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Aviation project : oral history, 1955-1962

Project: Aviation project.
(see all project interviews)
Phys. Desc. :Transcripts: 5,205 pages Sound recordings: 32 reels
Location: Columbia Center for Oral History
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Scope and Contents

A broad survey of the development of aviation, beginning with accounts by associates of the Wright brothers and other pioneers in the United States and abroad. Those interviewed include designers, engineers, pilots and executives, stunt flyers, and barnstormers; their recitations are informal and seasoned with anecdote. Veterans of World War I describe the development of aerial warfare in that conflict. Scores of recollections trace the rapid progress of aviation between the two World Wars: commercial aviation, air mail development, record flights, technological improvements, air races and polar flights, gliders, and lighter-than-air craft. General William Mitchell's campaign for strengthening military aviation and Charles Lindbergh's solo flight to Paris provide focal points for many accounts of this period. Eyewitness stories of episodes in World War II deal with exploits of the Royal Air Force, the Luftwaffe, and the United States air forces, and range from the Battle of Britain to Hiroshima. Research and production problems and achievements are detailed from the outset to the jet era and the beginnings of rockets and missiles. The material includes descriptions of the breaking of the sound barrier, stories of test pilots for supersonic planes, and accounts of aerial warfare in Korea. Participants and pagination of transcripts: John Alison, 132; Orvil A. Anderson, 51; Leslie P. Arnold, 25; Joseph H. Atkinson, 71; Edmond Audemars, 8; Leon Bathiat and Raymond Saladin, 8; Hillery Beachey, 25; Lawrence D. Bell, 288; Otis Benson, 38; Harold M. Bixby, 50; Adrienne Bolland, 16; Albert Boyd, 53; Gregory J. Brandewiede, 66; Carl A. Brandt, 34; William B. Bridgeman, 57; James E. Briggs, 39; Sir Harry Brittain, 36; Georgia T. Brown, 27; Ross Browne, 115; Harry A. Bruno, 118; Cyril C. Caldwell, 39; Felix Camerman, 7; Douglas Campbell, 30; Alan Campbell-Orde, 50; Clarence Chamberlain, 11; Reed Chambers, 84; Ellen Church, 22; Jerrie Cobb, 8; Alan Cobham, 39; Jacqueline Cochran, 105; Frank T. Coffyn, 43; Franklin Rudolf Collbohm, 21; Sir Harold Roxbee Cox, 28; Laurence C. Craigie, 53; Albert Scott Crossfield, 30; Didier Daurat, 18; Luis de Florez, 39; James Dodson, 34; Charles Dollfuss, 31; James H. Doolittle, 28; Lord Douglas of Kirtleside, 28; Hugh L. Dryden, 40; Delos C. Emmons, 21; Francis Evans, 37; Maurice Farman, 17; Benjamin D. Foulois, 81; Henry J. Friendly, 24; Esther C. Goddard (Mrs. Robert H.), 85; Dennis Handover, 42; Beckwith Havens, 75; A. Heurtaux, 13; H. Mansfield Horner, 28; Ben Odell Howard, 67; Jerome Clarke Hunsaker, 112; Leslie Irvin, 37; James Jabara, 21; Jack Jefford, 37; Robert S. Johnson, 35; Charles Sherman Jones, 45; Alexander Kartveli, 43; Aron Krantz, 60; Emory Scott Land, 42; William Powell Lear, 49; Lindbergh, Charles, 14; Kenneth Littauer, 30; William R. Lovelace, II, 30; John A. Macready, 69; Willy Messerschmitt, 14; Richard M. Mock, 54; Mathilde Moisant, 52; John Theodore Cuthbert Moore-Brabazon, 39; Muriel E. Morrissey, 20; James P. Murray, 36; Ruth Rowland Nichols, 45; Umberto Nobile, 64; Blanche Noyes, 68; Ruth Law Oliver, 33; Ray Petersen, 80; Leroy Ponton de Arce, 23; Ramsay Potts, 39; Thomas S. Power, 35; Leroy Prinz, 60; Max Pruss, 20; Elwood Quesada, 76; Robert Reeve, 63; Hanna Reitsch, 44; Holden C. Richardson, 29; Edward Vernon Rickenbacker, 19; James Sargent Russell, 51; Ryan roundtable discussion, 58; Christian Franklin Schilt, 23; H. Shaw, 57; Cyrus Rowlett Smith, 48; Dean Smith, 77; Merle Smith, 33; Sir Thomas Octave Murdoch Sopwith, 31; John Paul Stapp, 28; Katherine Stinson, 47; Paul Tibbets, Jr., 38; Roscoe Turner, 39; George A. Vaughan, 39; Alfred Verville, 88; Gabriel Voisin, 8; Theodore Von Karman, 15; Charles Wald, 32; Otto P. Weyland, 71; Robert M. White, 27; Thomas D. White, 47; Noel Wien, 68; A.S. Wilcockson, 24; Harold B. Willis, 75; Gill Robb Wilson, 89; Charles Yeager, 34.


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