NACA Inspections

Lewis Flight Propulsion Laboratory


View Content

The Lewis Research Center's October 4 to 7, 1966, Inspection was its first since 1957. In the interim, the NACA disbanded and Lewis was incorporated into the new NASA space Agency. The Center reorganized to focus exclusively on space-related research and took on the management of the Centaur, Agena, and M-1 engine developmental programs. Now, Lewis was just starting to refocus its efforts to tackle issues related to civilian aviation. Associate Director Eugene Manganiello remarked at the dramatic accomplishments made since the last Inspection 9 years beforehand and noted the controversy over the references to space leading up to the 1957 Inspection.

The 1966 Inspection featured 10 stops—half of which dealt with the Center's space efforts. These addressed fluid behavior in microgravity, advanced chemical rocket engines, the Centaur rocket, ion engines, and an in-depth description of the space power systems. There were also stops that discussed materials and basic research on solar cells, lasers, and other subjects. The aeronautics talks described the Center's engine noise reduction work and air-breathing engine research. The Inspection included a film on Lewis's remote test facility at Plum Brook Station and demonstrations at the new Zero Gravity Facility.

The 1966 Inspection was also part of a year-long celebration of the Center's 25th anniversary. Nearly 2000 invited guests attended the three-day Inspection. Wilson Hunter managed the Inspection activities. For the first time Lewis hosted the guests in the Development Engineering Building auditorium instead of the Administration Building. In addition to the presentations at the major facilities, the guests viewed the Gemini VII spacecraft, a Centaur rocket, and other displays in the hangar. After the Inspection, the Center hosted an open house for employees and their families.