What is that?
The P-80 wasn’t the first US jet fighter. P-59 Airacomet would be the first.
Thanks for this history lessen! Good interesting read.
GREAT article - thanks for posting!
Well, make that a century and a half. Maxwell's first paper on it was in 1864, IIRC. Oliver Heaviside recast them into modern form twenty years later.
One of the great breakthroughs in the history of Science occurred when Maxwell intuitively inserted a term into one of his equations (the one for the magnetic field) to be symmetrical with the other one (for the electric field). He did this on aesthetic grounds, without any immediate empirical evidence for its inclusion.
However, it gave him a pair of equations that allowed him to predict the existence of a wave, traveling through space, that was composed of both electric (electrostatic) and magnetic fields which reinforced each other and therefore sustained the wave for indefinite distances.
The equations included two constants for the characteristics of the medium through which the wave was travelling; and the speed of the wave was dependent on these two characteristics. (Technically, they are known as the 'dielectric permittivity' and the 'magnetic permeability.')
These had been previously been determined for a vacuum. When they were substituted into Maxwell's equation for the velocity of his hypothetical 'electromagnetic' wave, it gave another value that was already empirically known: the speed of light.
So, on the basis of Maxwell's inspired guess as to the form of his equations, he was soon able to postulate with some confidence that light itself was an electromagnetic wave.
And soon after Heaviside reformulated Maxwell's equations, a young Heinrich Hertz demonstrated how to produce and detect EM waves of practical dimensions much longer than those of light: Radio waves.
What a GREAT story! We used to be so aggressive and open and innovative.
Nowadays we end with turds like the F35.
I never worked at the Skunk Works, but I had friends that did. I worked at Northrop ASD on the development of the B-2 Bomber (also stealth).
FYI I also worked on the Nike Hercules missle system (since it was mentioned in the article).
“The Skunk Works” by Ben Rich, dog-eared as the book is , remains one of my favorites.
The excerpts from a Desert Storm F-117 pilot detailing the first night of hostilities over Baghdad is descriptive beyond all.....he knew he was going to survive when bat carcasses where littered around the aircraft as it sat in the revetment.
Read the chapter on Kelly Johnson’s management principles (his 15th rule).