William Hewitt Phillips Papers, 1942-1994 (Ms2005-019)
- 1942 - 1994
Collection is open to research.
Permission to publish material from the William Hewitt Phillips Papers must be obtained from Special Collections, Virginia Tech.
William Hewitt Phillips, known more familiarly as Hewitt Phillips, was born in Merseyside, England, in 1918, but moved with his parents at age two to the United States. He studied aeronautical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), obtaining an S. B. degree in 1939 and an S.M. in 1940.
In July 1940, Phillips entered commenced service with the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), where he was assigned to the Flight Research Division at Langley Research Center (Hampton, Virginia), specializing in the study of aircraft flying qualities and stability. Within this broader assignment, Phillips' task involved the improvement of World War II military aircraft flying qualities. Following the war, Phillips' research related to the development of jet-powered fighter airplanes, supersonic airplanes, stability augmentation and its effect on pilot control, automatic control, and gust alleviation. In 1947, Phillips had married Viola Ohler, then head of Langley's editorial office. The couple had three children.
As the U. S. space program commenced, Phillips became chief of the Space Mechanics Division, supervising research in the areas of space rendezvous, navigation, and lunar landing and developing flight simulators for the Gemini and Apollo programs. To train astronauts for lunar landings, Phillips developed the Lunar Landing Facility. He later served as an analyst and consultant in the development of the space shuttle.
Phillips retired from NASA in February 1979 but continued in the position of distinguished research associate, performing original research on solar-powered aircraft, propellers, airfoil design and wind-tunnel studies of the use of canard surfaces for the space shuttle.
Language of Materials
The William Hewitt Phillips Papers were donated to Special Collections in 2005.
General Physical Description note
32 containers; 15.4 cu. ft.
Papers of William Hewitt Phillips, NACA and NASA Langley Research Center aerospace engineer (and chief of Flight Dynamics and Control Division from 1970 to 1979), including lecture notes, reports and memoranda tracing the development of Phillips' theories while at Langley, spanning from his work on World War II-era aircraft to the early U.S. space program and beyond.
This collection contains the papers of William Hewitt Phillips, an aerospace engineer for the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) and National Air and Space Administration (NASA) at Langley Research Center and chief of the Flight Dynamics and Control Division from 1970 to 1979. The collection includes lecture notes, reports and memoranda tracing the development of Phillips' theories while at Langley and spans from his work on World War II-era aircraft to the early U.S. space program and beyond. These papers include calculations of various numerical values in relation to various aircraft and spacecraft, as well as drawings and other illustrations. The collection also contains a set of Phillips' official reports, files devoted to lectures delivered by Phillips, and notes from courses and lectures presented by others. Major topics in this collection include aircraft stability and control; gust alleviation; wing theories; types of planes; shuttles; airfoils; gliders; and simulation of space operations (particularly the Lunar Landing Research Facility).
The processing, arrangement and description of the William Hewitt Phillips Papers commenced in September 2008 and was completed in February 2009.
- Aerospace engineers
- Archives of American Aerospace Exploration (AAAE)
- Science and Technology
- United States -- National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics -- Officials and employees
- United States -- National Aeronautics and Space Administration -- Officials and employees
- United States. National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics
- United States. National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Part of the Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech Repository
Special Collections and University Archives, University Libraries (0434)
560 Drillfield Drive
Newman Library, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg Virginia 24061 US