August 19th is National Aviation Day, a yearly observance to celebrate the history and development of aviation. Another fun fact: the day is also Orville Wright’s birthday!
GPO makes available a wide range of Federal Government publications about flight.
Twelve seconds in the air turned into over 100 years of aviation progress. In December 1903, Wilbur and Orville Wright stuck their first—and the world’s first—successful flight in a heavier-than-air, mechanically controlled machine. The sibling inventors behind the defining technology of the last century are the subject of this National Park Service handbook. In his forward, astronaut and former U.S. Senator John Glenn defers to the duo as the “first astronauts. Their initial short flight opened our quest to reach beyond the world we know. They were the first test pilots.” A foolhardy flying machine became a phenomena of human achievement. The Wright Brothers made their home above the world and consequently changed the world.
Indeed the Wright Bros. invention changed the world. And changed the U.S. Army. This book tells the story of a self-taught aviator and his Wright flyer responsible for the launch of military airpower. In 1909, the U.S. Army Signal Corps paid $30,000 to Orville and Wilbur for a custom-made aircraft designated “Signal Corps No. 1.” A plucky young lieutenant with no prior flying experience was elected its sole operator. “Take plenty of spare parts,” a commanding officer told 1st Lt. Benjamin D. Foulois, “and teach yourself to fly.” Through industrious trial and error and long-distance guidance from the Wright Brothers, Foulois learned to fly the Army’s very first airplane. Read this book and then go visit the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum in DC. There you will find the original Signal Corps No. 1, a beautifully restored piece of Army aviation history.
This quarterly publication of the Air Force’s Air Combat Command features articles and stories about flight safety. As aviation technology evolves to enhance combat capability, so must risk mitigation. Thus, ACC’s safety magazine looks to “foster a culture where Airmen strive for zero mishaps.” Developing this sort of discipline keeps safety standards high so that top guns can continue to “Aim High … Fly-Fight-Win.”
For millennia, navigators have been using the stars to chart their course. Aircraft rely on similar celestial navigation. The Air Almanac contains astronomical data produced by The U.S. Naval Observatory in collaboration Her Majesty’s Nautical Almanac Office in the U.K. Published annually since 1941, this cosmic directory tabulates statistics at 10-minute intervals to a precision of 1 arcminute. Predictions include Greenwich hour angles; lunar rise and set times; sky diagrams for each month; charts for moon visibility and star positions; and sunrise, sunset, and twilight tables.
HOW DO I OBTAIN THESE RESOURCES?
Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.
- Click here to purchase First Flight: The Wright Brothers and the Invention of the Airplane
- Click here to download Logbook of the Signal Corps No. 1: The United States Army’s First Airplane (eBook)
- Click here to purchase The Combat Edge
- Click here to download The Air Almanac for the Year 2016 (PDF eBook)
- Click here to browse our Aviation History & Innovation collection
Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.
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Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.
About the author: Blogger contributor Chelsea Milko is a Public Relations Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations Office.