A Guide to the William Hewitt Phillips Autobiography, ca. 1995 Phillips, William Hewitt Autobiography Ms2008-080

A Guide to the William Hewitt Phillips Autobiography, ca. 1995

A Collection in
Special Collections
Collection Number Ms2008-080


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© 2008 By Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. All rights reserved.

Processed by: John M. Jackson, Special Collections Staff

Repository
Special Collections, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Va.
Collection Number
Ms2008-080
Title
William Hewitt Phillips Autobiography ca. 1995
Physical Characteristics
1 container; 0.1 cu. ft.
Language
English
Abstract
Autobiography (typescript draft) of William Hewitt Phillips, NACA and NASA Langley Research Center aerospace engineer; chief of Flight Dynamics and Control Division from 1970 to 1979.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Collection is open to research.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish material from the William Hewitt Phillips Autobiography must be obtained from Special Collections, Virginia Tech.

Preferred Citation

Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: William Hewitt Phillips Autobiography, Ms2008-080 - Special Collections, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

Acquisition Information

The William Hewitt Phillips Autobiography was donated to Special Collections in 1997.

Processing Information

The processing and description of the William Hewitt Phillips Autobiography commenced and was completed in October 2008.


Biographical Information

William Hewitt Phillips, known more familiarly as Hewitt Phillips, was born in Merseyside, England, in 1918, but moved with his parents at age two to the United States. He studied aeronautical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), obtaining an S. B. degree in 1939 and an S.M. in 1940.

In July 1940, Phillips entered commenced service with the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), where he was assigned to the Flight Research Division at Langley Research Center (Hampton, Virginia), specializing in the study of aircraft flying qualities and stability. Within this broader assignment, Phillips' task involved the improvement of World War II military aircraft flying qualities. Following the war, Phillips' research related to the development of jet-powered fighter airplanes, supersonic airplanes, stability augmentation and its effect on pilot control, automatic control, and gust alleviation. In 1947, Phillips had married Viola Ohler, then head of Langley's editorial office. The couple had three children.

As the U. S. space program commenced, Phillips became chief of the Space Mechanics Division, supervising research in the areas of space rendezvous, navigation, and lunar landing and developing flight simulators for the Gemini and Apollo programs. To train astronauts for lunar landings, Phillips developed the Lunar Landing Facility. He later served as an analyst and consultant in the development of the space shuttle.

Phillips retired from NASA in February 1979 but continued in the position of distinguished research associate, performing original research on solar-powered aircraft, propellers, airfoil design and wind-tunnel studies of the use of canard surfaces for the space shuttle.

Scope and Content

This collection contains an autobiographical typescript draft by William Hewitt Phillips, an aerospace engineer for the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) and National Air and Space Administration (NASA) at Langley Research Center and chief of the Flight Dynamics and Control Division from 1970 to 1979. The text is a preliminary draft for Phillips' Journey into Aeronautical Research: a Career at NASA Langley Research Center. The manuscript briefly follows Phillips' early life, interest in aviation, and education, then describes in more depth the author's work at NACA. Among the chapter headings are "Problems Encountered as a Result of Wartime Developments," "Accident Investigations," "NACA Flight Research on the Vought F8U-1 Airplane," and "Administration of the Langley Research Center." A final brief chapter, "Dawn of the Space Age," provides background on the formation of NASA in 1958.

Related Material

Phillips, W. Hewitt, Journey in Aeronautical Research: a Career at NASA Langley Research Center (Washington, D.C.: NASA History Office, 1998). TL540 P54 J687 1998 Large Spec

William Hewitt Phillips Papers. Lecture notes, reports, and memoranda, tracing the development of Phillips' theories while at Langley, spanning from his work on World War II-era aircraft to the early U. S. space program and beyond. Ms2005-019.

Separated Material


Contents List

Folder 1
Autobiography ca. 1995