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Historic Aerospace Site
Purdue University Airport
West Lafayette, Indiana
American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Ehresman Mark S. Michael Murphy John M. Tom Smith Lynn Nicole Smith Eric H. the AIAA Student Journal.” Today. Anderson Charles M. Swihart . and publishes Aerospace America. Agee John C. In addition. Winn Susan X. the purpose was. France. Van Hoften Robert C.000 professional and 5000 student members. Boles Lawrence O.A. Maurice J. The Institute also publishes conference papers and proceedings. Thoemmes James D. Springer Chair Ranney G. AIAA sponsors many technical conferences. Kitty Hawk. Hurwitz Takashi Iida David Jensen John E. and the dissemination of information about. Seattle. LaGraff Christian Mari Laura J. Melo Thomas D. and still is. on the moon. seminars. Washington. Morano Steven R. In addition to Purdue University. and seven archival technical journals (including one on-line journal). Milnes Joseph S. Duerr Wilson N. Dannenberg David S. the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) has served as the principal society of the aerospace engineer and scientist. audiovisual information packages. Simpson President Forrest J. Richardson Charles R. in Annonay. Dolling Catherine M. “to advance the arts. sciences. Noneman Donald W. and a variety of career-related educational materials. and short courses per year. other sites recognized by the committee include the original Bendix Aviation Company in Teterboro. The Institute conducts a rigorous public policy program and works closely with other societies and governments in broad areas of mutual concern. Blanton Vincent C. and Tranquility Base. Formed in 1963 through a merger of the American Rocket Society (ARS) and the Institute of Aerospace Sciences (IAS). the site of the first balloon launch. Shaw A. Felder Wayne M. technology assessments. AIAA BOARD OF DIRECTORS 2005-2006 Roger L. and technology of aeronautics and astronautics. McGill Ajax B.THE AIAA HISTORIC AEROSPACE SITES PROGRAM For over 65 years. AIAA established the Historic Aerospace Sites Program in January 2000 to promote the preservation of. position papers. Saff Merri J. Adams John D. Ying James V. Schneider David R. significant accomplishments made in the aerospace profession. Zimmerman AIAA HISTORIC SITES COMMITTEE 2005 Anthony M. many books. Sanchez Gerry E. and to promote the professionalism of those engaged in these pursuits. North Carolina. the Boeing Red Barn. Brase Klaus D. Downen Thomas E. AIAA has more than 30. New Jersey.
AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF AERONAUTICS AND ASTRONAUTICS HISTORIC AEROSPACE SITE Purdue University Airport West Lafayette. Indiana .
the students were offered numerous elective courses and many chose the senior aeronautical option. The first alumnus to land an aircraft on campus was Lt.S. Lt. On 1 November of that year. The first Purdue graduate to become an aviator was J. Aircraft on Purdue Athletic Field.he area around Lafayette. as it was called. with the recommendation that it was to be set aside for development of an airport. One early graduate. Many years before anyone had ever heard of aeronautics. and notified the government representatives that airport requirements had been met. class of 1949. all used during WWII. the first airmail delivery in the nation happened by hot air balloon in Lafayette on 17 August 1859. Later demonstrations over the next few years continued to attract large crowds. who flew to 126. Ross. and the area’s first mechanized aircraft demonstration took place on Purdue’s campus on 13 June 1911. hung a windsock from a dead tree. George W. Pennsylvania. The lab was equipped with a fully assembled airplane and operating engines.000 feet in 1956 in an X-2 aircraft. George W. Turpin set an altitude record of 9400 feet in 1911. an alumni tradition continued by Captain Ivan Kinchloe. and P-48. Aviation Day. P-40. The pilot. . Indiana. class of 1908. Although a four-year aeronautics program was not available at Purdue until the 1940s. and established an aerodynamics laboratory soon after. Also in 1930. This “Aviation Day. organized the Purdue Aero Club in 1910. Haskins. Wise also conducted experiments to detect the presence of ozone in the upper atmosphere during his flight. Cicero P. when he flew from Dayton.000 people. Haskins later returned to Purdue as an instructor in 1929. Curtiss Robin Aircraft and engine. Purdue University received a gift of a 360-acre tract of land. under the direction of U. was sponsored by a local newspaper and the Purdue Alumni Association. 1918. who was taught to fly by Orville Wright. Clifford Turpin. through a real estate gift from Board of Trustees member David E. to be able to graduate and enter into the new aeronautical industry of the 1920s and 1930s. has long had an aerospace tradition. delivered 123 letters and 23 circulars to Crawfordsville. John Wise of Lancaster. Haskins evaluated the proposed airport location. when a Purdue professor of mechanical engineering. Indiana. T Students at Purdue also took an interest in flying. and attracted 17. 13 June 1911.” as it was called. The original intent of the airport was to serve as a field laboratory for aeronautical education and research. Ohio. May 1930. Purdue first offered five elective aeronautical engineering courses. for the 1921–22 academic year. Postmaster Thomas Wood of Lafayette. Purdue Stuart Field. in 1919. 2 AeroLab 2 with wind tunnel. Lafayette enthusiastically continued its aeronautical momentum a little over 50 years later. approximately 25 miles away. is known for designing the P-36. with a resolution from Dayton alumni proposing that Purdue establish a School of Aviation Engineering. Donovan Berlin. Veal. through the Mechanical Engineering Department.
the U. During her ill-fated around-the-world attempt. By 1935. Aeronautics Class. C. on 1 November 1930.Thus. and Purdue became an important military flight-training center during World War II. As part of the war effort. Purdue President E. 1936. Aeronautical Engineering Class. and construction was completed by the Civil Works Administration on the first building. During the 1940s. Paved runways were added later in the decade. Purdue University Airport. During 1934. Bureau of Air Commerce designated this land as a landing field—the very first university-owned airport in the United States. Hangar 1 construction. Purdue became the first university in the United States to offer college credit for flight training. June 1934. and pilot and aircraft maintenance training programs continue at Purdue today. Elliott met Amelia Earhart in New York at a Women’s Conference on Current Problems.S. the university developed Aeronautics Class. The training continued through the 1930s. Amelia and her Lockheed Electra flying laboratory. 3 . she had planned to conduct research into the effects of long haul fight and pilot fatigue. The Electra was hangared and outfitted at Purdue Airport. Runway lights were also installed. Purdue University. Because it had this new airport. Hangar 1. the airport served only as an emergency landing strip. President Elliott had recruited her to serve as a consultant for Purdue’s flight programs and as a Counselor for Careers for Women. 1936. Purdue Airport. October 1934. October 1934. In 1938. Purdue University Airport. the nation’s first Civil Pilot Training Program was also established. it is believed that Purdue Airport served as the location for the nation’s first university flight test course. Hangar 1. Since it was unpaved. Aeronautical Engineering Class. Purdue University. which was to serve as Earhart’s flying laboratory. in 1934. The Purdue Research Foundation provided funding for the purchase of a Lockheed 10E Electra.
headed major corporations and government agencies. over the past 50 years. and aviation administration using aircraft based at Purdue Airport. Amelia Earhart.S. In 1942. the only one ever approved for a university. Illinois. its coursework leading to the nation’s first bachelor’s degree in aviation with an emphasis on professional pilot skills. and 7 percent of all Ph. and have Amelia Earhart and Professor George W. Purdue is the site of several other firsts. and were then commissioned as Army Air Corps officers. the first collegiate Flight Engineer course was approved by the FAA and taught at Purdue University. The General Aviation Flight Training plan of study was introduced in 1964.several weeks of practical training. The curriculum consisted of two 22-week terms heavy in drafting. George Putman. Purdue University Airport. Stanley Meikle. used to provide type ratings for Purdue students and transportation for university faculty. Purdue University President Elliott. the aviation administration specialty migrated to the School of Management while the flight and aviation operations were transferred to the Division of Technical Institutes (DTI). as it is now known. In 1988. for 4 . materials processing. Aeronautical Engineering. for women. Captain L. and the Graduate Division. These C47 aircraft and the Purdue Airport were managed by the Purdue Aeronautics Corporation under the direction of Grove Webster. and administrators. and testing. was also developed at this time. Captain L. Purdue Airport was the location of the nation’s first Diamond Jet Aircraft. the School of Aeronautics included the Purdue Aeronautics Corporation. Purdue University Airport.I. It operated under a government approved supplemental certificate. the Air Corps Cadet Aeronautical Engineering Program.D. In 1961. Haskins lecturing students.I.S. The Curtiss-Wright Company decided to develop the Cadette Programs to train young women for technical positions normally held at that time by men. which were to be used for charter operations. In 1945. the nation’s first Reserve Officer Training (ROTC) flight program was developed at Purdue Airport and managed by Purdue Aeronautics Corporation. Amelia Earhart and Professor George W. These alumni have led significant advances in research and development of aerospace technology. an intensive 12-week course given to groups of 50 students in January and April 1941. Aretz. and President Elliott in front of Hangar 1. aviation operations. and in 1956 a two-year professional pilot program started that accepted students with a commercial pilot certificate. the cadets went to Chanute Field at Rantoul. G. Another training program. During the 1950s. has awarded 6 percent of all B. the Air Transportation Division. staff. The Purdue School of Aeronautics and Astronautics. the Purdue Aeronautics Corporation was formed at Purdue Airport to provide live self-supporting laboratories for the aviation program at Purdue. This organization was also responsible for Purdue Airport management and operation. The first collegiate Curtis Wright B707 jet simulator was based at Purdue Airport for use by students earning a Flight Engineer Turbojet certificate along with a bachelor’s degree. After this program. Haskins with engine. Amelia Earhart. Hangar 1. Air Transportation had specialty options in flight operations. degrees in aerospace engineering in the U. Purdue and six other universities participated in these programs. Aretz. In 1955.
and L. Shuttle. Purdue University.uns. For example. Reno. Purdue University Website. Indiana: Purdue Research Foundation. Doris L.. Contributions were also made by Prof.purdue. and W. and International Space Station flights. History of the Purdue School of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Muriel Earhart. Amelia Earhart: A Biography.A. “History of Aerospace Education and Research at Purdue University 1910-2002. Grandt. A.” Paper #2003-0234. 1989. Significant portions of the text were taken from “History of Aerospace Education ad Research at Purdue University 19102002. 22 Purdue students have become astronauts and participated in Mercury. 14 May 2002. Gustafson.F.A.purdue. http://roger. including the first (Neil Armstrong) and the last (Gene Cernan) men on the moon. Gustafson. Gustafson. A. Grandt and W. Rich. Fall 2002. 5 .” Traces. Donald Petrin. Apollo.participated actively in the exploration of space. Butler.edu/at/information/athistory. Washington. Volume 1. History of Purdue. Kansas: McCormick-Armstrong Publishing Division. http://www. George Palmer Putman Collection of Amelia Earhart Papers. Purdue Aeronautics Corporate tri-fold brochure.F. History of the Purdue Department of Aviation Technology.” by A. http://news.lib. DC: Smithsonian Press. Reading.purdue. “The Aviatrix and The University: Amelia Earhart at Purdue.edu/. Grandt.ecn. Massachusetts: AddisonWesley. Purdue University Website. Photos courtesy Purdue University Libraries and The George Palmer Putnam Collection of Amelia Earhart Papers. W. R.edu/uns/. http://www.purdue. East to the Dawn: The Life of Amelia Earhart. Nevada.edu/earhart/. Summer 1994. http://www. 2002. Purdue News.. 1995. 2003. 41st Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit. Susan.tech. Wichita. RELATED REFERENCES Boomhower. Courage is the Price. Purdue Exponent. Purdue University Website. 1997. Morrissey. Mir.T.F.edu/AAE/History/History. Gemini. One Small Step: The History of Aerospace Engineering at Purdue University.purdue.A. Purdue Libraries Newsletter. West Lafayette. 1963. Cargnino. Purdue University Website.
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