Airborne Trailblazer, Issue 4216

Front Cover
National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NASA History Office, 1994 - Aeronautics, Commercial - 188 pages
This book is the story of a very unique airplane and the contributions it has made to the air transportation industry. NASA's Boeing 737-100 Transport Systems Research Vehicle was the prototype 737, acquired by the Langley Research Center in 1974 to conduct research into advanced transport aircraft technologies. In the twenty years that followed, the airplane participated in more than twenty different research projects, evolving from a research tool for a specific NASA program into a national airborne research facility. It played a critical role in developing and gaining acceptance for numerous significant transport technologies, including "glass cockpits," airborne windshear detection systems, data link for air traffic control communications, the microwave landing system, and the satellite-based global positioning system (GPS). Since the airplane played a role in such a wide variety of research programs, its story also provides an enlightening study of the many factors that influence the selection, development, and application of new technologies.

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A Technology Eclipsed

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