Byrd’s Legacy (part 1)

Admiral Byrd achieved many things in his lifetime, and some of his greatest accomplishments were in the field of aviation. I’m currently reading Skyward: Man’s Mastery of the Airby Admiral Richard E. Byrd, which chronicles the early years of aviation. I will be doing a more in depth review of the book soon, but in the beginning, Byrd recounts the trials and tests the early pioneers went through in order to take us off the ground and into the air. These experiments include not only the inherent dangers of flying new and untested machines, but also the politics of making aviation a legitimate course of research and development.

Without these early trailblazers, we wouldn’t have the same understanding of aeronautics today. Some may remember this from 2009: a plane, US Airways Flight 1549, was taking off from La Guardia Airport when it flew through a flock of birds and several were caught in the engines, forcing the plane to start going down. The pilot, staying calm and in control, was able to land the plane safely in the Hudson River:

Here’s a step-by-step simulation of the event:

Of course,  we still have a few trailblazers in our midst:


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About polararchivesintern

Kristin MacDonough is a Texas born University of Texas baccalaureate and Moving Image Archiving and Preservation graduate student at New York University interning for the summer of 2012 with The Ohio State University's Byrd Polar Research Center Archival Program. Say that five times fast. (I'm also an amateur science nerd and it appears I'm a big fan of universities.)
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