NASA’s Langley Research Center: A New Heritage Site

NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, was recognized Friday for its decades of contributions to the advancement of helicopters and other vertical flight aircraft.

The Langley Research Center owed by NASA in Hampton, Virginia was given its due recognition this past Friday for its dedicated contributions for decades in advancement of helicopters and other flight aircraft.

A ceremony at the Langley’s Reid Conference Center, the NASA Administrator Charles Bolden was appreciated and awarded by the American Helicopter Society (AHS) International, the world’s sole international society for engineers, scientists and other technical personnel involved in vertical flight technology.

“In 1920, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics released a technical paper that was penned by Langley’s chief physicist, E.P. Warner that was entitled “The Problem of the Helicopter,” said Bolden. “Since then, Langley researchers have provided research and data to the world that have advanced vertical flight – and all flight as we know it.”

A video was shown which recapped much of Langley’s history spanning 95 years in vertical flight research and development which comprised of wind tunnel, flight and crash tests. The featured aircraft lists include the Flying Banana, Autogiro and Skyscrane. There were various concepts on show as well which included dozens of conventional helicopters and other vertical take-off and landing aircraft.

Jaiwon Shin, associate administrator of NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate in Washington, spoke about current and future NASA vertical flight research.

“Our research goals call for enabling vertical lift technology that can be used by industry as early as 2025, which will reduce fuel consumption by half over today’s numbers,” said Shin. “We are also working to lower the perceived noise level of helicopters by 10 decibels from today’s regulated standards.”

Mike Hirschberg, executive director of AHS International, presented a plaque that reads: “The center’s research has contributed significantly to understanding vertical flight aerodynamic and dynamic principles, design requirements, and handling qualities through analysis, wind tunnel testing and experimental flight research.”

The site of the plaque is yet to be determined.



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