John V. Becker Papers
Scope and Contents
The John V. Becker Papers contain correspondence, notes, memoranda and other materials related to NACA and NASA programs with which Becker was associated, including the X-1, X-15, X-20 (or Dyna-Soar) programs, research files for The High-Speed Frontier and other writings, transcripts of oral history interviews, and copies of publications and lectures by Becker. The majority of materials were created between 1936 and 1980, with the bulk dated between 1946 and 1976. There are also undated materials, but based on their content, they date to the same active time period of Becker's career.
- 1936-1980, n.d.
- Becker, John Vernon, 1913- (Person)
Language of Materials
The materials in the collection are in English.
Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open for use.
Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use
The copyright status of this collection is unknown. Copyright restrictions may apply. Contact Special Collections and University Archives for assistance in determining the use of these materials. Reproduction or digitization of materials for personal or research use can be requested using our reproduction/digitization form: http://bit.ly/scuareproduction. Reproduction or digitization of materials for publication or exhibit use can be requested using our publication/exhibition form: http://bit.ly/scuapublication. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives (firstname.lastname@example.org or 540-231-6308) if you need assistance with forms or to submit a completed form.
John V. Becker was born in Albany, New York, in 1913. He graduated from NYU in 1935 with a degree in mechanical engineering and an MS in 1936. He began working at National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) in the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory later that year. During his career, he served as . Head of the 16-ft. Wind Tunnel Branch (1943-1947), chief of the Compressibility Research Division (1947-1957), and chief of the Aero-Physics Research Division (1958-1974) at NACA and NASA-Langley. He was a specialist in hypersonic and reentry aerodynamics and a pioneer in the development of hypersonic research aircraft, including the X-15. Becker retired from NASA in 1974. He was elected a fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. In 1980, he authored The High-Speed Frontier: Case Histories of Four NACA Programs, 1920-1950 (Washington, DC: NASA, 1980).
A longer biography of Becker is availalbe on the NASA website: https://www.nasa.gov/langley/hall-of-honor/john-v-becker.
5.4 Cubic Feet (4 boxes)
Papers include correspondence, notes, memoranda and other materials related to NACA and NASA programs with which Becker was associated, including the X-1, X-15, X-20 (or Dyna-Soar) programs; research files for The High-Speed Frontier; transcripts of oral history interviews; and copies of publications and lectures by Becker, created between 1936 and 1980.
The John V. Becker Papers are in their original order. Since this order grouped like materials together, series were added to help navigate the collection. Series I: Biographical Information and Correspondence, 1936-1976, n.d., contains resumes, interviews with Becker, correspondence, and materials about his retirement. Series II: Writings and Authored Studies, 1970-1980, n.d., includes books, reports, and studies written by Becker and reviews about those works. In addition, this series has writings by colleagues on which Becker commented. Series III: Talks and Presentations, 1946-1976, consists of talks and presentations given by Becker between 1946 and 1976. These include presentations given to the public (at conferences or invited events), as well as presentation given in the context of his job (for the military, NASA, and corporate partners). Series IV: Research and Meeting Files, 1954-1974, n.d., contains research and subject files on various projects from Becker's career including, but not limited to, wind tunnels, hypersonic and supersonic flight, the X-15 (and precursors and successors), Dyna-Soar, and active cooling programs. In additions, this contains series contains notes from meetings with sueprvisors, project partners, committees. This series may also have correspondence not located in Series I.
Please note: This collection is in off-site storage and requires 2-3 days notice for retrieval. Please contact Special Collections for more information.
Source of Acquisition
The John V. Becker Papers were donated to Special Collections prior to 1990.
Rights Statement for Archival Description
The guide to the John V. Becker Papersn by Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech, is licensed under a CC0 (https://creativecommons.org/share-your-work/public-domain/cc0/).
The initial processing, arrangement, and description of the John V. Becker Papers was completed in 1990. Additional description, re-housing of the collection, and the creation of series was completed in August 2018.
- John V. Becker Papers, 1936-1980, n.d.
- Special Collections Staff
- 2018 (CC0 1.0)
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- 2018/8/22: Folder list added, additional notes created. kad
- 2020-09-09: Finding aid notes updated to new department standards. juliags
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