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Foreword by Dr. Roger D. Launius, Former NASA Chief Historian
For the past 75 years, the U.S. government has invested significant time and money into advanced aerospace research, as evidenced by its many experimental X-plane aircraft and rockets. NASA's X-Planes asks a simple question: What have we gained from it all?To answer this question, the authors provide a comprehensive overview of the X-plane’s long history, from the 1946 X-1 to the modern X-60. The chapters describe not just the technological evolution of these models, but also the wider story of politics, federal budgets, and inter-agency rivalries surrounding them. The book is organized into two sections, with the first covering the operational X-planes that symbolized the Cold War struggle between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R, and the second section surveying post-Cold War aircraft and spacecraft.
Featuring dozens of original illustrations of X-plane cross-sections, in-flight profiles, close-ups, and more, this book will educate general readers and specialists alike.
Michael Gorn has been an aerospace historian for 40 years and is the author or co-author of 10 books on the subject. He worked as a federal government historian at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and before that at the U.S. Air Force. His positions included (among others) the Chief Historian of the NASA Dryden (now Armstrong) Flight Research Center, the Deputy Chief Historian of the Air Force, and the Command Historian of the Air Force Systems Command. Gorn spent 13 years at NASA Dryden, the home of the X-planes. This period gave him the opportunity to write about, to think about, and to immerse himself in the traditions and the documentary record of experimental flight.
Giuseppe De Chiara has been employed in the European space industry for 22 years. He began his career as a designer of Parabolic Flights facilities, he was later involved into the ISS Program as a Training Manager and Operations Leader.
De Chiara currently works as System Engineer and Technical Manager.
His professional life as an engineer and architect has nourished his early passion for illustration; Illustration has deepened his professional experience. He has illustrated 13 articles since 2010 with the noted aerospace author Dwayne A. Day.
Additionally, he has been coauthor of four scientific papers, dating from 2003 to 2012.
De Chiara has contributed with his artworks to several aerospace books like the ones by late Steve Pace.
In 2016 Giuseppe De Chiara teamed up with Michael H. Gorn to realize the book Spacecraft.