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8 FLY MAGAZINE April 1913 Concerning the Connections Between a National Aeronautical Laboratory and Institutions of Learning Because we believe that the establishment of a National Aeronautical Laboratory is absolutely essential - in fact, most necessary - to the further progress of aviation in America, we have devoted an unusual amount of space to the various phases of the subject. The aeroplane industry in the United States demands the establishment of such a national institution with the greatest expediency. That the project may meet with the greatest possible success, co-operation is indispensable. That the readers of FLY may assist in this undertaking, we have set forth this issue as fully as possible, the present status of the movement in this country. Through the courtesy of Captain W. Irving Chambers we also append a list of the Aeronautical Laboratories already established abroad. It is due, in great part, to these institutions that the foreign nations have so easily surpassed America in the matter of practical and scientific development in the past two years. Great credit is due the members of Commission, appointed by former President Taft, to investigate the necessity or desirability of establishing a National Aeronautical Laboratory in the United States. It is due to their indefatigable energy that the possibilities for its establishment are so favorable. For the followers of aeronautics in America to fail to give their heartiest support to the work already done, would be a grave and unworthy reflection on their ability, interest and intelligence. -Ed. IT is desirable, in connection with this laboratory, to so co-ordinate the research work and the supply of information as to encourage the study of aeronautics at many of our universities and technical schools, some of which may obtain adequate facilities, eventually, for original investigations in aerodynamics. Under the stimulus of a central national plant located at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, which is cognizant of the standards of scientific study at all institutions of learning, each school may be kept informed concerning the progress of original investigations at the national laboratory and all that is accomplished by foreign laboratories in other parts of the world, to the end that a concentration of effort by all may be focused upon the most important problems from time to time, and that an incentive may be created whereby many of the bright students and their instructors, in all parts of the land, may be encouraged to co-operate in this new field of exploration and, eventually, to supply a much-needed body of scientific engineers and physicists well grounded in the science of aeronautics. It might, perhaps, be possible to locate certain facilities for independent research in aerodynamics at one or more of these schools, by private endowment, as had been done abroad in some countries, and original plants of this sort should be encouraged, but they would be mere adjuncts of the colleges and would not be equipped with resources for extensive open air aeronautical investigation. Under no circumstances could any one of them be conducted as a purely national plant without creating dissatisfaction among the others, and no one of them could co-ordinate the work either with all the others or with various executive branches of the Government. It is doubtful if the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, for example, would favor locating this central laboratory at Cornell University, at Yale, at Chicago, at Philadelphia, or at any other place than Boston. Furthermore, students and instructors are not necessarily specialists during the period of tuition and discretion dictates that experience and special fitness should guide in the selection of those who are connected with the responsibility of conducting the work of a government establishment. The college would be, under the plan provided by Congress, co-operating branches of the central plant to the full extent of any superior facilities they might possess. There would be created, thus a large body from which to choose the talent required at the national plant, and at manufacturing establishments generally. This body would be too restricted if narrowed down to any one college, and the ends of justice or efficiency would not be served should exclusive preference be given to any particular college in the selection of such talent for the national plant. Established Laboratories Courtesy of Captain W. I. Chambers Russia. A Russian laboratory was established in 1904 at Koutchino under the directorship of Dr. Riabouchinski. It cost about $100,000 originally and is provided with an annual income of about $18,000. It is intimately co-ordinated with the University of Moscow and is devoted to a great variety of investigations in pure and applied aerodynamics, meteorology and general aeronautics. Germany. A well-equipped laboratory has been in operation for three to four years at the University of Gottingen under the distinguished direction of Professor Prandil. The endowment, furnished primarily by private individuals, has been amply supplemented by government appropriations. Italy. An Italian laboratory, entirely governmental, is conducted at Rome under military direction by the Italian Specialist Brigade of Engineers. British. A British laboratory was created by the appointment, in April, 1909, of the "British Advisory Committee for Aeronautics" and the establishment of an aerodynamical branch as a part of the "National Physical Laboratory" at Bushy Head, Teddington. It is supported entirely by the government and co-operates with the "Royal Aircraft Factory." The membership of the committee corresponds in number with that of the "Aeronautical Committee" recom-
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