Monday, October 01, 2007

FAA History Lesson -- October 1

Evidently, the first of October is a good day to start something. There are dozens of entries in the history book for this date.

From the FAA Historical Chronology, 1926-1996...

”Oct 1, 1926: Northwest Airways began service as a contract mail carrier. The company began passenger service the following year, and expanded its routes in the late twenties and early thirties, changing its name to Northwest Airlines on Apr 16, 1934. Further expansion included routes to Asia, beginning in the 1940s, and for a time the carrier used the name Northwest Orient Airlines.

Oct 1, 1929: Allocation of radio frequencies by the Federal Radio Commission cleared the way for air transport companies to develop a communications network supplementing Federal facilities. At the close of the year some major transport lines were maintaining two-way voice communication with their planes in flight. (See Dec 2, 1929.)

Oct 1, 1929: The Aeronautics Branch issued a set of "Uniform Field Rules" for air traffic control that were recommended for adoption by states, counties, cities, and other agencies operating airports.

Oct 1, 1931: The Department of Commerce promulgated a regulation prescribing a cockpit crew complement of two, a pilot and copilot, on all scheduled air transports capable of carrying fifteen or more passengers or having a gross takeoff weight of 15,000 pounds or more. (See Feb 12, 1931, and Nov 1, 1937.)

Oct 1, 1940: CAA commissioned the Seattle air route traffic control center on this date, followed by the Cincinnati center on Nov 11.

Oct 1, 1942: Robert Stanley piloted the initial flight of the first U.S. jet-propelled aircraft, the Bell XP59A Airacomet, at Muroc, Calif. The aircraft was powered by two I-A engines developed by General Electric from the Whittle design. (See Sep 1941.)

Oct 1, 1945: CAA commissioned the New Orleans air route traffic control center.

Oct 1, 1946: CAA commissioned the El Paso air route traffic control center.

Oct 1, 1958: The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was established under the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958. Passage of the Space Act (signed into law by President Eisenhower on Jul 29, 1958) settled the question of whether space exploration should be under civilian or military control. The National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), which had been in existence since 1915, was absorbed by and formed the nucleus for the new civilian space agency.”

I’ll stop there, for now. That’s not all the entries from before I was born but it’s most of them. I’ll see what else is left later today (if I have time.)

Don Brown
October 1, 2007

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