We ended the section year with a fantastic dinner meeting. Our guest was Michelle Evans, author of The X-15 Rocket Plane: Flying the First Wings into Space. Ms. Evans showed lots of historic pictures of the people, equipment, and places that led to hypersonic speed and altitude records of 4,520 mph (Mach 6.7) and 354,200 feet. (Many, many pictures on her website here.) Several pilots received astronaut wings because they met the requirements while flying the X-15. The science learned from the program was critical to later NASA programs, including the Space Shuttle. And while the pilots were all men, the computers were all women. That’s right, there was a cadre of women who processed the data and they were called “computers.” So much for the myth that girls are not good at math!
Additionally, we ended our year by thanking two of our section leaders for their service. Neil has brought our finances up to date, including making it possible to pay in advance with PayPal. Ed has admirably led our section this year as we tried some new things including dinner meetings at other locations and a panel discussion. And thank you to Aaron for organizing our booth at the Delta Block Party. That event got our AIAA name in front of many people who hadn’t heard about us.
We look forward to seeing everyone after our summer hiatus. Look for information about our September meeting here on the website and in your inbox. In the meantime, we wish everyone a wonderful summer and lots of great weather for flying!