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The Enigma of the AerofoilRival Theories in Aerodynamics, 1909-1930$
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David Bloor

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780226060941

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226060934.001.0001

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Mathematicians versus Practical Men

Mathematicians versus Practical Men

The Founding of the Advisory Committee for Aeronautics

Chapter:
(p.9) 1 Mathematicians versus Practical Men
Source:
The Enigma of the Aerofoil
Author(s):

David Bloor

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226060934.003.0002

This chapter focuses on the Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (ACA) and the arguments regarding whether it provided the best or the worst in the field of aeronautics. Since it was founded in 1909, the ACA was, and was intended to be, the brains in the body of British aeronautics. It offered to the emerging field of aviation the expertise of some of the country's leading scientists and engineers. In its early years, however, some people in Britain argued that the ACA failed to live up to its reputation. For these critics, the ACA held back the field of British aeronautics and encouraged the wrong tendencies. The reason for these strongly divergent opinions was that aviation in general, and aeronautical science in particular, fell across some of the many cultural fault lines running through British society, and these fault lines were capable of unleashing powerful and destructive forces.

Keywords:   Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, aeronautics, aviation, British aeronautics, aeronautical science, scientists, engineers

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