Skip Top nav bar link group topnav end piece go to business section go to education section go to history section go to gallery section go to news section go to organizations section go to research section go to search engine go to site index topnav end piece
NASA Meatball NASA Dryden Directors banner
Walter C. Williams with Brig. General Albert Boyd Walter C. Williams with Brig. General Albert Boyd

Photo Number: E95-43116-7
Photo Date: 1950

Formats: 472x480 JPEG Image (97 KBytes)
1009x1024 JPEG Image (317 KBytes)
2759x2800 JPEG Image (1,852 KBytes)

Description: Walter C. Williams, (behind airplane model) Head of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics High-Speed Flight Research Station at Edwards Air Force Base in California is examining a Northrop X-4 research airplane with Brig. Gen. Albert Boyd, Commander of Edwards Air Force Base.

At Edwards, the Air Force Air Material Command ran a brief program on the X-4 during the summer of 1950 before delivering it to the NACA. Data was collected on these 14 flights, so they were logged as NACA test flights. General Boyd made flight number 13. Air Force and NACA pilots completed a total of 82 flights on X-4 #2 (46-677) between August 1950 and September 1953.

There are three things that made the Mojave Desert, where Edwards Air Force Base is located, so well suited for flight research. The first was the area’s flying conditions--clear skies with great visibility almost every day of the year. The second was the 44-square-mile Rogers Dry Lake, a natural landing site that General Boyd referred to as “God’s gift to the Air Force.” The third was the unpopulated area surrounding the lakebed, which led to fewer complaints about aircraft noise (including sonic booms) than would have occurred in more populated areas. There was also less chance of injury to the surrounding population in the event of an aircraft accident.

Keywords: Dryden Center Directors; Walter C. Williams; NACA High-Speed Flight Research Station; Edwards Air Force Base; Northrop X-4; Brig. Gen. Albert Boyd; Mojave Desert; Rogers Dry Lake; National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics

Last Modified: February 6, 2002
Responsible NASA Official: Marty Curry
Curator: PAO Webmasters

NASA Website Privacy Statement