2014, 6.5 x 9.25
by Roger Connor
Virginia has one of the oldest and richest aeronautical legacies in the country. Beginning with the use of balloons in the Civil War, the commonwealth was at the forefront of aerospace innovation, particularly in military aviation. Langley Field and Quantico were key development centers in the maturation of aerial warfare for the Army Air Service, its successors, and the Marine Corps. Norfolk witnessed the birth of the American carrier force and was on the front line in the Battle of the Atlantic. The state is also home to a legacy of civil and commercial activity. The National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) laboratory at Langley Field established numerous foundational principles of modern aerodynamics, supported the development of many of the most significant aircraft of the 20th century, and paved the way for travel beyond Earth. Commercial airfields, including Richmond, Roanoke, and Washington’s Hoover and National, were at the cutting edge of modern air travel and played host to aviation’s elite.