The Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at the University of Washington is celebrating the 100th anniversary of flight with a lecture series that begins this week. Each lecture will begin at 7 p.m. in room 110 of Kane Hall on the UW Seattle campus. All are open to the public.
Paul MacCready, chairman and founder of AeroVironment Inc., will present “Aeronautics: Natural and Artificial.” MacCready will explore soaring techniques used by natural fliers — birds, bats, bugs and pterosaurs — and report on how complex natural soaring flight in turbulence is being studied to improve the flight of aircraft.
MacCready is an inventor, meteorologist and world champion glider pilot. AeroVironment’s aviation products include the Helios, a solar-powered aircraft with a 247-foot wingspan that reached an altitude of 96,863 feet in 2001.
John Anderson, curator for aerodynamics at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum, will speak on “The Race for the First Flight: Langley and the Wright Brothers.” According to Anderson, everyone knows about the Wright brothers and their successful first flight, but few people have heard of Samuel Langley, third secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, who was seriously building and testing a flying machine at the same time. The presentation will cover the history and technology building up to this race for the first flight, comparing and contrasting the efforts.
Joseph Sutter, former executive vice president at Boeing, and John Roundhill, former vice president for product development and strategy at Boeing, will speak on aspects of commercial aviation. Sutter, considered the “father” of the 747 and a principal player in developing the 727, 737, 757 and 767, will present “A Revolution in Air Travel: The Development of the 747.”
Roundhill, who had important roles in most of Boeing’s airplane programs, will speak on “The Future of Commercial Aviation: Building on Our Legacy.”
For more information, check the Web at http://www.aa.washington.edu/