Minutes from March 2012, aiaa history Technical Committee Telecon




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Minutes from March 2012, AIAA History Technical Committee Telecon.

1. The AIAA History TC held its March monthly telecon on Tuesday, March 13, 2012. The next meeting will take place April 10th, the second Tuesday of the month, starting at 2 pm Eastern/1 pm Central, noon Mountain, 11 am Pacific.

The numbers to be used, unless changed (notifications will be sent out)


    • US Number 866-740-1260

    • Toll Number 303-248-0285

    • Access code 2649999

Phoning in this month were Kevin Burns, Peter Young, Chris Roberts, Roger Launius, and Howard Collicott.

Kevin has new contact information:

E-mail: Kevin.Burns2@ngc.com; Office phone: 858-541-6121 

2. Kevin briefed the following items:

- The History TC website URL is: https://info.aiaa.org/tac/ETMG/HISTC/default.aspx

He asked that all History TC members log onto the website to confirm their access privileges. Kevin also asked that each member provide a small article entry every other month or so, providing information from the member's areas of interest, this is highly encouraged to keep the website current.

Pete Young offered to add a link to the Los Angeles Science Center's Space Shuttle acquisition. Pete also agreed to contact Cam Martin to see if Cam could write a summary of a recent aviation history day held in Lancaster.

Kevin has submitted the History TC's Annual Report.  Kevin also said that if members had ideas for projects that might require funding, that they submit those requests so that they can be discussed and forwarded for approval.

As an example, Kevin described the achievements in the San Diego area by John J. Montgomery, a pioneering aviator. Kevin was considering submitting a request for TC funds to purchase biographies of Montgomery for the local schools that were named after him; but decided it would be better if it were to be done by local sections or members, as this is not a national issue.

3. Recruiting more support for upcoming conferences - this discussion took up the major portion of this month's telecon.



  • Traditionally the History TC has presented papers at three conferences a year.

At this year's ASM, the turnout of History papers was very light but about nine sessions were presented at the Centennial of Naval Aviation/ATIO/LTA conference. We discussed a proposal from Dick Hallion to consolidate those papers into a single publication as the quality of the papers was quite good. The final "path ahead" was to: a) contact Dick to see if he is still interested in the project, b) contact the AIAA to get their approval to publish these papers, c) determine costs and submit requests for funding. Volunteers to work on this would be greatly appreciated; please contact Kevin if interested.

4. Future planning, future conferences, etc. Kevin would like to see more members step forward to act as Session or Track Chairpersons for future conferences. Primary responsibilities are to keep track of suspense dates and schedules, review incoming abstracts and papers, and work with the individual conference organizers on planning, logistics, and addition of more sessions or papers if warranted.

For individual conferences, it's highly desirable to have a cohesive session theme, and Pete suggested setting themes several years in advance. 

Suspenses, vettting, scheduling, and the addition of more sessions/papers are the work of Track and Session Chairs. The following were suggested as potential themes:



  • Centennial Events (i.e.; Lockheed Martin's centennial - as Lockheed was founded in 1912) this can include other aviation centennial events.

  • National aviation histories (in recent years, we have had presentations on early aviation history in Portugal, Australia, Brazil, Japan, etc.).

  • Universities with Aerospace Engineering programs. This theme was started decades ago, and culminated in a published book. Continued papers in this area would include schools that have not reported their history, updates to previous reporting of their history, and programs that share a historical theme (i.e., college airports, particular research programs, individual university projects or incidents).

  • State aviation events and histories (papers on first flights, businesses, etcetera; within those states).

  • Local aviation events and histories (papers on first flights, businesses, etcetera; within those communities). Some examples of communities with long and illustrious aviation history are Seattle, Buffalo, Los Angeles, San Diego, Saint Louis, Wichita, Bethpage, Marietta, Dayton, Pensacola, etc.).

5. Other thoughts were that collecting and writing histories would be an excellent way to get involved with students and young professionals.

  • AIAA Young Professionals for example - who could collect oral histories from aerospace notables.

  • TC members could mentor students to guide them through the research process.

Kevin suggested that an effective way to find future paper writing candidates was by networking and using a personal touch at conferences. The best place to recruit papers is at the conference before; so if you are recruiting papers for the SPACE 2013 conference, the best time and place would be at the Space 2012 conference. Thus the attendees at that conference and the exhibitors are the most probable people to return the following year, especially if they are going to present a paper.

History TC Secretary: Peter Young


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