March 17, 2000
On October 14, 1947, the Bell XS-1, with Chuck Yeager at the controls, flew faster than sound; this was the first piloted aircraft to exceed Mach one. It did not happen by chance. It was preceded by 260 years of research that led to the evolution of our intellectual understanding of the nature of high-speed aerodynamics around and above Mach one. This presentation covers the exciting story of how we obtained this intellectual understanding, thus making the design of the Bell XS-1 possible.
Dr. John Anderson, Jr. received his Bachelor of Aeronautical Engineering Degree with high honors from the University of Florida. During 1959-62, he was at the Aerospace Research Laboratory at Wright Patterson Air Force base. In 1966 he obtained his Ph.D. in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering from the Ohio State University and joined U.S. NOL as Chief of the Hypersonic Group. In 1973, he joined the University of Maryland as chair, Dept. of Aerospace Engineering, became professor in the Department in 1980, member of the Committee for the History and Philosophy of Science in 1993 and an affiliate member of the History Dept. in 1996. He was designated as Distinguished Scholar/Teacher in 1982, the Glenn L. Martin Distinguished Professor in 1996 and Professor Emeritus in 1999. During 1986-87, Dr. Anderson occupied the Charles Lindbergh chair at the National Air and Space Museum where he is currently the Curator for Aerodynamics. His extensive research in radiative gasdynamics, re-entry aerothermodynamics, gasdynamic and chemical lasers, computational fluid dynamics, applied aerodynamics, hypersonic flow, and the history of aerodynamics is published in eight books and 120 papers. Dr. Anderson is listed in Who's Who in America, is a Fellow of AIAA and RAS, London. In 1988, he was elected Vice President of the AIAA for Education and in 1996 for Publications. Among his many awards are the John Leland Atwood Award (1989) and the AIAA Pendray Aerospace Literature Award (1995) and recently he has been honored by the AIAA with its 2000 von Karman Lectureship in Astronautics. Dr. Anderson has lectured internationally, developed a pioneering hypersonic aerodynamic course televised nationally by satellite and was chosen to be senior consulting editor for the McGraw-Hill Series in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering.