Physical Description: 178 LTA-1 containers.
Scope and Content Note
This series contains record files of official correspondence pertaining to specific NASA projects, which were kept by the
Langley Research Center. Correspondence records here and in Series II and III reflect the organizational methods regarding
the written communications of the NACA Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory and NASA Langley Research Center. During the
NACA days, copies of all letters, incoming and outgoing, were made for central files. (All outgoing correspondence was reviewed
and revised up through the division level until sanctioned in its final form by the office of the chief of research; then
it was signed by the engineer-in-charge. All incoming letters were opened and copied by mail clerks before being routed to
addressees.) Copies of correspondence were placed into one or more subject files, which were arranged according to an alphanumeric
code unique to Langley (see the Related Material section of this guide for access to a PDF version of the document). Within
each subject, papers were arranged by date.
This series provides researchers with an in-depth look at the Langley Research Center when it was the premier aeronautical
and aerospace facility in the world. The records in this series cover Langley's valuable contributions, in terms of scientific
knowledge and use of Langley facilities, in the fields of supersonic and hypersonic jet flight; satellite development in the
commercial and scientific sectors; rocket and missile development for military and civilian use; and NASA's space flight program,
to name a few examples.
The largest project files here deal with the D-558 Douglas Skyrocket (and its off shoots, the D-558-I and the D-558-II--the
first plane ever to reach Mach 2; the Dyna-Soar (an early precursor to the Space Shuttle); the Mercury and Gemini space programs;
and the X-1, X-2, and X-15 experimental flight testing programs which allowed NASA to explore the supersonic, thermal, and
hypersonic flight regimes, respectively.
Researchers should note that frequent use of Langley's wind tunnels during the development and pre-flight testing of early
missiles, jet planes, and spacecraft are a dominant feature in this series. Another item of interest for researchers is the
periodic status reports sent from Edwards Air Force base in California to Langley concerning experimental flight test programs.
The official status report of Chuck Yeager's historic first supersonic flight in the X-1 can be found in the X-1 (FCR) file.
The accident report of Milburn Apt's fatal X-2 flight where he flew at Mach 3 can be found in the X-2 file. A letter personally
autographed by the late NASA astronaut Donald K. "Deke" Slayton can be found in the Skylab project file. The names of many
famous pilots and astronauts can be found in this series: Neil Armstrong, Chuck Yeager, and Scott Crossfield, to name a few.
The records in this series are textual, photographic, and graphic in form. Textual records will consist mostly of, but will
not be restricted to, status reports on NASA projects, internal memos, proposals for experiments, flight tests, wind tunnel
tests, and official papers on NASA programs. Photographic records consist mainly of pictures of various types of aircraft
and spacecraft, layouts of airplane cockpits, accident wreckage, displays of new pressure suits and equipment. Graphic records
will deal primarily with telemetry data from various NASA flight-test programs dealing with aircraft, rockets, and missiles;
wind tunnel charts; and diagrams of aircraft.
The records are arranged alphabetically by project name and thereunder in reverse chronological order. The container list
includes project name, date of files, box number, and shelf location of the files.
This series contains both unclassified and formerly classified material. All recently declassified materials in this series
will have "F.C.R.," which stands for formerly classified records, written on the folders.