The glider was the first heavier-than-air human-carrying aircraft to achieve controlled piloted flight. On his first successful flight, August 28, 1883, John Montgomery soared at about 600 feet. The Montgomery glider's success demonstrated aerodynamic principles and designs fundamental to the modern aircraft.
In operation since 1944, the Icing Research Tunnel is the oldest and largest refrigerated icing wind tunnel in the world. Technology developed there enables aircraft to fly safely through icing clouds. Two firsts include the unique heat exchanger and the spray system that simulates a natural icing cloud of tiny droplets.
This hydraulic closed-die press, among the largest fabrication tools in the world, has had a profound influence in America's leading role in commercial aircraft, military aircraft, and space technology. As part of the same Heavy Press Program that created the Mesta press, the Wyman-Gordon press was designed by the Loewy Construction Company and began operating in October 1955. Among its contributions was the development of the new jetliner Boeing 747 in the 1960s.
The Wildcat's innovative "Sto-Wing" mechanism developed on the XF4F-4 prototype by Leroy (Roy) Grumman (1895-1982), a founder of Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation, was crucial to the U. S. Navy's success during World War II.
The idea of a folding wing was not new: as early as 1920, F.M. Osborne patented a high-wing monoplane with folding wings, but never produced this design. A 1928 plane with folding wings designed by W. Leonard Bonney crashed on its first flight.