes to the air. the airplane like you see behind me. this airplane is the result of the lockheed airplane company with a self taught, intuitive designer named jack northrup. not being educated in engineering school, northrupp has a feel. you can see streamlined is the larger term would look like. there's no supporting braces or wires. you have a cantilever or an internally supported wing you see on this aircraft. you also see a plywood fuselage. taking the heritage of the
9:49 pm
curtis r3c racer that goes back before world war i, you have a plywood fuselage that doesn't need an internal bracing system, as well as external bracing. so his idea of the clean airplane is manifested in this. it also has a radial engine installed at the front of the airplane and a metal propeller. now, the problem with the radial engine becomes a cornerstone technology, you know, we see on the spirit of st. louis and seeing it here, the problem with the radial engine is that it's sich situated like a flower petal at the front of the fuselage and it's the equivalent of a model t radiator on a car, but the cylinders need the air to travel over them to cool the cylinders, and so designers are making the choice, do you just have an exposed radial engine like the spirit of st. louis, or do you
9:50 pm
cover the engine to get aerodynamic efficiency to clean up the disturbed air, the drag, to make the airplane more efficient? so this is a fundamental question being investigated by aerodynamics. and it is designed number ten that results and flowing air through to cool the engine was controlling the streamline outside. that technology permissive what makes the vegas such an important aircraft in terms of efficiency and maximizes. its ability to fly 165 miles per hour for our crews and the ability to fliy passengers. so the naca, the colli re trophy
9:51 pm
is still given today. >> he also thinks about, you know this is a high winged airplane. where would you put the landing gear on this. it sticks out from the bottom of the aircraft, you have this big rubber tires and wheels that create drags. his idea, well, i will put pants on the tires, the wheels. there is streamlined wheel pants are the idea where you have to have fix landing gears, why don't we make it streamlined as possible. it increases the performance and efficien efficiency of it. i am becomes known a hyper form
9:52 pm
man slaught form -- hypigh performance pla p airplane. it took someone like amelia harhart. she's becoming this leading aifuaai aviator in the united states. afterwards she sold her airplane to the franklin's institute. so the vaga becomes, the airplane of choice for records breaking. in 1931, wylie post, he choses the vaga. he flies around the world with a
9:53 pm
navigator, 1931 in eight days. in 1932, he flies around the world all by himself in seven and a half days. he started learning aviators be to known. he learns it because he flies it so high and experimenting. he's the first individual experimenting with the pressure suit. the vaga is the choice of a aviators who wants to push limits, not only speeds but altitude. this is amelia earhart and showing her story flying across the atlantic. she disappears flying around the
9:54 pm
world of 1937. lockheed becomes the long distance aircraft that people choose. still, this is a wood airplane. it is interesting to see performance is being pushed. it does not have a fuselage like st. louis, it is looking towards the future in terms of its shape. if we look at this dynamic 1927 to 1934 periods of in ne vacati innovations that we have seen emerged, the vaga, it is going to become modern over the course of the 1930s. the vaga, pilots like amelia
9:55 pm
earhart, they ramped up enthusiasm of these wonderful flights and across the continent and around the world. >> next is the boeing 2479 is an example of the commercial airline that allows airplanes to flying further and higher. in this case, carrying passengers. it is called one of the first airline, when it was introduced in 1933. it reflects of this heritage of reinventing the airplanes after world war i. there is been a significant transition from structure of the white brothers to the plywood instruction of the vaga. and now, you are looking at an all metal airplane. now, you make these aircrafts bigger and putting engine pods on them.
9:56 pm
you have jet airliners from the 1950s. we are looking at the beginning of that with this airplane. what the late 1920s and early 1930s of the boeing company, president phil johnson and charlie monte want to build upon this new aircraft design, called the model of the b-9 bomber. >> also, the idea of the screen line design that the vaga represents. so you have incorporated into an airplane making money. these innovations to make it faster. with the unveiling of the 247, you had 170 miles per hour airplane capable of carrying ten passengers. that's a stunning jump over a prime motor. it is carrying people longer
9:57 pm
distances and compresses that 27 hours of trans continental flight time across the united states into 19.5 hours. here is another element that's place inside the swalituation. the vast distance of the united states really pushes the commercial aircraft. by 1933, you have an airliner with two engines capable of flying faster than the most advance and pursuit airplanes. that shapes the reception of what these airplanes could do. the united aircraft transportation corporation is the ball craft. hamilton's standard propellers and also on several airline, including united airlines. >> boeing building these airplanes and under the corporate umbrella, oh, -- that
9:58 pm
means other airlines like two and american airlines don't have this airplane available. >> jack fry asks other aircraft manufactures, can you help us out, we want a replacement, what can you do. the result was a winning bid for the dc 2 airline, which becomes the dc 3 that you see right here above the 247. and so as the 247 starts, it has some innovations that are built in. they are quite traditional, it had fixed propellers and a ring and a forward screen. the result of competing of the dc series of airlines from douglas, you have of what's result of the 2411 d model that you see here.
9:59 pm
>> and, variable pitch propel r propelle propellers. what i mean by that is hydraulic mechanism as the power rotating. it is an advance increases the cruise to 188 miles per hour. the 247 cannot compete. the dc series after 1935 of the preimminent model. there is an interesting story of which the dc-2 and the 247 get into a race in the fall of 1934. this australian millionaire sponsored a long distance race, sir macpherson. they want to see who could win. at the end, a douglas dc-2 and a
10:00 pm
boeing 247 that you see here come in second and third. the first airplane is a purpose air racer. but, the dc-2 and the 247, they show how american airline technology have surpassed and jumped ahead the european aircraft technology. >> it is the ability of the airplane and making stops along the way. you don't ju it is the 247 deed that you see it blowing here by the fl flamboya flamboyant. they come in third and they get lost for three hours. engine trouble but they make it. >> here, it is part of the story and which of the international process, the united states has jumped ahead of technology. how do we catch up, it is such a shock.
10:01 pm
>> after the mcrobertson's race, this aircraft goes back to the united airline inventory and it goes out of service and had several owners. in the early 1970s, it is given to the mithsonian's from the united airline. >> the few that you see here that had after the mcrobertson race. >> the other side are the markings there during the robertson race. so you can see both history of that airplane in 1934 and after. >> and so with the creation of the aerospace in the 1986 in the opening, this was put on display in the air trans portugal port
10:02 pm
congressional ri >> the boeing 247-d, it was what we were discussing. it is a state of the art and of the technology that's becoming a modern airplane. something in its korgs gets bigger powerful plants but it is the aircraft that we all know in terms of the structure and the shape and in terms of airlines today. they play booint me north american x 15 is a different type type of the 1960s. it is a research plan beginning with the bell x 1 and 1947. the airline designs to investigate super sonic flight. there is this new generation of aircraft created through the national advisory committee, building airplanes just for investigatining aoro dynamics.
10:03 pm
he had a procession of aircraft that he's going to look into and looging at instruction techniques and different types of winds. it is the x-15 program that begins in 1959 and speak before park four, looking at partnership between industries between north korea and -- the national advisory committee transferred into the national, nasa, from 1959 and 1963, it has to do that in testing this aircraft as an aerow space. >> here is the vehicle designed to transition over the space of
10:04 pm
stage. >> there are three x 15's built by north america. >> taking that formula and pushing the idea of peeshl higher and faster. you are looking at a vehicle that was not patiently form. >> what that means is that it has to be a vehicle that can fly here. it has also, he needs a ne new -- if you look at the little tw two holes. those are reaction control, jeff. >> as the so this is a true aerospace plane that is designed as a research airplane to uninvestigate this hyper tonic
10:05 pm
regime. it is more of the sap, you don't see a big fat wing or sweft wing. it is a compact structure, stubby bing r wings. >> tfacilitating control and hyper sonic. the air traveling over the surface of this vehicle. it is estimated to 1200 degrees farenheit. it is a nickel alley in canal x. these are space aged material things they put into this. this is a concurrent program and early program. the last element is the reaction
10:06 pm
motor x-l 99. this was not an airplane designing to take on a land on the ground. >> it will be carried up until 40,000 feet and it will be dropped and the pilot would engaged the rocket engine and he will do whatever it reflects. beginning a lot 1959, scott cross field, the north american research engineering makes the first flight to ss-15. it is the number one s-15. >> getting the t in trouble, i can see where it can fly and how it can fly. >> by the midnight, 1860. you have a plight foreman that's fluid and encouraged now the state programs developing his life. >> there is a high range of that. >> these aircrafter operate
10:07 pm
operated -- they're tracked, just tracking a satellite. you are catching this aircraft. and, then flying at a high speed of mock 6 or 40 miles per hour. the pilots of these vehicles are primarily nasa pirates and so these are michigan that are pushing people to believe and encouraging them was this the way into space. is this what's going to be developed to make this transition and so you have to think that when this airline was first launched in 1959, it is all under -- charles lindbergh is alive.
10:08 pm
the generation of selling, so this x 15, number one. >> his first one signed by another, a number of test pilots. it including neal armstrong who was employed as a nasa research test pilots on. >> so this was an ultimate path that another type of vehicle was chosen for the atmosphere to space in the form of a space subtle but also in terms o f the cat fold of the murder ri gym. a lot of ways this was an alternative pathway that never happens. >> the ecknology technology in
10:09 pm
x-15 roholds the record. x-15 is still a simple of what may next plateau in terms of applying in hyper sonic flight. >> there are many individuals especially nasa today, people believe that hyper sonic travel is polk. >> there is a research on unman? well, hope you enjoy this look and looking at one of a kind path breaking aircraft, illustrating it harder and further. >> if you choose other examples. these are ones that i felt, rein dentuation as well looking at the spect cal of how people are
10:10 pm
excited about it. >> we have our engineers and our p lie pots. we have passengers on the line. and we have people reaching and learning about these stories. >> it will shape and transform our world. thst not the role of the seen a ya. >> it jerez dated with visitors in terms of their success. to share that, really show the different levels of experience as well as the court to that technology. >> in many ways the museum has grown from celebration of technologies and important milestones. they show how the culture has been effected as well as how that is


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on