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Museum R&D aircraft are topic of guest lecture

  • Published
  • By Sarah Swan
  • National Museum of the U.S. Air Force
While walking through the Research & Development (R&D) Gallery at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, visitors are often amazed by the unique and exotically designed aircraft on display.

On Nov. 20 during a free presentation by Dr. Squire L. Brown, the public can learn more about these aircraft that have challenged the imagination and pushed the boundaries of flight. Brown's lecture, titled "Pushing the Envelope: Vision and Genius in the R&D Gallery," begins at 7:30 p.m. in the museum's Carney Auditorium.

Brown will discuss the museum's R&D collection, including examples of prototypes such as the XB-70 Valkyrie, research programs like the rocket-powered X-15, and unusual test bed aircraft such as the variable stability NT-33. These aircraft, along with the many others in the gallery, illustrate the innovative thinking by pilots, creativity by designers and visionary concepts by airpower strategists. Together, they offer some of the most interesting stories describing extraordinary pioneering achievements as the U.S. Air Force sought to define the future of military aviation.

Those interested may "explore" the R&D Gallery beforehand by visiting the museum's virtual tour, www.nmusafvirtualtour.com. The public also can visit the R&D Gallery in person by riding shuttle buses from the main museum complex to a controlled-access portion of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Requirements for visiting the gallery are available at www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/questions/topic.asp?id=180. Aircraft in the R&D Gallery will be relocated to the museum's new fourth building, which is currently under construction. That building is scheduled to be completed in late summer 2015, and the museum will begin populating the building that fall. A public opening is anticipated in 2016.

Brown is a retired aerospace engineer whose civil service career with the U.S. Air Force included assignments in the Flight Dynamics Laboratory, the Development Planning Directorate, and the Engineering Directorate, where his last position was Chief of Flight Mechanics. Many of his projects concerned aircraft design and flight performance, and he served on the AIAA Aircraft Design Committee. Following retirement, he joined the volunteer program of the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, where he works in the archives of the Research Division. He is the author of A Genesis Workshop: Five Generations of Engineering Enterprise from the Birthplace of Aviation, published by the Aeronautical Systems Center History Office. Brown received his Ph.D. in aerospace engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.

For more information or handicapped seating arrangements during the lecture, contact the museum's Special Events Division at (937) 255-1743. Filming or videotaping the lecture is prohibited.

The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio, is the world's largest military aviation museum. With free admission and parking, the museum features more than 360 aerospace vehicles and missiles and thousands of artifacts amid more than 17 acres of indoor exhibit space. Each year about one million visitors from around the world come to the museum. For more information, visit www.nationalmuseum.af.mil.


NOTE TO PUBLIC: For more information, please contact the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force at (937) 255-1743.

NOTE TO MEDIA: For more information, please contact Sarah Swan at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force Public Affairs Division at (937) 255-1283.