The following documents in the history of the NACA have been selected both to reproduce important materials that are either unpublished or inaccessible and to show how NACA people thought and wrote on issues of great concern to them. Aside from minor corrections in spelling and grammar, the documents are reproduced in their original form, warts and all. To save space, much introductory and concluding matter has been deleted, as have portions considered unimportant or redundant.
 1. Aeronautics: Report of the Advisory Committee for Aeronautics for the Year 1909-1910 (London, 1910).' 4-5 (excerpt).
[The British Advisory Committee for Aeronautics was the model for the NACA. The composition of the committee-representatives of government agencies involved in aeronautics as well as civilian specialists-and the proposed areas of committee study exactly parallel those of the NACA.]
To the Right Honourable H. H. Asquith, M. P., First Lord of the Treasury
The Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, appointed on April 30th., 1909, have since that date held ten meetings, of which one was at the Balloon Factory, Aldershot, one at the works of Messrs. Vickers, Sons & Maxim at Barrow, two at the National Physical Laboratory, and the remainder at the War Office.
The work for which the Committee was appointed was defined in the announcement made by the Prime Minister in the House of Commons on May 5th, 1909, which was as follows:-
On May 20th, the following further statement was made, in reply to a question from Mr. Balfour: -
"It is no part of the general duty of the Advisory Committee for Aeronautics either to construct or invent. Its function is not to initiate, but to consider what is initiated elsewhere, and is referred to it by the executive officers of the Navy and Army construction departments. The problems which are likely to arise in this way for solution are numerous, and it will be the work of the Committee to advise on these problems, and to seek their solution by the application of both theoretical and experimental methods of research."
2. W. I. Chambers, "Report on Aviation, "app. 1 to Annual Report of the Secretary of the Navy for 1912 (Washington, 1912): 155-170.
[Chambers, one of the earliest advocates of a national aerodynamical laboratory, set forth in this report the arguments of national prestige and security behind the movement for a laboratory. He noted the European- especially the British- advances already made, described how the laboratory should be organized and run, and recommended the Smithsonian Institution's Langley laboratory as the logical nucleus. This last recommendation set off a bureaucratic struggle that delayed establishment of a national laboratory for several more years. Chambers's report remains the clearest and most prophetic single statement of the rationale for a national laboratory and its organization.]
A. They can be carried, stowed, and used by all large ships-
(1) To reconnoiter an enemy's port or to search out his advanced bases and to assist in the operations of a blockaded or a blockading force.
(2) To locate and destroy submarine mines, submarines and dirigibles, and to assist in the operations of submarines and torpedo boats.
 (3) To damage an enemy's docks, magazines, ships in repair or under construction, dirigible sheds and other resources.
(4) To provide means of rapid confidential communication between a fleet commander and the commanding officer of a cooperating force on shore, or the commander of another fleet or division.
B. They can be carried by all scouts and large cruisers to extend the "eyes of the fleet" in naval scouting.
C. They can be carried, with ample supplies and camp outfit, on board any naval supply auxiliary for scouting at advanced bases and for extensive use with expedition-ary forces.
France leads the world in aviation, and all that she does is worth noting. A short time ago, in response to an inquiry by the minister of war, over 3,000 officers signified their desire to learn aerial navigation. Germany leads in aerostation, but is making great progress in aviation also. France has 8 dirigibles, Germany 30. The number of aeroplanes actually possessed by each is a rapidly increasing quantity, but France will probably possess about 350 before the end of the year, the ultimate aim being to possess 1,000 as soon as the requisite number of pilots can be taught to use them.
It is significant of German foresight that one of the first steps undertaken, when it was decided to construct a large aeroplane fleet, was to found an aerodynamic labora-tory. This is at Gottingen, where the best known course of instruction in aeronautics is ably conducted by Prof. Prandtl.
The following statement, while it does not include all large sums that are being spent, will suffice to compare our own activity with that of some of the principal powers:
Exact details are lacking of the progress in many other countries, but all progressive powers are bent on keeping abreast of the times, especially the British colonies, Russia, Japan, and Austria. The latter country has produced one of the very best aeroplanes in existence, the Etrich, and is also developing the hydroaeroplane.
When Congress appropriated $25,000 for the development of naval aviation last year, three officers had been ordered to aeroplane factories for instruction, in anticipation of three machines which were finally purchased, two Curtiss and one Wright.
At that time a land aerodrome was necessary for practice, and a hangar was accordingly built on Greenbury Point, Annapolis, Md., where a sufficient area of flat land was prepared for an aerodrome by the leveling of some trees and the partial filling of a swamp. This served its purpose until the Navy machines had all been  provided with hydroplanes and we had demonstrated the practicability of carrying on instruction entirely over water. The aerodrome is now held in reserve for the housing of spare machines, for the exercise of the land attachment of the hydroaeroplanes and for any other emergency use.
It was originally contemplated to establish an aviation school in conjunction with the naval engineering experiment station, where experiments could be expedited, but it soon became apparent that the desired number of officers and men could not be spared away from their regular duties for a sufficient period and that the progress of instruction would be seriously delayed until the machines had been suitably developed and equipped for issuing to ships of the fleet, where practical instruction could proceed, with ample resources, in a systematic routine way. Incidentally, it was recognized that to get good service from these machines in the fleet constant practice would be required and the personnel be made as familiar with them as with other articles of equipment.
This was the first object in favoring the hydroaeroplane attachment.
To-day it is recognized the world over that hydroaviation offers one of the most promising fields of development, for the reason that a water aerodrome is nearly always available, is safer in landing, is less obstructed, and the aerial currents over water are less treacherous than over land. A ship provided with aeroplanes will thus become the hangar and will be surrounded usually by an ideal aerodrome, i.e., by water sufficiently smooth for practice.
Last December the three machines with their aviators were transferred to San Diego, Cal., where a camp was formed with small tents from the U.S.S. Iris and hangar tents of the Army pattern, which had been prepared at the Mare Island Navy Yard.
Experience with these tents demonstrated certain defects and that they were not conducive to efficient progress with a small force of men. Better tents, designed by the Bureau of Construction and Repair, have been made to replace them.
After a season of winter work at San Diego the camp was transferred again to Annapolis, and located nearer the engineering experiment station on the north shore of the Severn River. This experience with tents has demonstrated that they not only facilitate the removal of a camp from one place to another, but that it is cheaper to use them than to provide permanent sheds of more durable material at all the places where a camp may be established. The use of tents also enables us to be prepared, with the advantage of experience, to transport at short notice all the material that may be required at an advanced base.
Many officers interested in this work have applied for instruction, but, as before mentioned, it had not been possible to detach from their regular duties, even tempo-rarily, all who desire the experience. Eight officers have qualified.
At the end of August, 1912, a total of 593 flights had been made by the four instruction aviators in the three machines. The record stands as follows:
In Curtiss machines:
In the Wright machine:
During flights over water the aviator can usually count on a safe place to land. For this reason most of our hydro flying has been done at an altitude of about 500 feet. But as scouting and reconnaissance work will require flying at an altitude of about 3,000 feet, Lieut. Ellyson has demonstrated that there will be no difficulty in flying the hydroaeroplane at 3,000 feet or over. On one occasion he ascended to 2,850 feet in 23 minutes and 25 seconds. On another occasion, in testing a lower grade of gasoline, he ascended 3,200 feet, but it required 44 minutes to reach the first 2,500 feet. Investigation of the different grades of gasoline shows that the difference in efficiency is considerable.
The longest flight yet made with passenger anywhere in the hydroaeroplane is that made by Lieuts. Ellyson and Towers jointly, from Annapolis, Md., to Hampton Roads, Va., and return, and this flight amply demonstrated three things: (1) The suitability of the "hydro" as a type for long flights; (2) the practicability and utility of the dual system of control; and (3) the necessity for greater improvement in motors. The return flight was enlivened, in very cold weather, by a series of minor mishaps to the motor. In making such flights it is still advisable to follow a shore line convenient for landing in case of motor trouble.
Lieut. J. H. Towers, United States Navy, has recently made a flight of 6 hours, 10 minutes, and 35 seconds with the standard Navy Curtiss hydroaeroplane. This was made in due course of regular work, but it stands as a world's record for flight in a hydroaeroplane and the American endurance record for flight in any kind of a machine. A performance of five hours only would have been satisfactory.
As a part of the instruction and a fruitful means of informing us concerning necessary improvements many repairs have been made by the aviators themselves, and the enlisted mechanics detailed for the purpose have received instruction in this way. A new Wright machine has also been built in this way from spare parts purchased from the company.
It has not been possible, under the circumstances of a meager appropriation and few officers, combining instruction with experimental work, to establish a thoroughly satisfactory system of instruction as yet. The ideal would require each aviator student to obtain a course of study in aerodynamics and meteorology up to date of about four months, such as that recently established at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the theory preceding the practical work, if possible. Such a course would be best attained by the establishment of a school for aviators in connection with the lectures at a national aerodynamic laboratory.
Experimental work.- The work of instruction has been handicapped by a practically continuous series of experiments, with the result that long delays in repairing have rendered work in both particulars slower than was anticipated. On the whole, this method of experimentation for the solution of problems other than the improvement  of minor structural details and the test of navigating instruments is very unsatisfactory. Important experiments involving physical research should be relegated to an aerodynamic laboratory and its aerodrome annex. Other important experiments, such as the development of wireless, requiring frequent changes, should be made at an aircraft factory, where extensive repairs and reconstruction are facilitated. Special facilities already exist for doing such work at the Washington Navy Yard.
Some experimental work has been done on different methods of installing the wireless plant, but intermittently, owing to the enforced absence of the expert officer, whose suggestions were being followed. Although the work is unfinished, it has given promise of realizing a range of 50 miles at a sacrifice of 50 pounds only in weight.
Most of the experiments have been devoted to improving mechanical details of the motors and to trying different models of hydroplanes, the result of laboratory investigation at the model basin.
Much useful information has been gained thus about hydroplanes and many uncertain but alluring ideas have been eliminated. There are seven different types of hydroaeroplanes now in France, but our efforts have been confined chiefly to two distinct American types, the single boat with balancing pontoons and the catamaran type with two pontoons. Both types have given great satisfaction, but the single boat, which has been used on both the Wright and the Curtiss machines, seems best for our purposes. It is superior in rough water and it is the father of the flying boat, toward which our ideas have always been inclined.
The flying boat was discussed in the early days, about 1905, between Mr. Glenn H. Curtiss and representatives of the Bureau of Equipment. The first real flying boat was made and tested at Hammondsport, N. Y., a year ago last summer, and flown last winter at San Diego, Cal. After several alterations in the location of the motive power, the Curtiss flying boat tested this summer, with great satisfaction, by Lieuts. Ellyson and Towers, is regarded as a decided advance in hydroaeroplane design and gives promise of extended usefulness in rough water.
Catapult.- Tentative experiments with a compressed-air catapult for sending aeroplanes in flight over the shortest possible track have been made and their early completion is expected to avoid requiring a ship to carry a demountable platform.
The practicability of sending aeroplanes in flight from a suitable platform on board ship was early demonstrated by Eugene Ely in flights from the U.S.S. Birmingham and the U.S.S. Pennsylvania. We have frequently demonstrated the practicability of sending them in flight from water alongside of a ship, and both Mr. Gienn H. Curtiss and Lieut. John Rodgers have flown alongside of a ship, have been hoisted on board and hoisted out again in a hydroaeroplane. Lieut. Ellyson has successfully performed the daring experiment of showing the possibility and facility with which a hydroaeroplane can be sent in flight from a ship in smooth water over an improvised single wire cable, but I would not recommend the use of this device on a ship with rolling motion. Lieut. Ellyson also eagerly subjected himself in a hydroaeroplane to the extreme shock of the catapult device in order to test the effect of such a shock not only on the aviator but on the motor attachments and other fittings. This crucial test was entirely satisfactory in its revelations, although the aviator and machine got a ducking, and it will probably never be required again.
There is no risk that these zealous aviators will not cheerfully undertake in the interest of adapting the art of aviation to naval purposes, and it is worthy of note that the work has progressed thus far without serious accident, although it has been arduous, dangerous, and replete with temptations for the aviators to rival many of the sensational performances that have resulted disastrously to contemporary pioneers in civil aviation.
A simple and convenient self starter is a practical necessity to the hydroaeroplane before issuing it for ship use. Several mechanical devices have been tried with varying  success, but other more promising devices are about to be tried and there is reason to believe that the very best will soon be in use on all of our machines.
Instruments.- Aviators and manufacturers have been slow in making use of instruments which not only make flying safer, but which may be made to relieve the aviator of much of the nervous tension and strain of long flights and flying in uncertain weather. A constant increase in the number of disasters has disturbed the people of France for some time, with the result that special attention has been given to the problem of safety; special efforts have been made not only to improve inherent stability and structural strength, but to provide means for controlling the equilibrium automatically.
One can not blame those who are already skilled in flying for being conservative in this matter, in view of the many defective devices that have been exploited to effect the object. There is good reason for going slowly and carefully in the test of anything that presumes to take the place of the aviator's skill, but manufacturers and aviators are beginning to realize that progress in aviation is greatly dependent upon the perfection of instruments for safe guidance and automatic control, that there is something more than acrobatic skill required to place aviation on a practical footing in the Navy, that the elimination of man as a factor of chief importance by the supply of mechanism which will perform the things that he is prone to do indifferently, especially under the strain of fatigue, is a practical necessity to his success as a real aerial navigator.
Simple and reliable automatic control devices which may be added without sacrifice of too much weight are now being eagerly sought and some that may be rigged to work automatically, semi-automatically, or not at all, at the will of the aviator, are being made.
The air compass.- Much important work for which the aeroplane will be useful in the Navy will not necessarily require the air pilot to navigate in a fog or at night or out of sight of his base, but in sea scouting, which I think is destined to be one of his principal spheres of usefulness, the pilot may be caught in a fog, he may be obliged to navigate at night and will have to lose sight of his base frequently. It must be possible, therefore, to navigate as accurately in air as it is to navigate a ship by dead reckoning at sea.
Motors.- Improvements have been confined principally to the correction of small defects which have been made as soon as discovered. Much more could be said about what is still needed. When anything goes wrong or when trouble begins in a flight that promises well, some trifling detail of the motor is usually at fault, a small pin here, a pump connection there, but nearly always something new and unexpected. It was so with the early motors of automobiles and this thought inspires confidence in the perfection of aviation motors, although the demand is still greater for increased power or speed rather than reliability and durability.
Range of speed.- A weight-carrying aeroplane such as a hydroaeroplane necessarily needs a motor with considerable range of speed, and the same kind of motor is needed to reduce the danger of alighting. This is not the kind of a motor and combination of motor and surfaces that now wins the speed contest, such as that for the Gordon Bennett cup. I think aviation would be improved if the terms of future speed contests were arranged so as to require each contestant to go over the course twice, the second time at an average speed 20 per cent lower than his highest average.
Requirements.- A year ago our manufacturers requested specific information as to the conditions to be satisfied in adapting the aeroplane for naval use. The answers at that time were necessarily indefinite, but with the benefit of a year's experience we have been able to issue a set of "general requirements" sufficiently broad in scope to permit a wide latitude for ingenuity and improvement.
These requirements cover not only the peculiar conditions to be satisfied in naval aviation, but, for the first time, require our builders to show that their machines are  designed in accordance with up-to-date practice. Builders are required to provide technical data which will eliminate from competition all who depend on haphazard methods. Complete stress diagrams under different conditions of load and all the fundamental characteristics, a knowledge of which is indispensable to an intelligent comparison of designs, are demanded. The stamp of approval is given to the introduction of improved methods for the automatic control of equilibrium, and our builders are encouraged to attain a high degree of efficiency, to improve the factors which govern safety, and nothing is demanded that may not be readily accomplished under the limitations of the art as it is generally understood at present.
In accordance with the policy of the department, as mentioned in the last annual report of the Secretary of the Navy, aeroplanes are now placed in the same category as other articles of a ship's equipment, and are appropriated for accordingly, the general architecture and constructional features being provided by the Bureau of Construction and Repair under its general appropriation "Construction and repair of vessels," and the motive power, including radio apparatus, being provided by the Bureau of Steam Engineering under the appropriation for "Steam machinery," it being intended that all bureaus will do their share in providing the specific parts which naturally come under their cognizance in the department organization.
It seems unnecessary to place a limit on aeroplanes under these appropriations when expenditure on boats, steam steerers, windlasses, boilers, and "all other auxiliaries," costing much more, is unlimited. No economy is effected by placing a limit on any one of the numerous items under these appropriations and no extravagance can occur by removing the limits on aeroplanes, because, regardless of limits, the amount of each appropriation remains the same, and expenditure on each item will be jealously guarded by the bureau concerned to carry on current work as necessities arise.
It is particularly unfortunate that the small limit of $20,000 is placed on aeroplane machinery under the Bureau of Steam Engineering, because our experience shows that each aeroplane used for instruction requires two motors to carry on the work effectively. This of course will be impossible under the present limit, as the expense of repairs is also comparatively great. The limit of $35,000 under construction and repair is unsatisfactory also.
Little more than a year ago our knowledge of the effect of air currents upon aeroplane surfaces was almost entirely a matter of theory. The exact information available was so meager that aeroplanes were built either as copies, slightly modified, of other machines, or else by way of haphazard experiment. This state of affairs obtains to some extent in the United States to-day, although in Europe aeroplane construction is now largely based on scientific data obtained at notable aerodynamic laboratories.
The intuitive, hasty, and crude methods of the pioneer can not succeed in compe-tition with the accurate and systematic methods of the scientific engineer, and it is beginning to dawn upon our perceptions that through lack of preparation for the work of the scientific engineer, i. e., through delay in establishing an aerodynamic labora-tory, a waste of time and money, a decline of prestige, and an unnecessary sacrifice of human life has already resulted.
Students of aviation do not need to be informed of the practical necessity for aerodynamic laboratories. They have repeatedly pointed out, in aeronautical publica-tions, the immense commercial advantages to be anticipated from the establishment of at least one in this country, and they have naturally expected that some philanthropic patriot of wealth and scientific interest would come to the rescue with a suitable  endowment fund that would enable such work to be started in short order without Government aid. The fact that no patriot has responded is disappointing, in view of the large private donations that have done so much for aviation in France, but in my opinion, it simply indicates something lacking in the manner of disseminating information concerning the importance of the subject. I am not willing to believe that our people will refuse to establish one when they are fully acquainted with the advantages to humanity and to sane industrial progress, and when a reasonable concrete proposition is advanced for their consideration. It is now my purpose to submit such a proposition, and, in doing so, I will follow briefly, in general outline, the ideas advanced in an address to the Fifth International Aeronautic Congress by one of the greatest authorities in the world, the Commandant Paul Renard, president of the International Aeronautic Commission.
Before considering the character of the work to be done and some details of the needed plant, it will facilitate matters to show what should not be done at such a laboratory.
There are those who dream of supplying the laboratory with all the instruments known to mechanics, to physics, and even to chemistry, in order to have a creditable and complete national institution. They would concentrate in one locality all the scientific instruments and acumen available, with the false idea that economy would result. This would be a grave error.
The financial resources, however great, are sure to be limited, and a too ambitious or a superfluous installation would squander the sources of power and indirectly menace the initiative of other industries. The character of the new work to be done demands that everything should be rejected that can be dispensed with readily in order that appliances specially needed in the new work may be provided and that these appliances be of the latest and most efficient types.
For the sake of economy, not only of money but of time and intellectual energy, tests and experiments that can be executed as well or better elsewhere by existing establishments should be avoided. For example, it is unnecessary to install a complete set of instruments and implements for testing the tensile strength of materials or their bending and crushing strength. Many other establishments permit of such work. If the laboratory be located in Washington, where certain advantages exist such work could be readily done at the navy yard, where other facilities exist such, for instance, as the testing of models for hydroaeroplanes and flying boats. The Bureau of Standards and Measures and other Government branches in Washington also offer facilities which it would not be wise to duplicate in such a laboratory.
I do not think that such an institution should be burdened with measuring the power of motors or preoccupied with the details of their performances. This may be done at various other Government establishments, and it is understood that the Automobile Club of America is also equipped for this work.
Nor is it necessary to have a complete chemical laboratory under the pretext of studying questions relating to the chemistry of fuel or the permeability of balloon envelopes.
I do not wish to convey the idea that an aerodynamic laboratory should be deprived entirely of such facilities and that it should be obliged to seek minor information from other establishments when that information may be more economically obtained by a duplicate plant on a small scale. Such duplicate conveniences, however, should be regarded as strictly accessory; but it should be well understood that whenever important researches can be prosecuted as well or better elsewhere, dependence should be placed on those other establishments where such work is a specialty.
An aerodynamic laboratory should be devoted to (1) experimental verification, (2) experimental research. The first is concerned with testing the qualities of existing appliances, propellers, sustaining surfaces, control mechanism, etc. Usually these tests are made at the request of interested parties (as is now the case with water models at the navy-yard model basin). A constructor or a designer will bring, for example, a propeller and will wish to know its power or thrust at a given speed on the block or on a moving appliance under the conditions of flight, or he may bring several propellers to compare their performances and to ascertain what power they absorb at different speeds.
One of the very successful appliances devoted to this work at St. Cyr is a movable car, in which an aeroplane may be mounted and tested at speeds in perfect safety as to its strength, its efficiency, and the suitability of its control mechanism. This device is specially adapted to make actual service tests of sustaining surfaces, in other words, to try out in perfect safety the relative efficiencies of finished aeroplanes. It is a most important adjunct, as it supplements and rounds out the important research work on models in the closed laboratory.
Tests of this character, i.e., verification tests, constitute, so to speak, standard work. They are performed at the request of manufacturers, clubs, independent investi-gators, and other interested parties on condition of payment for the actual cost of the work. They therefore contribute to the support of the establishment.
The tests of verification, however, notwithstanding their great utility, do not constitute either the most important or the most interesting work of the laboratory. The research work, which prosecutes continuously and patiently systematic, thorough, and precise investigation of new ideas, or of old ideas with new applications, with the specific intention of discovering laws and formulas for advancing the progress of aerial navigation, is of greater importance, because it is the short cut to substantial efficiency, economy, improvement, and prestige.
This work is concerned with developing adequate methods of research in all branches of aerial navigation and in furnishing reliable information to all students, engineers, inventors, manufacturers, pilots, navigators, strategists, and statesmen. The knowledge thus gained should be disseminated regularly through publications, lectures, open-air demonstrations, and by exhibitions of apparatus, instruments, materials, and models- in fact, by all the facilities of the aerodrome, the showroom, the library, and the lecture room.
An exact knowledge of aerodynamics can best be acquired in such a laboratory by experimentation with standard scale models in air tunnels such as those used by M. Eiffel and others. In this way reliable data is obtained of the air resistance to be encountered and the efficiency at various velocities, the amount of lift, the effect of varying impact at different angles of attack on the stability- in fact, all the exact data which, reduced to curves and diagrams, enables the engineer to design a machine in a scientific manner. From such data the performance of a new machine can be closely predicted. The performance of the finished product can be verified later as before described.
Much of the research work will be prosecuted at the request of technical men outside of the institution, to whom the laboratory should offer, gratuitously as far as possible, its material and personal resources.
To obtain benefit from these researches it will be necessary to know that they are worth the time and expense, and a body of men- a council or a board of governors- should be authorized to accept or reject requests for this work. This will be a delicate  task, but the principal duty of the council should be to establish and to correct from time to time a program of the research work to be executed by the director and his staff and to coordinate the work to the best advantages within the limits of the money available. The disbursement of the Government funds, however, and the responsibility therefor should be entirely under the director.
With the actual state of aerial navigation and its deficiencies as a guide it will be the policy of the council to concentrate effort upon such points as seem most important, promising, and interesting for the time being.
I do not think there would be any doubt, if we had the laboratory in working order now, but that all questions relating to improvement in stability, automatic control, and safety in general would have the right of way.
The council or board, which in England is called the "advisory committee," should be representative of other Government departments than that employing the director, and should be independent of the director and his administrative staff. It might be possible for the director to act as a member of the council, and, if so, it would conduce to harmony and expedition.
The council should not be a large body, but should be composed mostly of specialists of unquestioned ability, men interested in the sane development of aerial navigation in various branches of the Government and in its useful and safe adaptation to commerce and sport.
Whatever the ability of this council it should not be allowed to pretend that it has a monopoly of aeronautic acumen. Many brilliant and worthy ideas may originate outside of the establishment which it will be wise to investigate. And to avoid any possibility of the council being charged with narrow prejudice, it is indispensable that it be not composed entirely of specialists. In a few words, it should comprise representative men who are also learned and technical men, with broad vision and reputation, whose presence will guarantee to industrial investigators that their ideas will be treated in an unpartisan or unbiased spirit. I will not attempt to suggest the composition of this council or board, but it is evident that the Army and Navy should each be adequately represented on it.
If the laboratory should obtain, in addition to the funds required for prosecuting researches by its staff, any endowments of financial aid in excess of immediate needs (and I am confident it will eventually), it would accomplish useful work by offering prizes and granting rewards for important results achieved outside of the institution. The division of rewards would be one of the functions of the council, and it is possible that this would be one of the best uses of such resources, after the success of the laboratory is assured.
The complete role of an ideal aerodynamic laboratory can be summed up now in a few words in the natural order of establishment: (1) Execution of verification tests by means of nominal fees; (2) facilities to technical men for prosecuting original research; (3) execution of researches in accordance with a program arranged by the council, and (4) reward of commendable results accomplished outside of the laboratory.
Researches and tests can be made on either a large or a small scale, preferably on both.
The use of small models can be made prolific in results because of the comparatively small cost, provided we understand the laws governing transformation into the full sized products. For model work a large plant is unnecessary. M. Eiffel has done very valuable work in a very small establishment.
 Certain classes of tests with large models, such, for example, as the block test of propellers, do not require much space. But the conditions are altered when such tests are made on a machine in motion. These more difficult tests are absolutely indispensable and very important to the usefulness of an official laboratory.
Experiments and tests with small models being comparatively inexpensive, private establishments often undertake their execution, but when we attempt to draw conclusions from their results we are obliged to admit that the laws of comparison with full-sized machines are debatable the world over. Comparisons are sensibly true between small surfaces and larger surfaces that have been extended proportionately to the square of the linear dimensions, even to surfaces five or ten times larger, but when we pass to much larger surfaces, as we are obliged to, we are forced to adopt formulas with empirical coefficients, about which there is indefinite dispute.
The difficulty can be overcome only by precise experiments upon large surfaces, and such experiments, whatever the manner in which they are performed, will be costly. If privately executed, the financial returns would not cover the cost.
The laboratory should comprise, therefore, two distinct parts, one devoted to experiments on small-scale models and the other to experiments on surfaces of large dimensions. But in both parts precise and thorough work is necessary.
When we have studied separately each element of an aeroplane, for example, it will be necessary to test the complete apparatus. An aerodrome annex is therefore necessary, or, at least, the laboratory should be located in proximity to an aerodrome of which it can make use. In order that the observations may not only be qualitative but quantitative, it will be necessary to follow all the movements of the complete machine to know at each instant the speed, the inclination, the thrust of the propellers, the effective horsepower, and, in fact, to conduct a true open-air laboratory for air craft after the manner of certain tests that have been prolific of results in France.
The English have established close relations between the royal aircraft factory and their laboratory, the function of the former being the reconstruction and repair of aeroplanes, the test of motors, and the instruction of mechanics.
The location of the model-testing plant, the headquarters of the administration staff, requires comparatively small space, and there is no reason why it should be remote from a city or from intellectual and material resources. It is advantageous to have it easy of access to many interested people who are not attached to it.
The location of the open-air laboratory should obviously be at an aerodrome as near as may be convenient to the model-testing plant or headquarters. Close proximity of the two parts is desirable, but not necessary. The high price of land near a large city obliges the aerodrome annex of foreign plants to be located at a distance, but we are fortunate in having here at Washington ideal conditions for the location of both parts. The model laboratory should obviously be located on the site of Langley's notable work at the Smithsonian Institution, where the nucleus, an extensive library of records, and a certain collection of instruments, are still available. The National Museum is also an ideal location for the historical collection of models that will result.
No more ideal location for the annex, the open-air laboratory, or aerodrome exists in all the world than that afforded by the as yet undeveloped extension of Potomac Park. This is Government property which is of doubtful utility as a park only, but which would be of immense utility and interest as a park combined with a scientific plant of the character under consideration.
There is no reason why the public should be excluded from such a practice field, but there is much to recommend that it be open to the public under proper regulations as to the traffic, especially on occasion of certain tests or flights of an educational value. It is of sufficient area, about 1 square mile. It is about 2 miles long, is almost  entirely surrounded by broad expanses of water, and, while convenient of access, is so situated that the public may be readily excluded when tests of a dangerous character are in process of execution. The fine driveways that will be required as a park will offer excellent facilities for the practice work of the aerodrome and for the moving test cars that should be supplied.
One of the most attractive features of this location is the advantage it offers as an ideal aerodrome for both the Army and the Navy, for both land and water flying and the opportunity it affords for cooperation in all branches of the work of instruction and experimentation. Furthermore, it is near to the shop facilities of the navy yard, the accommodations of the Washington Barracks, the conveniences of various Government hospitals, and it would doubtless add to the information and interest of the near-by War College Staff and the General Board of the Navy. Its location would enable our statesmen in Congress and a great number of officials in all departments to keep in touch at first hand with the progress of aeronautics, with the quality of the work done, and with the manner in which the money appropriated was being expended. The educational facilities afforded by the work and by the lectures would be invaluable to the course of intruction for Army, Navy, and civil students of aeronautics.
As Washington is a mecca for business people of all parts of the country, a laboratory located here would be convenient in a commercial sense, especially in view of its southerly location, which renders the open aerodrome available for use throughout the greater part of the year. The only objection that I can see to the Potomac Park extension is that the ground will require a considerable clearing, but the trees on the harbor side of the location would not necessarily require removal.
It is useless to discuss here the various instruments and methods which have been a source of some dispute abroad. All have some good feature, but time has shown where some of the cumbersome and unnecessary installations may be eliminated to advantage and where others may be improved. The new plant of M. Eiffel, at Auteuil, may be regarded as a model for the wind tunnel and the aerodynamic balance. A duplicate of that plant alone would be of inestimable value. The last volume published by M. Eiffel is a forcible example of the value of his discoveries by this method with respect to the angle of incidence and the displacements of the center of pressure. It seems to merit the utmost confidence, although the details of his installation differ from those at Chalais, at Koutchino, at the Italian laboratory, and others. This method permits of testing the resistance of body structures, the sustaining power of surfaces, the tractive power of propellers, and the influence of transverse or oblique currents. If a "free drop" apparatus at uniform speed be regarded as indispensable to obtaining the coefficients of air resistance to solid bodies of different shapes, it is possible that the interior of the Washington Monument could be used to advantage, as was the Eiffel Tower, without disturbance of the main function of that noble structure. This would be an excellent place from which to observe the stability or action of falling models cast adrift at an altitude of 500 feet under varying atmospheric conditions. The free drop of full-sized models would of course require the use of kites or captive balloons.
The moving car previously referred to for tests of verification would be the most useful open-air plant and would soon repay the outlay required by the value of the information obtained from its use. A miniature duplicate of this method for preliminary tests on models with a wire trolley would be of value in a hall of large dimensions. It would be useful in winter work but not invaluable.
The track of the open-air vehicle at St. Cyr is too restricted to give the best results. The car can not circulate continuously at high speed and maintain the speed for a sufficient length of time. An ideal endless track may readily be arranged at the Potomac Park extension, preferably of rectangular form with rounded corners. A  railway track would be preferable, but excellent results could be obtained from auto trucks run on macadamized roadbeds. Good results could be obtained by the use of suitable hydroaeroplanes or flying boats suitably equipped with instruments.
At the aerodrome annex ample facilities should be provided for measuring the wind velocity at various heights and at different points. The convenient installation of recording anemometers and the employment of kites or captive balloons should be considered.
A branch of the United States Weather Bureau could readily be established at the aerodrome here in connection with the investigation of meteorological phenomena affecting the movements of aeroplanes in flight and as an adjunct to the national laboratory.
Exactly measured bases and posts of observation are also required, as well as instruments of vision or photographic apparatus, to permit of following machines in their flights and of preserving the records for study.
One of the most useful installations for recording advanced information is an actual aeroplane itself equipped with instruments adapted to record, while in flight, much of the information that is desired. Such machines are already in use in France and in England.
It will be in perfect harmony and convenient to the laboratory to obtain all the services of an aircraft factory from the Washington Navy Yard, where facilities already exist for the reconstruction and repair of aeroplanes, the test of motors, and the instruction of mechanics. But this should not be allowed to interfere with our policy of relying upon private industry for the purchase of new machines, for the sake of encouraging the art among private builders.
It will suffice to merely mention the hangars or sheds required or the local accessories, such as drafting room, office, and minor repair shops. The character and location of these present no difficulties, but they should not be made the principal part of the institution as they are in several elaborately equipped foreign laboratories. The power plant, however, is a subject for careful consideration and the economy effected by M. Eiffel in his new installation at Auteuil is worthy of study.
I have seen estimates varying from $250,000 to $500,000 for such a plant, but inasmuch as $100,000. with an annuity of $3,000 donated by M. Henry Deutsch de la Meurthe to the University of Paris for the establishment of the aeronautical laboratory at St. Cyr, seems to have been sufficient for a very creditable though somewhat deficient plant, I will venture an opinion that $200,000 would be sufficient in our case. Although the same plant would cost more in this country, I assume that some of the buildings required are already available at the Smithsonian Institution. If located elsewhere the cost would be considerably more than the sum named.
Inasmuch as more definite information regarding the actual cost of a dignified and creditable but modest and sufficient installation should be obtained and as the details of the plan, the scope, the organization, and the location of such an important under-taking should not be left to the recommendations of one man, I respectfully recommend that a commission or board be appointed to consider and report to the President, for recommendation to Congress, on the necessity or desirability for the establishment of a national aerodynamic laboratory, and on its scope, its organization, the most suitable location for it, and the cost of its installation.
 3. Minutes of First Meeting of the Advisory Committee of the Langley Aerodynamical Laboratory, May 23, 1913.
[Smithsonian Secretary Charles D. Walcott reported on the steps leading to estab-lishment of this forerunner of the NACA. In almost every respect, especially the composition of the committee and the immediate distribution of work among subcom-mittees, this meeting presaged the NACA's first meeting two years later.]
The Advisory Committee of the Langley Aerodynamical Laboratory was formally organized at a meeting at the Smithsonian Institution, at 10 A.M., May 23, 1913. The following is a list of members of the Committee, all of whom were present except Brig. General Scriven:
On motion, Mr. Charles D. Walcott was appointed temporary Chairman, and Dr. A. F. Zahm temporary Recorder of the Committee.
Mr. Walcott briefly outlined the events leading up to the re-opening of the Langley aerodynamical laboratory, as follows:
At the regular meeting of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution on February 13, 1913, the Secretary presented a scheme for the establishing of an aero-nautical laboratory under the direction of the Smithsonian Institution. A committee consisting of judge George Gray, Dr. Alexander Graham Bell, and Representative John Dalzell was appointed to consider the question, and also to consider the availability of any portion of the Hodgkins Fund for the purpose of said laboratory. This committee reported to the Board of Regents at a special meeting held on May 1, 1913, and recommended that the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution be authorized to reopen the aerodynamical laboratory used by the late Secretary Langley in pursuing his researches relating to aeronautics, and the Board thereupon adopted the following resolutions:
"WHEREAS, The Smithsonian Institution possesses a laboratory for the study of questions relating to Aerodynamics which has been closed since the death of its Director, the late Dr. S. P. Langley, formerly Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution; and
WHEREAS, It is desirable to foster and continue, in the Institution with which he was connected, the aerodynamical researches which he inaugurated-
RESOLVED: (1) THAT; the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution hereby authorizes the Secretary of the Institution, with the advice and approval of the Executive Committee, to reopen the Smithsonian Institution Laboratory for the study of Aerodynamics and take such steps as in his judgment may be necessary to provide for the organization and administration of the laboratory on a permanent basis.
 (2) THAT; the aerodynamic laboratory of the Institution shall be known as the Langley Aerodynamical Laboratory.
(3) THAT; the functions of the Laboratory shall be the study of the problems of Aerodromics, particularly those of aerodynamics with such research and experimenta-tion as may be necessary to increase the safety and effectiveness of aerial locomotion for the purposes of commerce, National defense, and the welfare of man.
(4) THAT; the Laboratory, under regulations to be established and fees to be fixed by the Secretary, approved by the Executive Committee, may exercise its func-tions for the military and civil departments of the Government of the United States, and also for any individual, firm, association or corporation within the United States, provided, however, that such department, individual, firm, association or corporation shall also defray the cost of all material and services of employees in connection with such exercise of the functions of the said Laboratory.
(5) THAT; the Laboratory shall, with the approval of the Secretary of the Institu-tion, issue bulletins and other publications for public distribution, containing such information as may be valuable to the Government or the public.
(6) THAT; there shall be a Director of the Laboratory, who shall be appointed by the Secretary, and who shall receive such salary as may be approved by the Executive Committee. The Secretary is also authorized to appoint assistants and other necessary employees.
(7) THAT; the Director shall have general supervision of the Laboratory. He shall make an annual report to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. Said report shall include an account of the work done for any Department of the Government, individ-ual, firm, association or corporation, and the amounts paid by them to defray the cost of material and services as hereinbefore provided.
(8) THAT; the Secretary may provide or rent such temporary quarters and obtain such permanent quarters as may be provided for by funds available or provided for the purpose.
(9) THAT; the Secretary is authorized to appoint an Advisory Committee, to be composed of the Director of the Laboratory when appointed and one member to be designated by the Secretary of War, one by the Secretary of the Navy, one by the Secretary of Agriculture, and one by the Secretary of Commerce, together with such other persons as may be acquainted with the needs of aerodromical science, the total membership of such Committee not to exceed fourteen in number.
(10) THAT; the Committee shall advise in relation to the organization and work of the Laboratory, and the co-ordination of its activities with those of other Govern-mental and private laboratories, in which questions concerned with the study of the problems of aerodynamics and aerodromics can be experimentally investigated. The members of the Advisory Committee shall serve without compensation, but shall be paid their actual necessary expenses in going to and returning from Washington to attend the meeting of the Committee and while attending the same.
THAT; the Secretary is authorized, with the approval of the Executive Committee, to open the Laboratory and begin its work, when funds are made available for the purpose, either by private contribution, Governmental appropriation, or the authoriza-tion by the Board of Regents of the use of funds that are now or may become available for appropriation by the Smithsonian Institution.
At the same meeting the following additional resolutions were also adopted by the Board of Regents:
RESOLVED: The Secretary is authorized, with the advice of the Executive Com-mittee, to enlarge the approved scheme of the Langley Aerodynamical Laboratory under the direction of the Smithsonian Institution, by adding, as means are provided,  other laboratories and other essential agencies, and to group the several laboratories and other agencies into a Bureau organization.
RESOLVED FURTHER: That all resolutions in relation to administration, person-nel, direction, etc., that apply to the Langley Aerodynamical Laboratory, shall apply as far as practicable to the said Bureau of Aerodromics when established.
RESOLVED: The Secretary is authorized to use such portion of the accumulated income of the Hodgkins Fund as may be necessary in connection with the reopening and organization of the Langley Aerodynamical Laboratory, to an amount not to exceed ten thousand dollars.
RESOLVED FURTHER: The Secretary is also authorized to expend for the said purpose, the annual income from a restricted portion of the Hodgkins fund not to exceed five thousand dollars per year, for a period of five years.
RESOLVED: The Secretary is hereby authorized to visit such laboratories and institutions in Europe as will in his judgment be of service in the organization and administration of research under the direction of the Smithsonian Institution.
RESOLVED: The Secretary is authorized to associate with himself not to exceed three persons in examining and reporting on the principal laboratories and institutions engaged in aeronautical research, provided that the expenses of such examination and report shall not exceed $2,000.
RESOLVED: The Secretary is authorized to secure, as far as practicable, the cooperation of Governmental and other agencies in the development of aerodromical research under the direction of the Smithsonian Institution.
RESOLVED: The Secretary is authorized to submit an estimate to the Congress of fifty thousand dollars for the continuation of aerodromical (aeronautical) investigations under the direction of the Smithsonian Institution.
Mr. Walcott stated that in pursuance of the Board's action, he addressed the following letter to President Wilson:
I have the honor to state that at the special meeting of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution, held May 1, 1913, I was authorized, as Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, to re-Open the Langley laboratory for the study of aerodynamics, and to take such steps as may be necessary to provide for the organization and administration of the laboratory on a permanent basis.
The functions of the laboratory will be to study the problem of aerodromics (aeronautics), particularly those of aerodynamics, with such research and experimentation as may be necessary to increase the safety and effectiveness of aerial locomotion for the purposes of commerce, National defense, and the welfare of man.
The Secretary was authorized to appoint an Advisory Committee and to request the cooperation of Governmental and other agencies in the development of the laboratory. The functions of this Committee will be to advise in relation to the work of the laboratory and the coordination of its activities with those of other governmental and private laboratories in which questions concerned with the study of problems of aerodromics (aeronautics) can be experimentally investigated.
I beg leave, therefore, to ask your approval of the cooperation with this Institution of the Departments of War, Navy, Agriculture, and Commerce, and if this meets with your assent, I have the honor to request that one member of the Advisory Committee be designated by the Secretary of War, one by the Secretary of the Navy, one by the Secretary of Agriculture, and one by the Secretary of Commerce.
 In addition there will be appointed such other persons on the Committee as may be acquainted with the needs of aerodromical (aeronautical) science, the total membership not to exceed fourteen.
The members of the Committee shall serve without compensation, but shall be paid their actual necessary expenses in going to and returning from Washington to attend the meetings, and while attending the same, from a special fund at the disposal of this Institution.
It is desired to have a representative of the War Department and one from the Navy Department on the Advisory Committee to represent their aeronautical interests; to have a member from the Department of Agriculture to represent the Weather Bureau, as the subject of meteorology is one that has a profound bearing on successful aviation; and to have a member from the Department of Commerce to represent the Bureau of Standards, where in the near future it is hoped that systematic tests of materials, motors, etc., can be made under the direction of that Bureau.
The following reply was received from the President:
Allow me to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of May eighth, and to say that I shall take pleasure in sending copies of your letter to the Secretaries of War, Navy, Agriculture, and Commerce, expressing my full approval of the designation of representatives of those Departments upon the committee which you are forming for the study of the subject of aeronautics under the authorization of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution on May 1, 1913.
Letters were subsequently received by the Institution from the Secretaries of War and the Navy stating that on account of the magnitude of their aeronautical interests, it was thought advisable to designate two members from their respective Departments.
In accordance with the above, the following designations of members for the Advisory Committee were made by the heads of the Departments concerned:
In addition to these, invitations were sent by the Secretary of the Institution to the following gentlemen who accepted membership on the Advisory Committee:
Mr. Walcott also stated that invitations had been sent to Mr. Cornelius Vanderbilt and Mr. Harold F. McCormick, but these gentlemen, on account of press of business matters, were unable to accept membership.
After discussion it was decided that the term of service of all members and officers should be for one year, to expire on or about May 6th of each year, as may be determined later. In view of the fact that May 6th has in the past been generally designated as "Langley Day," it was suggested that the regular annual meeting of the Advisory Committee be held on May 6th, as it was thought probably that many of the members would be in Washington on that day.
On motion of Captain Chambers, Mr. Walcott was then elected permanent Chair-man of the Advisory Committee, for one year.
On motion of Dr. Stratton, Dr. Zahm was elected permanent Recorder for one year.
The Chairman then informed the Committee that he was able to place at its disposal a room in the Smithsonian building which could be used by the Recorder and such assistants as he might have from time to time, and where all records of the Committee could be filed. It was suggested that a general letter-head be prepared for the Advisory Committee, the name of each subcommittee to be placed on this paper with a rubber stamp. The Chairman authorized the Recorder to have a stock of such paper prepared. Provision was also made for the employment of such translating and typewriting services as might be required by the Sub-Committees, and also for the use of Smithsonian franked envelopes for mailing communications relating to the work of the Laboratory.
The Chairman then presented a plan for the organization of a number of Sub-Committees, which, after minor changes, was unanimously approved by the meeting. A Chairman chosen from the members of the General Committee, was assigned to each Sub-Committee, with the authorization to add other members to his committee to the number of not more than four and not less than two, to be selected either from the General Committee or from other sources. It was resolved that the Chairmen of the Sub-Committees should report to the Chairman of the General Committee the names of members selected by them, and that they should make quarterly reports of the work of their Committees, these to be placed in the files of the General Committee, which would later publish an annual report. All of the members present who were appointed as Chairmen of Sub-Committees, signified their acceptance of the appointments.
The following is a list of the Sub-Committees, together with the Chairman ap-pointed for each:
1. Sub-Committee on collection and correlation of aeronautical information. Dr. A. F. Zahm, Chairman, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
2. Sub-Committee on publication and dissemination of aeronautical information. Dr. A. F. Zahm, Chairman, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
3. Sub-Committee on aeronautical meteorology. Dr. W. J. Humphreys, Chairman, U.S. Weather Bureau, Washington, D.C.
4. Sub-Committee on comparative tests and standardization of instruments, motors, and propellers; tests of the tensile, compressive, and bending strengths, and elasticity, weight, etc., of various materials used in aeronautical construction,  and determination of aerodynamical constants. Dr. S. W. Stratton, Chairman, Bureau of Standards, Washington, D.C.
5. Sub-Committee on hydro-mechanic experiments in relation to aeronautics. Naval Constructor H. C. Richardson, Chairman, Washington Navy Yard, Washington, D.C.
6. Sub-Committee on naval air craft design. Captain W. I. Chambers, Chairman, Navy Department, Washington, D.C.
7. Sub-Committee on military air craft design. Major Edgar Russel, Chairman, U.S. Signal Corps, Washington, D.C.
8. Sub-Committee on field experiments with naval air craft. Captain W. I. Cham-bers, Chairman, Navy Department, Washington, D.C.
9. Sub-Committee on field experiments with military air craft. Brig. Gen. George P. Scriven, Chairman, U.S. Signal Corps, Washington, D.C.
10. Sub-Committee on air craft communication. Mr. John Hays Hammond, Jr., Chairman, Gloucester, Mass.
11. Sub-Committee on experimental air craft factory. Naval Constructor H. C. Richardson, Chairman, Washington Navy Yard, Washington, D.C.
12. Sub-Committee on laboratory buildings and equipment. Dr. C. D. Walcott, Chairman, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
13. Sub-Committee on air craft appliances. Brig. Gen. George P. Scriven, Chair-man, U.S. Signal Corps, Washington, D.C.
14. Sub-Committee on natural flight.
15. Sub-Committee on mathematical principles of aeronautics.
The appointment of Chairman for the two Sub-Committees above was left in abeyance.
16. Sub-Committee on Applied Aerodynamics. Dr. A. F. Zahm, Chairman, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. (Organized at meeting of June 23, 1913.)
The matter of bringing the membership of the General Committee up to the prescribed number of fourteen was discussed, but it was decided not to add to the number at present.
The Chairman informed the Committee that the Disbursing Office of the Smithsonian Institution can take charge of any money given for the use of the laboratory, or placed at the disposal of the Committee, either by individuals or by the Government, and disburse the same.
The Chairman, Mr. Walcott, expressed the wish of the meeting that the Chairman of each Sub-Committee should, as soon as practicable, ascertain what data, facilities, etc., are now available to his committee; what work is now going on, and what work should be initiated, this information to be reported to the Chairman of the General Committee.
It was the sentiment of the Committee that no funds should be expended for the development of patents, or for experimenting with patents, for the benefit of individuals.
The Recorder was requested to prepare a statement for publication, recounting the organization of the Committee, and setting forth its scope and purposes. He was also authorized to give the daily press an account of the first meeting.
The Chairman stated that a preliminary draft of the minutes of each meeting would be sent to each member for his approval, with an opportunity to make any corrections or comments desired.
It was decided that when the Committee adjourn, it meet again some time next month, when reports might be received from the various Sub-Committees as to the progress of their organization and work, the exact date of the meeting to be determined by the Chairman later and communicated to each member of the General Committee.
4. House Joint Resolution 413, 63rd Cong., 3rd sess., 1 Feb. 1915.
[The introductory paragraphs state the rationale for the actual resolution, which became (in almost exactly this form) the organic legislation of the NACA enacted as a rider on the naval appropriations bill for 1916. (See App. A.)]
Whereas the United States is the only nation of the first class that does not have an Advisory Committee for Aeronautics to advise and direct in relation to experimental work of the Government, and to provide for the cooperation of governmental and private activities in relation to the unsolved problems of aeronautics; and
Whereas the United States invented and led in the early development of the heavier-than-air flying machine, but nothing being done by the Government to develop the art and to encourage and assist American inventors and manufacturers beyond the purchase of a few flying machines, and the establishment of a small plant at the Washington Navy Yard, it has fallen behind, owing to the policy of inaction and the lack of appreciation of the wisdom of utilizing all of the technical ability and the inventive genius of the Nation; and
Whereas under the guidance of an Advisory Committee for Aeronautics continuity of purpose and action in the development of this science and art is practically guaranteed, unaffected by the change of individuals in administrative positions in the executive departments of the Government; and
 Whereas the expenditure of money appropriated could be more wisely made, and economies secured by the prevention of duplication of investigation and experi-ment, and the development of aeronautics in America placed upon a strong foundation through the influence of a suitable advisory committee; and
Whereas the establishment of such committee would be in the line of the best practice of European nations, such as Great Britain, France, and Germany, all of which have made remarkable progress in aviation under the spirit of cooperation of governmental and civil agencies; and
Whereas under existing law (section nine of the Act approved March fourth, nineteen hundred and nine, Thirty-fifth Statutes, page ten hundred and twenty-seven) it is unlawful for the President or any Government official to appoint a committee, commission, or board on aeronautics without authorization by Congress: Therefore be it
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That an Advisory Committee for Aeronautics is hereby established, and the President is authorized to appoint not to exceed fourteen members, to consist of two members from the War Department, from the bureau in charge of military aeronautics; two members from the Navy Department, from the bureau in charge of naval aeronautics; a representative each of the Smithsonian Institution, of the United States Weather Bureau, and of the United States Bureau of Standards; together with not more than seven additional persons who shall be acquainted with the needs of aeronautical science, either civil or military, or skilled in aeronautical engineering or its allied sciences, three of whom may be residents of the District of Columbia, and the others shall be inhabitants of some State, but not more than one of them from the same State: Provided, That the members of the Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, as such, shall serve without compensation: Provided further, That it will be the duty of the Advisory Committee for Aeronautics to supervise and direct the scientific study of the problems of flight with a view to their practical solution, and to determine the problems which should be experimentally attacked and to discuss their solution and their application to practical questions. In the event of a laboratory or laboratories either in whole or in part being placed under the direction of the committee, the committee may direct and conduct research and experiment in aeronautics in such laboratory or laboratories: And provided further, That rules and regulations for the conduct of the work of the committee shall be formulated by the committee and approved by the President.
Sec. 2. That the sum of $5,000 a year, or so much thereof as may be necessary, for five years is hereby appropriated, out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, to be immediately available, for experimental work and investigations undertaken by the committee, clerical expenses and supplies, and necessary expenses of members of the committee in going to, returning from, and while attending meetings of the committee: Provided, That an annual report to the Congress shall be submitted through the President, including an itemized statement of expenditures.
5. Franklin D. Roosevelt to L. P. Padgett, 12 Feb. 1915, in House Committee on Naval Affairs, National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, H. Rpt. 1423 to accompany H. J. Res. 413, 63/3, 19 Feb. 1915, pp. 2-3.
[As acting secretary of the navy, Roosevelt was requested to comment on a joint resolution to create an advisory committee for aeronautics. Roosevelt endorsed the proposal, defended the navy's record in aeronautical research, and (most importantly) suggested adjusting committee membership so that government members would out-number those from private life. This Progressive approach became a permanent part of the NACA canon.]
DEAR MR. PADGETT: I have received House joint resolution 413, of February 1, 1915, to authorize the appointment of an advisory committee for aeronautics, which was forwarded to me by you, for the views of the department.
 I heartily indorse the principle upon which this joint resolution to authorize an advisory committee for aeronautics is based. This new method of transportation by air craft will in my opinion soon be utilized commercially as well as in the defense of our country. The great military necessity that has brought such rapid development of air craft about in Europe has demonstrated the practical utility of these vessels of the air, and has placed this country far behind in the use of air craft. Especially are the private engineers and contractors behind in their development of air craft.
This department with the largest "wind tunnel" in the world in operation at the Washington Navy Yard; the model basin at the same place for tests of floats for hydro-aeroplanes; the engineering experimental station at Annapolis for tests of machinery; with the aeronautic station and center now in operation at Pensacola, with shops and facilities for all practical tests with actual air craft or the means to provide for them; and with officers studying, experimenting, and training to become aeronautical engineers, has done a great deal to develop the art and the science of aeronautics. However, we will be only too pleased to have an advisory committee that will bring about the cooperation of the private activities and thus greatly increase the effort in attacking the unsolved problems of aeronautics. It is believed that such a committee is the best means required in placing the country on an equality, or even in advance, of other countries in the development of aeronautics.
I have to suggest that in the second paragraph of the aforesaid joint resolution the following be omitted as not pertinent and because it is inaccurate, viz: "but nothing being done by the Government to develop the art and to encourage and assist American inventors and manufacturers beyond the purchase of a few flying machines and the establishment of a small plant at the Washington Navy Yard."
I further suggest that in the fifth line, page 2, of the resolution the word "fourteen" be changed to "ten"; in the fourth line, page 3, the word "seven" be changed to "three"; and in the seventh line, page 3, the word "three" be changed to "one." A committee of 14 seems too large, especially as when this committee is lawfully constituted it can obtain information or advice from all or any sources available without making the advisors a part of the committee. The departments of the Government most interested in the development of aeronautics will be the ones that will be coordinated by the advice of this committee, individually carry out the work required, and be responsible for the expenditures of money appropriated by Congress. Therefore the representatives of the Government should always have the controlling interest in the activities of this proposed committee. The interests of private parties must be more or less commercial and influenced by such considerations. We should guard against even any suspicion that the work of this committee is thus influenced. The above are the important reasons why I recommend the reduced number of members for this proposed advisory committee for aeronautics.
6. Memorandum on a National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, forwarded by Charles D. Walcott to Senator Benjamin R. Tiliman, chairman of the Committee on Naval Affairs, 1 Feb. 1915.
[The excerpt from this memorandum, part of Walcott's personal campaign to establish a national aeronautical laboratory, barely mentions laboratories. Most of the  discussion deals with U.S. resources already available in government agencies, and the lead that the European nations had attained over the United States.]
February 1, 1915.
I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of January 30, 1915, asking for a report showing what action has already been taken by the Smithsonian Institution regarding the joint Resolution providing for the appointment of an Advisory Committee for Aeronautics in the United States.
In response thereto, I have the honor to submit the inclosed memorandum.
I am transmitting also a report on European Aeronautical Laboratories, which gives an outline of what was being done in Europe prior to the outbreak of the present war.
Very respectfully yours,
On May 1, 1913, the Regents of the Smithsonian Institution authorized Secretary Walcott, with the approval of the Executive Committee, to reopen the Langley Aerodynamical Laboratory; to secure an Advisory Committee; to add, as means were provided, other laboratories and agencies; to group them into a bureau organization; and to secure the cooperation with them of the Government and other agencies.
The first action taken by the Secretary was to request the approval of the Presi-dent of the United States of the designation of representatives from the Departments of War, Navy, Agriculture, and Commerce, to serve on an Advisory Committee. On May 9, 1913, the President approved the request, and the Departments named selected their members for the Committee. A number of civilians were also selected for membership. The Committee was then organized, but before effective work could be undertaken, a decision made by the Comptroller of the Treasury, stated that under Section 9 of the Act approved March 4, 1909 (35 Stat., 1027), it was unlawful for any Government employee to serve on such an Advisory Committee without authority being granted by Congress.
The Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution also authorized the Secretary to make an estimate to Congress for the carrying on of operations in such a laboratory. The estimate was made and explained to the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives in January, 1914 (Hearings, Sundry Civil Bill, 63d Congress, 2d Session, pages 419-429). A statement was also made in relation to the desirability of having authority to appoint an Advisory Committee for Aeronautics.
No action was taken by the Committee or by Congress, and the United States remains today the only first class nation in the world that does not have an Advisory Committee or Board on Aeronautics, and one or more aeronautical laboratories  devoted to the solution of problems which the manufacturer and practical aviator meet with in connection with the advancement of aerial flight.
America invented and led in the early development of the heavier-than-air flying machine, through Langley, the Wright Brothers, Curtiss, and others, and a small grant was made by Congress to the Navy Department for experimental work in aeronautics, but nothing was done to encourage or assist American inventors and manufacturers, beyond the purchase of a few machines.
European Countries:-As soon as Americans demonstrated the feasibility of flight by heavier-than-air machines, France took the matter up promptly, and utilized all the available agencies, including the army, navy, and similar establishments, both public and private. Large sums were devoted to the research work by wealthy individuals, and rapid advance was made in the art.
Germany quickly followed, and a fund of one million seven hundred thousand dollars was raised by subscription, and experimentation directed by a group of technically trained and experienced men.
Later England established an Advisory Board, placing the manufacturing and the operation of flying machines in the charge of the army and navy, and turning over the working out of the numerous problems arising to the Advisory Board, an annual appropriation of $25,000 being made for expenses and investigations.
Russia also began serious investigations and construction under the Government, and encouraged private enterprise.
When the European war broke out, France had, exclusive of dirigibles, about 1,400 aeroplanes, Germany 1,000, Russia 800, Great Britain 400, the United States 23. The Navy has 12 of these.
The Joint Resolution authorizing the appointment of an Advisory Committee for Aeronautics is based on the experience of the Advisory Committee of Great Britain and study given to the subject before asking the appointment of an Advisory Committee for the Langley Aerodynamical Laboratory of the Smithsonian Institution.
The amount of the appropriation asked is not large, but it will be sufficient to test the working possibilities of the Committee, and the results obtained by it will determine if it will be of sufficient value to warrant an increase in the appropriations.
At the present time the United States is proposing to appropriate a million dollars for the Navy, and a large amount for the Army, for the purchase and operation of flying machines, but there is no provision in law authorizing the appointment of an Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, and thus leading to the utilization of all of the resources of the Government and of private laboratories and manufacturing plants, as far as may be, in the development of aviation in America.
The Navy Department will go ahead as best it can; the War Department as it can, and private interests as means and opportunity permit. With no central body or clearing house for the various agencies, no place to meet and discuss problems of research, no place to try out new ideas, and no body of expert advisers for Government and civil interests, aeronautics in America will be simply drifting and trusting to luck that all will come out well through sporadic and scattered efforts. What is needed is team work that may be rendered possible by a wisely selected Advisory Committee.
A national Advisory Committee for Aeronautics cannot fail to be of inestimable service in the development of the art of aviation in America. Such a Committee, to be effective should be permanent, and attract to its membership the most highly trained men in the art of aviation and such technical sciences as are connected with it.
Through the agency of sub-committees, the main Advisory Committee could avail itself of the advice and suggestion of a large number of technical and practical men.
 The work for which the British Advisory Committee was appointed was defined in the announcement made by the Prime Minister in the House of Commons on May 5, 1909. . .*
Smithsonian Institution.- The Advisory Committee may be provided by the Smithsonian Institution with suitable office headquarters, an administrative and accounting system, library and publication facilities, lecture and assembly rooms, and museum space for aeronautic models. The Langley Aerodynamical Laboratory has an income provided for it not to exceed ten thousand dollars the first year (of which five thousand dollars has been allotted), and five thousand annually for five years.
US. Bureau of Standards.- For the exact determination of aerophysical constants, the calibration of instruments, the testing of aeronautic engines, propellers and materials of construction, the cooperation of the Department of Commerce, by the U.S. Bureau of Standards, would be invaluable. This Bureau has a complete equipment for studying the mechanics of materials and structural forms used in aircraft; for standardizing the physical instruments- thermometers, barographs, pressure gauges, etc.- used in air navigation; and for testing the power, efficiency, etc., of aeronautical motors in a current of air representing the natural conditions of flight.
In these general branches the technical staff of the Bureau is prepared to undertake such theoretical and experimental investigations as may come before the Advisory Committee on behalf of either the Government or private individuals or organizations.
US. Weather Bureau.- For studies of and reports on every phase of aeronautic meteorology, besides the usual forecasting, the Committee should have the coopera-tion of the Department of Agriculture, through the U.S. Weather Bureau. This Bureau has an extensive library of works on or allied to aeronautics, an instrument division for every type of apparatus for studying the state of the atmosphere, a whirling table of thirty-foot radius for standardizing anemometers, a complete kite equipment with power reel, and a sounding balloon equipment with electrolytic hydrogen plant, all of which are available for scientific investigations. For special formats, anticipating field tests or cross country voyages, the general service of the Bureau may be called upon.
War and Navy Departments.- These Departments, while specially interested in aero-nautics for national defense, can be of service in advancing the general science. Each has an aeronautical library; each has an official representative in foreign countries who reports periodically on every important phase of the art, whether civil or military; each has an assignment of officers who design, test, and operate air craft, and who determine largely the scope and character of their development; each has its aeronautic station equipped with machines in actual service throughout the year. Besides various aviation establishments, the War Department has a balloon plant at Fort Myer, Va., and at Omaha, Neb.; the Navy has its marine Model Basin, useful for special experiments in aeronautics, its extensive shops at the Washington Navy Yard, available for the alteration or repair of air craft, or the manufacture of improved military types, and at Fort Myer, three lofty open-work steel towers suitable for studies in meteorology or aerodynamics in the natural wind. Furthermore, the Navy Department has detailed an officer for special research in aeronautics at one of the principal Engineering Schools.
Because of their fundamental interest in aeronautics, each of these Departments would undoubtedly cooperate most effectively and be able to place at the service of the Committee one or more skilled aviators and aeroplanes for systematic experimentation.
 Conclusion. -There does not appear to be any good reason why America should not be fully abreast of, if not in advance of, other nations in the development of aeronautics in a practical and useful way, not only for purposes of war but for other activities where great speed in transit through the air, over mountains, bodies of water, or like obstacles, is desirable. If as rapid progress is made in the coming decade as has been made in the past ten years, the flying machine will become as permanent a part of the means of rapid and safe transportation, within certain limitations, as the automobile today is in land transportation.
While it is recognized that an Advisory Committee for Aeronautics will not create or invent new machines, it may be the means of encouraging both Governmental and civil activities in such a manner as to lead to results of great size to the Government and all who are interested in the development of successful aviation as an agency of peace as well as of war.
At the present time, the thought of aviation is in connection with war, but there is no apparent reason why, as in the case of the automobile, the flying machine will not be of far greater service in peaceful pursuits than in war.
7. Brig. Gen. George P. Scriven to Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, 16 April 1915.
[This letter from the first chairman of the NACA, written one week before the first meeting, is a fair picture of early military aviation in the United States. It also demon-strates that, from the outset, the army expected the NACA to serve the purposes of the military, even as far as endorsing military requests for increased appropriations before Congress. Here too is perhaps the germ of the idea of a joint military/NACA research center. The NACA rejected Scriven's final proposal for separating the Committee into three boards, but the Executive Committee wound up as a defacto combination of the Administrative Board and Executive Council recommended here.]
April 16, 1915.
To The Advisory Committee for Aeronautics.
In connection with the Act of Congress establishing the Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, I beg to offer the following remarks for the consideration of the Committee.
It appears that the provision of the Act by which the work of the Committee will be guided and limited is mainly covered by the following paragraph of this Act:
"That it shall be the duty of the Advisory Committee for Aeronautics to supervise and direct the scientific study of the problems which should be experimentally attacked, and to discuss their solution and their application to practical questions." From this it should seem that the scope of this Committee's work will cover all problems arising in the study and application of the principles of aerial flight; that is, their field of work will include the two great branches of aeronautical science, namely, the theory, construction and consideration of the heavier-than-air machine, now called the aeroplane; and of the lighter-than-air machine-the gas-bag, in any one of its three forms, the dirigible, the free, or the captive balloon.
Without going into details, it is not too much to say that the most important application of aeronautics at the present time is to be found in the use of aircraft in the military land and naval services. But even here radical differences exist, due to varying conditions, and certain wide divergences arise in character and types of machines to be used, which must be carefully studied and worked out by each service for itself in accordance with needs which can only be known by each and must be decided by each. I refer to such differences as naturally arise from flight over land and water, from scouting against troops, and especially those which may arise in the future regarding  the dirigible which, however valuable to the Navy, has not yet proved important in land operations.
Whatever may be the developments in the field of aeronautics of the future, and whatever may be the applications of aircraft to the uses of the world in time to come, such as exploration, mail delivery, commercial service, life-saving at sea, and other uses, these developments of the actual field of work have not yet come. Not so regarding their military value and uses, and it therefore appears to me that the immediate problems most requiring attention are those relating to aircraft as military machines which implies the study of aeronautics from the point of view of the National defense, that is the consideration of aircraft as fighting and as reconnaissance machines for service over land and sea. If this aspect of the subject is of first importance, as seems now to be the case, I ask the Committee's attention very briefly to the aeronautics work in progress and proposed by the Signal Corps of the Army, and beg to express the hope that the Naval members of the Committee will also outline something of the work and plans of the naval service in this respect.
In regard to the aeronautical work of the Army I may say that it is now confined to the use of the aeroplane alone. It is not believed that any form of the lighter-than-air machine has yet proved its value in war, and no money has recently been available for the construction of the dirigible for land warfare, even for experimental purposes. Not so the aeroplane- now reckoned as of first importance in the field of information and of which it is said that "the uses of the aeroplane in their order of importance are: first, reconnaissance; second, prevention of the enemy's reconnaissance; third, intercommunication; fourth, observation of artillery fire; fifth, infliction of damage to the enemy."
The plan for aviation work adopted by the Army after a long and, I may say, a hard struggle relates therefore to the use of the aeroplane, hydroaeroplane and flying-boat only as a military machine, to the study of types and character of machines, suitable for military work; to the training of officers and men and to the mechanical auxiliary services needed by aero squadrons at centers and in the field. The plan may be outlined in a few words.
First, the primary object to be attained has been the establishment of a prelimi-nary training school at some point where weather and climatic conditions and terrain are the most favorable for instruction in military flying. In other words, it has been the endeavor first to find that locality at which the beginner may be taught to fly with the greatest of safety to himself and in the shortest time; where he may be instructed in the beginnings of aviation and in the work of the military aviator. Such a school is now established at San Diego, California, where there are now on duty 30 officers and 163 enlisted men, and where there are or shortly will be 22 aeroplanes of the biplane tractor type, and one flying boat. At this school there are excellent though inexpensive buildings, barracks, study and lecture rooms, etc. Flights are made five days of the week, and during 1914, 2680 flights were made, 1397 passengers carried, 824 hours spent in the air, and a total distance of 53,560 miles traveled.** It is believed that the school at San Diego, as established, is doing good work in the training of officers and men in the use of aeroplanes, that is, in training them to become pilots, observers, and mechanicians for use in service with the Army, and in preparing a small carefully selected enlisted force for the military aviation service. This is the first step that has been taken.
The second step in the plan which is being carried out by the military authorities is the establishment of an "Aviation Center"-
 The first: By a center here is meant a higher training school for military aviators, which shall also be a rendezvous and depot, where will be placed an aviation unit called the squadron. The aviation center is intended, as in the English Central School, 'to teach the things which make the difference between the mere airman and the military airman, and the course of instruction would include 'progressive flying,' observation, and photography from the air, meteorology, flying by compass, signaling, and (possibly) mechanics and the principles of construction." This squadron as now orga-nized consists of 8 aeroplanes, manned by 8 pilots and 8 observers; with 4 administrative officers in addition, and an enlisted force of 90 men. To the squadron should be added for field service 16 motor trucks for use in transporting spare parts, fuel and other accessories.
The center, it will be understood, should contain a complete and trained unit; the machines be ready for immediate service; and the men who operate them be so experienced and so skillful as to be measurably free from constraint by air currents.
The first aviation center is about to be established at San Antonio, Tex. Here it will be ready for service whenever needed, and will serve and be trained with troops of all arms of service ordinarily stationed at the large garrison of Fort Sam Houston. The center will also form a depot from which detachments of aeroplanes, hydroaeroplanes, etc., may be drawn to supply the needs of the Army in the Philippine Islands, Hawaii, Panama, and in the United States; it will also be drawn upon for service with the Field Artillery and Coast Artillery in their range work, and for all other needed service. Officers and men withdrawn will be recruited from the training school. The buildings for this center are now practically planned and ready for construction, the ground selected, and work is about to begin.
Such are the present plans: One training school at San Diego, Cal., and a first aviation center at San Antonio. Other centers will no doubt be established at various points of the country when needed and when machines and men are available.
At neither the school nor the first center has consideration been given thus far to the dirigible or to the gasbag in any form. No doubt this will come later when money and men are available and perhaps when the present Committee has experimented and made its decision as to the airship, and has decided upon its use as well as upon its limitations. I speak now of its qualities as a carrier.
As to the number and types of aircraft which the Army should acquire at the present time, little need here be said. I personally believe that as a guide it may be considered that a reasonable ratio should be maintained between the size of the Army on one hand and the number of aeroplanes, or dirigibles perhaps, on the other. For when all is said, the air service is but an auxiliary to the Army although an important one, and should therefore be proportioned to its principal, the Army itself; but this auxiliary must be elastic and capable of great expansion in case of necessity. At present I have placed the number of aeroplanes of the first line at four squadrons of 8 aeroplanes*** each and 50% for replacements, and two training machines, that is to say, a total of 50 in the first line. In the light of experience, however, and of present information, I now believe these numbers somewhat small even for present needs, and it is growing more and more evident that with the fragile character of the aeroplane, its frequent injury and destruction, and extended and constant use in a great variety of service that there should be provided a much larger number of machines for the first line and its replacements, that is to say, each machine must have one in reserve. But be that as it may, it is a matter in which the Advisory Committee is not greatly interested. On the contrary, however, I believe the Committee is greatly interested with the total  money cost of aviation, for without monetary assistance liberally given, aeronautics must fall to the ground in this country.
The money appropriated for the use of the Army this year, which is very inadequate, is, all told, but $300,000. A first line of, say, 75 machines in all (23 on hand, 4 squadrons, 100% replacements and, say, 11 training machines), and their maintenance for a year will amount to, say, $750,000 for aeroplane service alone. No account being taken here of the dirigible, even for experimental service. These figures, of course, are very roughly calculated, but they are given with the idea of showing those interested in aeronautics what is considered as the present military needs of the country in this respect, and when the proper time comes will be fully outlined and explained.
It is not meant, of course, that the Advisory Committee has more than a general interest in the actual military requirements of the country, as this is a matter which, of course, must be decided by the Army on the one side and by the Navy on the other. But in regard to money considerations and the general interest of the country and of Congress in aeronautics, the Committee has, I think, a vital interest, and for this and other reasons I am impelled to invite the attention of the Committee to the seriousness of the question of providing sufficient money for this new military branch of service. It cannot be doubted that the views of the Committee officially expressed will have great authority and weight and that such expression will serve to check many of the loose and confusing statements, often entirely erroneous, which appear from time to time in the public prints and have unfortunately found voice in Congress itself.
It appeared clear during several of such discussions of the past winter that each individual has a theory of his own in regard to the value of aeronautics to the country, and as to numbers and kinds of aircraft and amount of money required for this auxiliary. There seemed to be no consensus of opinion regarding the needs of the military, and perhaps, of the naval service. Estimates of the size and cost of aeronautical armament varied largely with the caprice of the speaker; there was no standard recognized, although one existed at the War Department; there was no budget, in spite of official reports; and statements were made of a very injurious character, often as unfair as they were unfounded, regarding the efforts being made to create an air service and concerning the progress of this work. The facts are that a very good beginning had been made, as I know, in the Army, and I believe, in the Navy. Many of the people making these attacks had no appreciation or knowledge of the work done and planned.
Nothing, as it seems to me, will so readily bring order from this chaos as the carefully considered and authoritative decisions of this Advisory Committee, approved and transmitted to Congress by and through proper authority. From their consideration it is to be hoped that it may be found to be within the scope of the Advisory Committee for Aeronautics to receive, and support, recommendations from its military, naval, or civilian members, concerning the needs of each service in this great new field of work in order that this important advisory body may recommend and support with all the authority vested in it the requests for the annual amounts of money asked by the proper authorities of each service for the aeronautical service of the Army, of the Navy, and of other services, with the hope that these recommendations submitted to Congress and having all the force of finality and authority of this Committee shall give a sanction to each department budget that will give Congress a satisfactory ground that shall be standard and beyond cavil.
Such recommendations would of course be confined merely to a repetition of the money requests made by each of the Departments and constitute a kind of aeronautical budget.
I do not venture to offer an opinion as to the legal powers of this Committee to make such a recommendation, simply as to money be it understood, but such action seems both wise and proper.
 The point that I desire to bring out is that I believe nothing will better advance the cause of aeronautics in the United States than for this Advisory Committee to recommend and urge with all its authority the appropriations for the Army of such a sum of money (in accordance with its requirements); for other departments so much; for scientific work so much, etc.
I beg to offer one further matter for consideration.
The members of the Advisory Committee are so widely scattered in residence and have no doubt so many diverse interests that it is not probable the Committee as a whole can meet at frequent intervals. I therefore suggest that there be formed, in any way that the Committee sees fit, three working boards. First: An Administrative Board, to be composed of seven members (a majority of the whole Committee), who will give consideration to practical questions of procedure; to methods of encouragement to manufacturers of aeroplanes, dirigibles, and especially to makers of motors; to practical tests and kindred matters; and who shall have authority to act, upon the approval of the entire Committee, as an administrative council for the Committee. The membership of this board might well be made up of the representative of the Smithsonian Institution; the Army and Navy representatives; representatives of the Treasury Department, and of the Agricultural Department.
An Administrative Board thus composed of officers of the Government might well constitute the working board for this Advisory Committee in practical, as distinguished from scientific, matters. The Board being made up of individuals living as a rule in Washington would in general be available at once for duty and ready to meet without added expense. In short, the Administrative Board would be charged with the ordinary conduct of practical affairs of the Advisory Committee. Its decisions and actions would of course be subject to the approval of that Committee as a whole.
A second, or Scientific, Board is suggested to be composed of the remaining five members of the Advisory Committee, gentlemen of the highest scientific standing who, as in the case of the British Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, would be given charge of the scientific and experimental side of aeronautics, the improvements in aerial machines, and their accessories; and of such matters as are mentioned in the English Report of the Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, 1911-12, that is, of general questions in aerodynamics; experiments on airships and aerofoil models, etc.; notes on the resistance of airship shapes; experiments on models of aeroplane wings; the wind resistance of aeroplane struts and an examination of their relative merits; investigation by visual and photographic methods; full-scale experiments; propellers, theory; motors for aeronautical purposes; materials of construction, and fabrics.
It is thought that these two boards will cover the field of endeavor outlined for the Advisory Committee, but for the purpose of practically applying conclusions reached,- a third board, or Executive Council, if it pleases the Committee to so call it, may well be formed.
It is further suggested that this Executive Council be composed of three members selected by the Committee; and that to the Council be given authority to act upon business matters; to outline the scope of work of the other two boards; investigate the subjects to be submitted to them and those that shall be received from outside sources for consideration by the Advisory Committee. The Council might also be given power to authorize the expenditure of funds; audit accounts and to submit reports; in fact, to perform the functions of a board of control, but always subject to the approval of the entire Advisory Committee. These suggestions are only submitted in a general way, without attempt at rigorous definition unnecessary in this place.
In submitting the foregoing remarks to the consideration of the Committee, I remain,
 8. Josephus Daniels to President Wilson, 30 Nov. 1915.
[Until the NACA was decreed an independent office in 1917, its appropriation appeared as part of the navy budget, as its organic legislation was part of a naval appropriations bill. In this letter, Secretary of the Navy Daniels took exception to the NACA's bid to acquire a laboratory, both because the request would further inflate his own budget and because he considered it contrary to the original plan for the Committee.]
November 30, 1915.
My dear Mr. President:
Last year, as you will remember, Congress appropriated $5,000.00 to cover the expenses of a National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics. Dr. Walcott of the Smith-sonian Institute talked to you about it, if my recollection is right, and the appropriation was carried in the Naval Bill.
The Advisory Committee has sent over estimates for next year to the amount of $85,000.00, and requested me to include them this year in the Navy Bill. The increase in our estimates is so large that I hesitate to include them because this Advisory Committee was effected for the development of aviation generally, and not particularly for the Navy. It seems to me they are asking for a very large sum, and that in-as-much as I am asking money for the Naval Consulting Board I ought not to ask for this as well in the Naval Bill. They maintain that this is the only way their appropriation can be obtained. Undoubtedly this Advisory Board can do important work, but it seems to me that when they ask for buildings and equipment they are getting outside of their position as advisors merely, and are beginning a new establishment.
9. Woodrow Wilson tojosephus Daniels, 2 Dec. 1915.
[The president concurs with the thoughts expressed in Document 8. Charles D. Walcott subsequently won the president over to the NACA view.]
DECEMBER 2, 1915.
My dear Daniels:
I have your letter about the Advisory Committee for Aeronautics and entirely agree with the judgement you there express. I think the committee would make a great mistake in extending its expenses as proposed and might imperil the success of the whole plan of advice.
 10. Report of the Subcommittee on a Site for Experimental Work and Proving Grounds for Aeronautics, 23 Nov. 1916: excerpt from minutes of Executive Committee meeting, 23 Nov. 1916.
[Charles D. Walcott, Charles F. Marvin, and Samuel W. Stratton had been ap-pointed to recommend a site for the NACA laboratory. They considered such factors as:
In the end they endorsed the site chosen by the army. Many of the advantages cited by the subcommittee proved to be disappointing.]
Your Committee took advantage of examinations that already had been made under the direction of the Aviation Corps of the War Department, and thus narrowed the search very materially. By a study of topographic maps and the Coast Survey charts, it was soon discovered that there were very few areas that would meet the requirements considered essential by the Committee. By a process of elimination and by personal inspection it was finally decided that the site most nearly meeting all required conditions was situated about 4 miles north of Hampton, Virginia, on the flat lands facing the two branches of Back River, which opens out into Chesapeake Bay. This site is available for purchase at the present time to the extent of 1600 acres or more. It has large areas of cleared land now under cultivation. The removal of a few trees, fences, and a little brush would give a clear field 2 miles or more in length by a half a mile in width. This area could be increased materially by the cutting of a few small groves of trees and brush. There is also available for future purchase several square miles or more of desirable ground.
Most of the area under consideration for a site is about from 4 to 6 feet above mean high tide, and where not naturally well drained, could be drained without undue expense. There are several farm houses and buildings that could be made immediately available for housing quarters, temporary shops, etc.
On the water front there are well-protected and broad inlets. A channel could be readily dredged from the deep water of Chesapeake Bay to a landing station.
The requirements being so fully met by the area north of Hampton, your Commit-tee strongly recommends that this site be secured as soon as practicable.
In view of the general importance of aeronautics in National defense and for the civil activities of the Government and people, it is also the judgment of the Committee that on the site proposed there shall be established a combined experimental and proving ground, affording facilities for all departments of the Government needing them. Such cooperation will lead to a more rapid, sound, and economical development of aeronautics in America.
11. Minutes of the meeting of the NA CA Subcommittee on Patents, 10 July 1917.
[Negotiations leading to the cross-licensing agreement of 1917 were rocky and complicated. The meeting reported here was dominated by the issues of membership  in the Aircraft Manufacturers Association and inclusion of engines in the agreement. Although government members were virtually unanimous in feeling that engines should be included, the Wright-Martin representatives' views prevailed.]
The committee met in room 518 Munsey Building at 10:30 a.m.
Dr. W. F. Durand, Acting Chairman,
Dr. S. W. Stratton,
Mr. W. Benton Crisp,
Mr. Sidney D. Waldon,
Rear Admiral D. W. Taylor, U.S.N.,
Professor John F. Hayford,
The Chairman stated that this meeting had been called to consider the terms of a draft of the proposed cross-license agreement as prepared by Mr. Crisp of the Subcommittee on Patents after consultation with Mr. Fish and the latter's business partner, Mr. Neave, and Messrs. Houston, Tarbox, Flint, and Russell.
Mr. Crisp stated that shortly after the meeting of the Patents Committee on June 18, 1917, he conferred with Mr. Neave, business partner of Mr. Fish, and practically reached an understanding on the main features of the agreement; that then Mr. Houston, Mr. Tarbox, and Mr. Russell were called into conference, the latter sending Mr. Flint in his place; that, as a result of careful deliberation extending over several days, the plan as originally proposed by the committee had been modified in a few important particulars as follows:
Mr. Crisp stated that it is also provided in the agreement that the Government may take from any manufacturer the complete design of an airplane and place it with another manufacturer for production, upon the manufacturer agreeing to pay 1% of the cost of the airplane to the manufacturer from whom the design was taken; that, if the design is placed with a manufacturer not a subscriber to the cross-license agreement, he should pay $200 per airplane to the Aircraft Manufacturers' Association in addition to the 1% of the cost to the other manufacturer.
Mr. Crisp then explained briefly the provisions of each section of the proposed cross-license agreement.
The first matter discussed was the subject of the qualifications for membership in the Association. Mr. Russell read the by-laws of the Association and suggested that they could be amended to provide that any manufacturer who had obtained Govern-ment business would be eligible for membership.
Mr. Tarbox moved that the matter of requirements for membership in the Asso-ciation be referred to a committee of five to be appointed by he Chairman with instructions to make a report this afternoon.
Mr. Houston offered an amendment that the committee be instructed to give careful attention to the legal phases of limitation of stock ownership in a corporation of this nature. This amendment was accepted by Mr. Tarbox.
Mr. Russell stated that the question of limitation of membership is a matter that cannot be handled by a committee in a short time, and that it should receive the very particular attention of the boards of directors of the Wright and Curtiss Companies.
After discussion and on motion duly seconded and carried, it was,
RESOLVED, that the matter of requirements for membership in the Aircraft Manufacturers Association be referred to a committee of five to be appointed by the Chairman with instructions to make a report this afternoon, and to give careful attention to the legal phases of limitation of stock ownership in a corporation such as the Aircraft Manufacturers Association.
Mr. B. S. Foss raised the question as to who was entitled to vote. After discussion of this question, the Chairman ruled that all present would be entitled to vote.
Mr. Mingle stated that he had been appointed counsel for the Aircraft Manufacturers Association, but that he had not seen a copy of the proposed cross-license agreement until this morning. He suggested that inasmuch as the Association would hold a meeting in Washington tomorrow, Mr Crisp outline the status of the agreement and that this meeting adjourn to allow the Association to consider the proposed agreement.
Mr. Houston stated that the Association should have the general expression of opinion of this body today as to the qualifications for membership, for consideration at its meeting tomorrow.
The Chairman then put the above resolution to a second vote on the understanding that everyone present would be entitled to a vote. After an aye and nay vote, the Chairman announced the resolution was carried unanimously.
Mr. Crisp then suggested that particular paragraphs of the proposed agreement be called up by the members for discussion.
Mr. Noble Foss inquired as to the reason for including propeller hubs and radiators as a part of an airplane, rather than as a part of the engine unit.
Mr. Houston stated that the framers of the agreement had considered the probability that any further developments in radiators or propeller hubs would be along the line of their application to airplanes and propellers, rather than along the line of their  application to engines; in other words, by including them as a part of the airplane proper, the subscribers to the cross-license agreement would obtain the benefit of any patented improvements which may come in either of those two factors; and that he believed such patented improvements will come along the line of attachments to planes and attachments to propellers.
Mr. Tarbox stated that the Patent Office classified hubs as a separate invention.
Mr. Russell stated that since there are no basic patents on engines, they had been eliminated from the agreement, particularly because the Wright Company could not cross-license the Hispano-Suiza engine.
In reference to the exclusion of the "Dunne" patents, Mr. Russell stated that the Burgess Company found itself with an exclusive license in very much the same form as the Wright Company had with the Hispano-Suiza Company. He stated that it is the intention of the Burgess Company as soon as possible to place their contract with the holders of the "Dunne" patents in such form as will enable the Burgess Company to cross-license under the "Dunne" patents. He stated that the Burgess Company had a right to cross-license to other manufacturers in this country, but that the 1% license which they were required to pay would exclude, for financial reasons, cross-licensing these patents.
Mr. Crisp inquired if the Burgess Company would enter into a separate agreement that it will by a certain date agree to cross-license, to which Mr. Russell replied that the Burgess Company would endeavor to do this, and would agree to endeavor to do so.
Mr. Houston suggested that the Burgess Company enter into an agreement with other subscribers to the effect that it will cross-license the "Dunne" patents, provided it receives sufficient compensation to meet the terms of its contract with the holders of the "Dunne" patents.*****
Mr. Noble Foss inquired if the Hispano-Suiza patents may not be so broad as to be as important and controlling as the airplane patents owned by the Wright and Curtiss Companies. Mr. Tarbox stated that the Hispano-Suiza patents could not be construed as basic; that in order to be basic at this time, a patent would have to embody some new principle of operation, and that it is extremely unlikely that anything basic could be construed to exist in the Hispano-Suiza engine.
Mr. Houston stated that he believed engineers of the Wright Company would in time be able to produce improvements in the Hispano-Suiza engine that would make unnecessary the use of the patents controlling it.
Mr. Uppercue stated it would be a vital mistake not to embody engines in the cross-license agreement, as the engine is the backbone of aeronautic development.
Mr. Tarbox stated that the Curtiss Company would be willing to enter into a cross-license agreement on engines under certain conditions.
Mr. Morse stated that there are three distinct parties in interest in the proposed agreement,- the Government, the Curtiss and Wright Companies, and the Association; that the introduction of the engine into the proposed agreement puts a burden on the manufacturer, inasmuch as the agreement provides for the payment of 1% for the use of another's designs, including engine. He suggested that engines be omitted from the agreement.
Mr. Uppercue stated that in the future the plane manufacturers would in all probability manufacture their own engines, and that, therefore, engines should be included in the agreement.
Mr. Mingle suggested that it might be advisable for the Aircraft Manufacturers Association, as aircraft manufacturers and not as engine manufacturers, to recognize and recommend to its aircraft manufacturing members a cross-license agreement  covering airplanes, and making arrangements that the "Company" mentioned in the agreement pay to the Association the surplusses therein set forth, making the aircraft licensing agreement and its "Company" absolutely an outside interest from the aircraft association itself.
Mr. Houston stated that the Wright-Martin Company was not in a position to cross-license the Hispano-Suiza patents, but that it would include in the cross-license agreement such improvements as may be developed by its own organization.
Mr. Tarbox offered the following motion:
RESOLVED, that it is the sense of this meeting that engines should be included in the terms of the cross-license agreement.
The motion was duly seconded and discussed. The Chairman put the question to an aye and nay vote and announced that the ayes seemed to have it, whereupon a division was called and a rising vote taken. The Chairman announced the result as follows: eight in favor, four opposed. The motion was therefore carried.
Mr. Crisp requested definite action, in addition to the expression of the sense of the meeting, on the question of including engines in the cross-license agreement. Mr. Mingle stated that this matter will be taken up by the Association immediately upon the adjournment of this meeting. The Chairman stated that the Subcommittee on Patents would also consider the matter promptly.
Mr. Harris stated if he and Admiral Taylor could be recognized as speaking for the Government, they would say as a matter of record that the Government desires that engines be included in the agreement.
Admiral Taylor, in referring to paragraph 8, "Payments to the Company," section (a), stated that in his opinion the agreement should provide that in no event should royalties continue to be paid to the Wright Company after the life of its alleged basic patent. At this point, Admiral Taylor and Mr. Harris withdrew.
The question of royalties for repairs and spare parts was discussed.
Mr. Houston stated that at a previous meeting it was agreed that it would be difficult to measure the license to be paid on miscellaneous spare parts and that, therefore, an arbitrary sum should be paid on each airplane as a unit and that the proposed agreement should ignore all spare parts or miscellaneous business done.
Pursuant to previous suggestion of Admiral Taylor, it was recorded as the sense of the meeting that payments to the Wright Company should cease with the life of its patent #821,393 and that payments to the Curtiss Company should run until the expiration of the Curtiss patents, provided that in no event shall the total paid to the Curtiss Company exceed $2,000,000.
The Chairman announced the special committee to consider the question of qualifications for membership in the Association as follows: Messrs. Crisp (Chairman), Harris, Mingle, Russell, and Houston, and the committee was instructed to hold a meeting during the luncheon recess.
Thereupon, at 1 p.m. the Chairman declared a recess until 4 p.m.
The committee reconvened at 4 p.m. Present: Messrs. Durand (Chairman), Crisp, Mingle, Flint, Tarbox, Houston, Russell, Day, Harris, Uppercue, B. S. Foss, Noble Foss, and Fay L. Faurote of the Curtiss Company.
Mr. Crisp, for the committee on qualifications for membership in the Association, submitted the following report:
A stockholder of this corporation shall be a responsible manufacturer of airplanes, airplane engines, or parts and accessories used in airplanes; a responsible manufacturer who intends to become bona fide producer of airplanes or airplane engines, parts, or accessories; or a manufacturer to whom the Government has given a contract for the construction of ten or more complete airplanes or airplane engines; but no stockholder herein shall acquire or own more than one share of the stock of said corporation.
 On motion duly seconded and carried it was,
RESOLVED, that the report of the committee on qualifications for membership in the Aircraft Manufacturers Association be accepted and approved.
Mr. Mingle stated that the Aircraft Manufacturers Association would hold an official meeting tonight to discuss the provisions of the proposed agreement by sections.
The Chairman stated that in an informal way every member of the Subcommittee on Patents who had been present at previous discussions of the patent question had expressed the opinion that engines should be included in the cross-license agreement.
Mr. Houston suggested that the cross-license agreement be re-drafted immediately to include engines so that it could be acted upon by the Association tonight or tomorrow and be ready for approval by the Subcommittee on Patents and the Execu-tive Committee of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics by Thursday, July 12.
There being no objection, the Chairman appointed a special committee to re--draft the cross-license agreement, consisting of the following: Messrs. Crisp (Chairman), Tarbox, Houston, Mingle, and Russell.
Thereupon, at 4:30 p.m. the meeting adjourned to meet Thursday, July 12, at 10:45 a.m., to receive a communication from the Aircraft Manufacturers Association.
12. John F. Hayford, "Statement of Policy, "28 April 1917, as adopted by the Executive Committee 7 Aug. 1917, and by the NACA 4 Oct. 1917.
[During his year as chairman of the NACA, Professor John F. Hayford of Northwestern University attempted to instill in the Committee a scientific and academic approach to research. The NACA adopted Hayford's statement of policy, but over the years it adhered to some provisions more closely than to others. Although the Committee devoted considerable attention to data-gathering and comparison of test with freeflight conditions, it rarely subsidized outside researchers in preference to its own staff.]
In supervising and directing "The scientific study of the problems of flight, with a view to their practical solution," the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics deems it advisable, with a view to securing maximum effectiveness, to carry out the policy indicated in the following paragraphs numbered 1 to 5.
(1) It is of prime importance to secure instrumental records of the facts in regard to airplanes in free flight and to use these records for co-ordinating and testing conclusions from investigations made otherwise. In particular such records should be used:
(a) To determine the extent to which conclusions from separate investigations are modified by the assemblage of parts of an airplane into one organized whole and by the difference between free-flight conditions and the conditions under which the investigations were made.
(b) To select and to formulate the problems which it is important to solve and to obtain an estimate of the relative importance of these problems.
(c) To formulate a true understanding of the conditions of safety in operation, to develop the corresponding indicators and possibly also to determine the best climbing attitude and the economic speed.
 (2) The groups of activities which should be fostered in the laboratory which is under the direct supervision of the Committee are in order of their probable relative importance:
(a) Those which contribute to the securing and interpreting of the instrumental records indicated in paragraph (1) or which contribute to the use of such records for the purposes indicated in that paragraph.
(b) Those which serve to suggest or to formulate new laboratory methods of attack on specific aeronautic problems.
(c) Those activities which supplement, in a way which is clearly necessary or desirable, the investigations which have been or are being made elsewhere.
(3) The Committee should endeavor to keep in as close touch as is feasible with all scientific studies of the problems of flight, made anywhere.
(4) The Committee should endeavor to contribute to the success of scientific studies of the problems of flight in laboratories which are independent of the Committee, by direct conference and suggestion, by indicating the probable lines of least resistance to progress, by formulating definite problems and general indications of good methods of attack upon them, and by publishing general reviews or summaries of progress to date.
(5) Whenever a choice is to be made, in attacking a definite research problem, between subsidizing an independent laboratory (or man) and using the Committee laboratory and its regular staff, the Committee will be guided by the relative facilities available, but should in general favor subsidizing, in order to encourage independent research.
13. Lee M. Griffith to Executive Committee, 4 April 1918.
[When Lee Griffith prepared this memorandum, he was an employee of the War Department, detailed to the NACA as an aeronautical mechanical engineer. He rose to senior staff engineer at headquarters before leaving the Committee early in 1920. He returned late in 1922 to become Engineer-in-Charge at Langley Laboratory, only to depart again in 1924 after falling foul of John Victory. This memorandum is the clearest single exposition of the policies and philosophies that were to guide the NACA. Whether Griffith set the tone with this memo, or simply captured the drift of events, is impossible to say. Given the Committee's somewhat erratic course in the early years, the former seems more likely. (The chart mentioned in paragraph three is missing.)]
To the Executive Committee,
National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics,
4th & Missouri Ave., Washington, D.C.
As the result of close association with the work of the N.A.C.A. during the past seven months, the writer has had his attention forcibly drawn to certain defects in the present methods of conducting the functions of this Committee. I have come to the service of the Committee from commercial life and have, as a natural result, noted with great misgivings the effort to enlarge our work and influence by means of the prevailing loose and disorganized methods. While I do not wish to appear to pose as an efficiency authority, I do wish to bring to the attention of the Executive Committee some rather definite suggestions and ideas regarding what to my mind are the principal steps to be taken before the N.A.C.A. can be said to be reasonably well organized or  prepared to properly fulfill the requirements of the great field which I believe now lies before it.
The following remarks are based on the assurance that the members of this Committee are actuated by the ambition that the N.A.C.A. shall continue to enlarge its value to the nation, and that the goal shall be nothing less than complete recognition as the leading authority and guiding body in the future development of the science of aerial navigation. Especially during times of stress, such as the present, nothing less is to be thought of than the most complete and effective extension of the activities of the Committee to adequately cover its every possible service to our country.
The ordinary commercial enterprise has certain very definite requirements to meet, in order that a reasonable degree of success may reward the effort expended, and these fundamental requirements apply to the governmental body as forcibly as to the purely private enterprise. All are familiar with the fact that the great majority of business failures are the result of failure to observe those laws which would direct the effort in the right direction.
Since the middle of January of this year, the personnel under the direct supervision of the Committee has approximately trebled and the amount of work has increased at a much greater rate. At the present time the force is inadequate to properly handle the immediate work, even at the expense of the almost entire disregard of several fields of usefulness which would seem to naturally come within our scope. On the other hand, I believe that before much further enlargement of the personnel is made, time should be given to the formulation of concrete conceptions regarding the governing requirements which must become our guide in the future, if the Committee is to continue to enlarge its authority and influence in the development of aeronautics.
The ten most important requirements to be observed in the conduct of the activities of the Committee can be briefly stated in the following terms. The order of arrangement is approximately that of their relative importance, at the present time and under the present conditions.
It should be interesting to take these requirements into consideration, one at a time, and study their application to the conditions involved in the work of this Commit-tee. Being more directly in contact with the details of the work than are the members of the Executive Committee, I may naturally be expected to have a keener appreciation of the difficulties under which the work is being conducted. Therefore, if my remarks seem to be too forceful, I merely ask consideration of the fact that it is desired to bring the ideas prominently to the front.
1. A DEFINITE STATEMENT OF INTENDED SERVICES. It is axiomatic that any enterprise cannot continue to exist unless it is rendering some very definite service to humanity; it must supply some want, whether that want existed previously or not. This service may consist in the supply of materials, manufactured articles, personal services, money, etc. I, together with other members of the personnel, have very hazy ideas regarding the nature of the services that this Committee is endeavoring to render, or is capable of rendering. The act of Congress establishing this Committee  authorized them to "supervise and direct the scientific study of the problems of flight" and "direct and conduct research and experiment in aeronautics." As the most important of our present services we may write down the following:
The field of services under (a) is being invaded only in a very modest way, in spite of the unique position which the Committee occupies as an entirely independent government body and which position distinguishes it as the only aeronautic authority of unquestioned right to arbitrate matters between departments. The renown and authority of the Committee will be greatly increased by the energetic endeavor to have the services of this body utilized to the fullest extent in this field.
It goes without saying that the services enumerated under (b) should be accelerated to the greatest possible extent, consistent with the funds available for both governmental and private sources, since this is the service that can be best rendered by a body of leading scientific men such as constitute this Committee. Up to the present time, the only extensive work in this field has been in the domains of the internal combustion power plant and the screw propeller, and even here, it can hardly be said that the vast problems have been much more than lightly touched upon. The other principal items of airplane research, the aerodynamic problems, have not as yet been even touched by this Committee excepting the propeller applications, although the facilities are being slowly acquired. The large problems connected with the provision of satisfactory aeronautical instruments are being touched upon but lightly, although it is understood to be the intention to carry on this work in an extensive manner in the Committee's laboratory. The broad plans should include provision for the most com-plete laboratory equipment as well as the most competent personnel which can be obtained for comprehensive research work in all the various branches of the whole subject of aeronautics.
The services under (c) have begun in a modest sort of way and preliminary results are beginning to show the value of this work. Here again, it would seem that the independent position of the Committee should make it the only logical recipient and disburser of aeronautical information. This idea should be persistently fostered, in spite of the opposition likely to be aroused, so that this body may really assume the position of final authority indicated by its very name, National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics.
The service (d) is the only one which is at present in any manner being fully exploited, and even here we are not as yet recognized as constituting the only proper medium for the handling of these matters. Much work remains to be yet done before it becomes fully acknowledged by all other government departments that all aeronautic inventions and ideas are to be referred to this Committee for the determination of their value. Our testing and evaluation functions are at present being exercised in a small way only. Our facilities for this service should be promptly enlarged and the ability of the personnel therein engaged increased.
Under the head of (e) are considered those services which, in the last analysis, determine the ability of the Committee to get its work "across". If the result of all the  other classes of service cannot be brought to the point of demonstrable success, the work has largely gone for naught, and the value of the Committee as a force for the advancement of the art will be small indeed. Every effort should be made to get work of known value into active operation.
The thought which should dominate the consideration of the matter under (1) is that some definable statement should be formulated which will cover clearly the whole field of the service of the Committee to all others, as at present conceived. Absolute completeness is not essential even if it were considered possible, since it is readily understood that the opportunities for service will be subject to change from time to time. The idea is that a clear statement at this time will act as a beacon to guide us away from the things which we should not attempt to those which we should accom-plish. Until it is known what we are trying to do, it is impossible to formulate any system or build any organization for the doing of that thing.
2. A DEFINITE STATEMENT OF POLICY. This requirement was partly covered by the "Statement of Policy" adopted by the Executive Committee on August 7th, 1917, and by the main Committee on October 4th, 1917. However, the above state-ment is more properly one of program outline than a general policy. Policy concerns itself only with the broad general principles of action and control.
Perhaps one of the most important items under this head is the determination and recording of the desirable rate of expansion of the services, renown and authority of the Committee. In view of the existing encroachment of other governmental bodies into the fields which may be construed to belong to this Committee, it can hardly be considered that we should do less than perfect our service in all directions at the earliest possible moment. However, a clear understanding of such policy will certainly be an effective stimulant to the work of all.
Other items of policy are contained in the rules for the conduct of the work of the Committee, as given in the pamphlet "Rules and regulations for the conduct of the work of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics".
It shall be the policy of this Committee to:
-Exercise all the functions authorized in the Act of Establishment. This should be given a very liberal interpretation, as enumerated partially under (1) above, and should be subject to occasional examination to ensure that no important function is being neglected.
-Formulate definite rules to govern its contact with other government bodies and the methods of making its services available to the same. The same shall be done for private institutions, businesses and individuals, and shall provide for the whole or partial compensation of the expenses incurred by the Committee in conducting the services rendered.
-Expend no funds in the rendering of services which do not promote the art and science, or the industry, of aeronautics as a whole; as distinct from exclusive benefit to individuals or individual enterprises.
-Secure the services of the most competent available men in this country for the guidance of its various technical and scientific activities, as well as for the performance of the same, and to compensate these men in proportion to their value to the work of the Committee.
-Encourage the conduct of associated or independent research and development work by other institutions, corporations and individuals, and to aid in making such work of benefit to all interested in aeronautics.
3. A DEFINITE PLAN OF ORGANIZATION. At the present time the personnel engaged in the activities of the Committee are working without any definite knowledge of the duties which they are expected to perform or of the extent of their individual responsibility to the public or to the Committee, or of the extent of the authority which they are expected to exercise. Obviously, such a condition of uncertainty does not tend  to the development of the maximum interest in the individual duties of the employee or of enthusiastic cooperation in the furtherance of the work of the Committee as a whole. Also, the inevitable overlap or neglect of various specific items of the work are conducive to constant misunderstandings, arguments, and general inefficiency. The net result can hardly be said to benefit the work or contribute to that harmonious cooperation which alone results in the greatest measure of success. The interesting or attractive work is likely to be assumed by more than one person while the duller work is subject to neglect. The lines of responsibility and authority should be sharply defined for each position in the organization. If the plan of organization is to remain permanent, it should connect the positions only and not the individuals who may at any time happen to fill them.
The attached chart of such an organization will serve to disclose the principal relations and positions which appear to the writer to be necessary to provide for a clear and logical mechanism for the conduct of the enlarged services which now lie before the Committee. In this plan of organization, the various branches of our work are clearly separated into the main divisions, considered from a technical standpoint, in order that there may be the least possible necessity for a wide variation of the talent in any main division, or the character of duties performed therein. As the general supervision of the functions and services of the Committee is performed by the acting subcommittees in charge of the various divisions of the work, it is naturally assumed that these subcommittees should be placed at the head of the various organization branches having directly to do with their particular fields of work. This would certainly seem to be an entirely logical arrangement, since the Executive Committee is the instrument through which the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics carries out its activities, according to the rules and regulations. Naturally the Executive Committee looks to its various subcommittees to actually carry out the specific work in hand, acting, of course, in conjunction with the available facilities of that branch of the organization which is operating on that class of work under consideration.
The two broad divisions into which the organization is divided, under the General Manager, seem to be perfectly natural and logically designated as the Engineering Division and the Administrative Division. The further separation of the Eng. Div. into the various subdivisions enumerated as Aeronautic Eng'g., Mechanical Eng'g., Inventions, and Intelligence, can hardly be considered otherwise than fundamental. The subdivision of the Administrative Division into Secretary, Disbursing, Purchasing, Stenographic and Typing, also seem to be logical. Further subdivisions have been less carefully considered, although the whole plan is the result of considerable thought, and is offered as a basis for the construction of a finished structure which shall be ample to provide for the future growth of the N.A.C.A. to many times its present size. It is by no means intended or expected that all of the positions indicated are to be filled at the present time or in the immediate future, but that in some cases a number of the positions may at the present time be filled by one man. However, as the work increases to such an extent as to be beyond the capacity of any department head to give it adequate attention, the proper subdivision is at once indicated and the duties of the head of the newly occupied position are automatically defined without the slightest reorganization or misunderstanding. This is really one of the most important advantages offered by the adoption of such a definite plan of organization at the earliest possible moment, consistent with a proper consideration of such organization.
4. A CAPABLE MANAGER HAVING FULL AUTHORITY. This is one of the most important requirements to be satisfied, since in no other, way than by the establishment of such a position can the activities of the Committee be kept at the highest pitch. Any possible supervision of the work by a committee can hardly be expected to even approximate the degree of effectiveness offered by the provision of a General Manager who is at all times on the job and available to eliminate any difficulties  which arise in the prosecution of the work. The Committee cannot be expected to meet oftener than once every week, and this is by no means sufficient to keep the work moving at the most effective speed, even if a committee can be induced to carefully consider the details of the execution of a problem. Committee supervision is most valuable for the initial statement of the problem and the general methods to be adopted in its attempted solution, followed by a general supervision approaching in its nature that of a consulting body, and the final presentation of the results after careful consideration in the form of a report.
One of the chief functions of the General Manager is to at all times represent the ever-present embodiment of the spirit of the Executive Committee in the control of the work and functions. He it is who must be responsible for the uninterrupted prosecution of the various services of the Committee, and the maintenance of the "esprit de corps" which is so necessary to the effective operation of the organization. If the activities of the N.A.C.A. are to continue to enlarge, it becomes increasingly important to have some controlling officer of the Committee always in direct touch with the work and always immediately available for consultation and orders concerning the doubtful or out-of-the-ordinary, items of work. This requirement can best be met by the provision of such a General Manager, who shall constitute the routine head of the organization.
The General Manager must be given full authority over the members of the organization, to the same extent as he is empowered in the commercial field, in order that he may be able to do constructive work. Without full authority to add to or diminish the personnel, make minor changes in the practices of the work, etc., he cannot be expected to act as much more than advisor, whose advice can be ignored by a member of the organization with impunity. Of course, his actions are to be guided and controlled by the written policy and regulations of the Committee.
For this post, a man should be selected from the business world who has had extended experience in the handling of people and the upbuilding of organizations. He need not be an engineer or scientist, although such qualifications would not be to his disadvantage. My own idea of the qualifications needed to best fill the position includes those likely to be possessed by a man who has been the main force in building a moderate organization in the engineering mechanical field, where he has been compelled to understand the management of men and the fundamentals of organization building as well as the general engineering problems with which his establishment has had to cope. A man with successful experience in these fields can be safely given the authority and responsibility involved in the position here considered.
5. AN ORGANIZATION OF KNOWN LOYALTY, SKILL AND RENOWN. This is more or less a self-evident condition of success, since it is apparent that the most perfect management can accomplish but little if it is not supported by an organization embodying the above three qualities. While all are somewhat under the control of the management, the first or loyalty is almost entirely so and can be construed as a definite index to the ability of the management to develop the right "esprit de corps". The items of skill and renown are obviously both essential to the final success of our work, and both may be developed to a great extent by proper selection and instruction to secure the skill, followed to a great extent by judicious advertising to spread news of this ability and so add to the renown of the Committee as well as of the individual.
In adding to the personnel, care should be taken to ensure that such new members will bring to the Committee the maximum of experience and ability, and that they are generally respected for their possession of these characteristics. Personnel additions should also show reasonable indication of their ability to work in close cooperation with the rest of the organization as then constituted, as many a man is absolutely impossible from this standpoint although well qualified otherwise.
 6. PERFECTION OF PRODUCT. Our product consists largely of reports of the results of our activities in the various services which we are endeavoring to render. While these reports may be valuable contributions to the advancement of the art, their principal usefulness is lost if the advance which they represent is not so utilized as to produce an actual improvement in the practical development of aeronautics. If our light is hid under a bushel, we can not expect it to serve as a beacon for the guidance of the progress of evolution. It makes little difference, whether the field of application for a given improvement, investigation, or research is within the Government or not; if our work is to be of the maximum material value for the advancement of the art, our results must be put in such form and so followed up that their absolute value will be surely demonstrated to all others who are in a position to ensure their utilization.
Under the general subject of reports, it is well to call attention to some of the faults of the ordinary form of such papers, whether they be of scientific or engineering or nontechnical nature. First: they are usually without any specific application which will serve as an adequate illustration of the usefulness and value of the subject matter discussed. This always leaves the user in some doubt regarding the correctness of his method of applying the reported findings to his own problems and may seriously restrict the amount of such application. Also, in the absence of a specific illustration, it may be a difficult matter to convince the reader that the material contained in the report will be of much aid in his specific problems, in which case the value of the work is lost to that extent. All reports of a constructive nature should conclude with as many specific applications as are required to adequately present its value in connection with all of those applications which the subject matter is intended to cover. Where possible, these applications should embody numerical illustrations within ordinary experience.
Second: the logical discussion is ordinarily conspicuous by its absence, and the reader is left to form his own ideas regarding the correctness of the treatment by the author. In case the reader disagrees with the author, he is likely to consider the report as unreliable and of little value, and therefore lose the benefit of the work, when the real differences may be minor. If the discussion had been full and logical, the reader would quickly determine the extent and importance of his disagreement and, making due allowance therefor, still derive much value from the report.
Third: clear and concise summation or conclusions of the results of the work represented by the report. Too often, the reader is compelled to wade through the body of the report in order to ascertain the results gained from the work covered by the report. As the result of this, the report is either neglected and its possible value lost to the prospective user, or incorrect conclusions are derived as the result of inadequate consideration due to the considerable time required for a complete digestion of the matter contained.
Fourth: complete descriptions of the apparatus used in all tests, together with complete statement of the method of conducting such tests and of the detailed data obtained. When the results of such work are finally presented in the form of curves, all of the determining values for the curves should also be shown as there is otherwise considerable uncertainty regarding the correctness of the curve as representing the actual relations obtained. If such determining points are shown, the reader is able to check the curves and to assure himself that they do or do not really represent the relation existing. Also, if the apparatus and methods are completely described, it is impossible to gain a much clearer idea of the reliability of the data and results obtained.
Fifth: standard methods for writing our reports. If all our reports are prepared according to established standards, which will cover all the important points pertaining to such documents, it becomes possible for the writer to do the compiling in a much shorter time and at the same time ensure that each point of his treatment is properly covered. The reader and user of such reports of standardized form will save considerable  time by being able to promptly turn to that portion which contains the particular phase in which he happens to be most interested at the time. Thus time is saved at both ends and the information is translated from writer to user with the greatest certainty and accuracy, which is the fundamental requirement of a report.
Standardized forms and instructions for the compiling of reports should be drawn up at once before much of this sort of material has been issued. It is recommended that these standards include complete instructions covering all the following points: Provision of a record sheet which will show the salient facts regarding the history of the report it covers, such as; reason for doing the work leading to the report, description of the work to be performed, whom requested by, benefit expected to result, work actually performed, actual benefits resulting, person in charge of work, author of report, all significant dates, location of tests if any are made, organization or individuals directly benefiting from the work, etc. A log sheet which will show the daily progress of all the matters under investigation or consideration, and providing enough information about each matter so that it will be evident on inspection whether any problems are being in any way neglected. Each report itself should include an adequate treatment in standard sequence of each of the following subdivisions which may be construed to apply to the case in hand: reason for making, whom requested by, scope of actual work, results of work, interpretation of results, theoretical treatment of subject, relation of results to the theory obtaining, summation and conclusions, method of application to practice, illustration of application to concrete modern case, benefits to be obtained, comparison with best previous solutions. The order, method and extent of the treatment of each of the above subdivisions, as well as the determination of the size and other mechanical features of the report, should be completely covered in the form of standardized instructions.
7. ENERGETIC AND CONTINUOUS PUBLICITY. It will hardly be denied that if the work of the N.A.C.A. is to be of the greatest benefit to the advancement of the science of air navigation that knowledge of the Committee and its work should be thoroughly disseminated among all those who are interested in this science, both in this country and abroad. The more prominently this body is known, the easier it becomes to convince others of the value of the work performed, and the easier it is to obtain adequate financial support for the extension of the work. This publicity should take the form of skillful and continuous presentation of the value and extent of the Committee's contributions to this science and to the solutions of the practical problems involved in the practice thereof. This can be obtained through the mediums of the daily press and the technical publications, and should be made as wide as possible. All those of the Committee's reports which are of interest to others engaged in the science or practice of aeronautics should be given such circulation as will ensure that the benefit thereof goes to all those who are able to make use of it. Of course, these broad fundamental considerations are of necessity considerably modified in time of war, but plans should be made to provide for such wide dissemination of the present information after the reason for its suppression is removed.
So important is this matter of publicity for the Committee that the equivalent of a publicity or advertising agent is considered to be a necessary addition to the organization. At the present time, the duties of the position would, however, be combined with other position or positions. A better perspective is obtained if it is considered that this body is fundamentally like a commercial concern in that it is required to sell its product to the public in order to continue its existence. If the public and their representatives in Congress are not properly convinced of the value of this Committee and its work, it certainly cannot be expected that they will provide the money or the legislation needed to enable the Committee to adequately cover the great field of usefulness which is now unfolding before our eyes.
 8. EFFICIENT AND ADEQUATE EQUIPMENT. To a large extent, this require-ment goes without saying, but certain phases of the matter may well be the subject of consideration. If the technical reports issued by the Committees are to possess the greatest authority, they must be the concrete expression of the results of research conducted on the most perfect class of apparatus, in addition to being the product of men of unquestioned authority. As the membership of this Committee contains so many able scientists, the matter of research, testing, and scientific equipment generally may be lightly passed over in the belief that it certainly will not be neglected.
There is, however, another class of equipment about which there is considerable uncertainty. A portion of the scientific apparatus required is specially designed and built for the special requirements of a problem, or is of such a special character that it is not built by constructors of scientific apparatus except on special order. As the laboratory equipment of the Committee necessarily contains some machine tool equipment, provided primarily to handle the numerous repair and alteration jobs which are always present in connection with many of the problems which are to be handled, there is a strong temptation to enlarge this machine tool investment to undue proportions in the mistaken idea that the laboratory machine shop should or could make the principal items of special apparatus better or cheaper than they can be obtained from outside sources. The added equipment necessitated by such a program is very considerable, since many tools represent a dead or nonworking investment, which can be much better used in financing actual research. In order for the Committee to be able to compete in quality or cost with builders of high-grade apparatus, it is necessary to not only spend much capital to install machinery which will be idle the most of the time, but an organization of skilled men has to be built up and maintained, proper supervision provided and an adequate cost system installed to determine the truth as to whether the laboratory shop is actually building its apparatus as cheaply as it can be obtained in like quality outside. For the amount of such construction at present contemplated, the required machinery, organization and system could hardly be expected to be in good working order by the time the construction jobs would be finished. However, if the volume of such special apparatus building is likely to be considerable, say $10,000 per month minimum, it would probably be desirable to add considerably to the present equipment and take the indicated steps. While the highgrade machine shops of the country are at times so crowded with work as to make prompt deliveries difficult, it is always quite possible to get reasonable deliveries by doing some searching among the lesser known shops, even in times like the present.
The primary business of the laboratory is to conduct research and not to build machine-shop products, therefore it would seem to be self-evident that the less of the latter is undertaken the better for the real purposes of the Committee.
9. A SUITABLE LOCATION. Owing to the conditions surrounding the present location of the laboratory, which render it entirely unsuited for the general offices, it is desirable to limit the personnel at the laboratory to that required for the laboratory operations alone. If this is done, the Langley Field location is reasonably well suited for those laboratory operations which are to be directly conducted by the Committee on its own apparatus. The free-flight and engine-test work in particular call for just such a location as is provided by Langley.
As it is necessary that the Administration and Engineering offices be located in an easily accessible location for the convenience of those who are required to come into personal contact with the Committee, it would seem that these offices can hardly be elsewhere than in Washington, owing to the close connection with other Government bureaus. It is highly desirable, however, that a return to a more central location be effected as soon as possible.
10. DEFINITE PLANS FOR OBTAINING FUNDS. As practically the whole amount of financial support received by this Committee is obtained by Congressional  appropriation, it is obvious that first the public and then Congress has to be convinced of the necessity of such support as is asked. One of the most convincing ways of demonstrating such necessity is to point to advances in the field of aeronautics which are due to the services of the Committee. This has so far been possible only to a very minute extent, which fact has led to much justifiable question of the value of the work of the Committee. Again, it would seem as if appropriations would be easier to obtain if the Committee were better and more widely known; also, if it were known that it was conducting an extensive and carefully planned program of research and investigation, of great value toward the advancement of the science. In particular, members of the appropriations committees of both houses of Congress should be kept cognizant of the accomplishments of the Committee and their effect on advancement.
FINAL. This communication has grown to much greater length than was intended and it is difficult to materially condense. However, it is hoped that its length will not bar it from consideration, as the writer very strongly feels that if the fundamentals herein dealt with are not satisfactorily incorporated into the working machinery of a modern organization, the N.A.C.A. is likely to throw away the present unprecedented opportunity for its growth and service to the country.
It is suggested that the Executive Committee of the N.A.C.A. appoint a special Committee on Organization, to be composed of men who are able to give the requisite time thereto, to consider and formulate the action to be taken along the lines of the broad fundamentals which the writer has endeavored to briefly call to your attention in this letter.
* Walcott here quoted from the report excerpted in # 1.
** Note: During the week ended April 3, 1915, there were 97 flights; 30 hours in the air; 38 passengers carried; and 2,545 miles traveled.
*** It seems probable that the size of the air squadron will ere long be increased to 12 aeroplanes, that is, 3 flights of 4 machines each. This is, or was, the English practice.
**** A 220-hp water-cooled French engine manufactured in the U.S. by Wright-Martin Aircraft Corporation.
***** J. W. Dunne of England had designed, constructed, and flown a series of tailless sweptwing aircraft for which he claimed unprecedented advances in stability and controllability.