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Blake W. Corson, Jr., Papers

Identifier: Ms-1990-055

Scope and Content

The Blake W. Corson, Jr., Papers are comprised of professional and personal files, correspondence, and published materials from 1861-1984 (bulk, 1934-1979), primarily relating to his career as an engineer at NASA Langley. Topics include aerodynamic performance of aircraft propellers and manned aircraft; wind tunnel fans, jet noise suppression, and tunnel calibration. This collection is organized into five series by material type.


  • 1861 - 1984
  • Majority of material found within 1934 - 1979


Language of Materials

The materials in the collection are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

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: Reproduction or digitization of materials for publication or exhibit use can be requested using our publication/exhibition form: Please contact Special Collections and University Archives ( or 540-231-6308) if you need assistance with forms or to submit a completed form.

Biographical Note

Family History
Blake Wilson Corson was born in Cumberland Virginia In 1874. Wilson Corson had five sisters. Corson attended Virginia Polytechnic Institute in 1895. Corson married Anne Mason "Annie" White on April 23, 1907.

Blake Wilson Corson, Jr., was born to Blake Wilson Corson (1874-1962) and Anne Mason Corson (1874-1968) on October 1, 1908, in Henrico, Virginia. Corson had two youngers sisters Juidith Parker (born July 20, 1911) and Georgina White (born June 26, 1915). Blake W. Corson, Jr., married Shirley Huxter (1921-2014) on December 6, 1947. They had one daughter.

Corson, Jr.'s father died in 1962. Blake Wilson Corson was buried with Grace Episcopal Church. Anne Corson died in 1968; she was buried next to her spouse.

Blake W. Corson, Jr., died at 83 on December 23, 1991. He was survived by his wife and daughter. Corson was burried in Peninsula Memorial Park Newport News. Shirley Corson died in 2014 at the age of 93.

Education and Work
Blake W. Corson, Jr., graduated from John Marshall High School. Corson, Jr., attended the University of Richmond and earned a B.S. in Mathmatics and Physics in 1932. In 1935 Corson, Jr., began working with the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics and the Natioanl Aeronautical and Space Association. Corson, Jr., retired in 1972.


  • Cascade Plug Nozzle, Filed :1974, 07, 12, Publication: 1976, 02, 17
  • Nozzle: Filed: 1960, 05 , 23; Publication: 1961,12,12

  • "The Aerodynamics of a Wind Tunnel Fan." NASA. 1941.
  • "Model Tests of a Wing-Duct System for Auxiliary Air Supply." NASA. 1941.
  • "The Belt Method for Measuring Pressure Distribution." NASA. 1943.
  • "Cooling Characteristics of a Pratt and Whitney R-2800 Engine Installed in an NACA Short-nose High-inlet-velocity Cowling." NASA. 1944.
  • "Analysis of Propeller Efficiency Losses Associated with Heated-air Thermal De-icing." NASA. 1946.
  • "The Effect of Simulated Icing on Propeller Performance." NASA. 1946.
  • "Investigation of the Effect of a Tip Modification and Thermal De-icing Air Flow on Propeller Performance." NASA. 1946.
  • "A Review Of Propeller Theory" NASA. 1948.
  • "The Langley 2,000 Horsspower propeller Dynamometer and Tests at High Speed of an NACA 10-(3)(08)-03 Two Blade Propeller". NASA. 1952.
  • "Static Thrust of an Annular Nozzle with a Concave Central Base." NASA. 1960.
  • "Transonic Thrust and Drag Characteristics of an Annular Nozzle Having a Semitoroidal Concave Plug." NASA. 1964.
  • "Summary of Research on Jet Exit Installations." NASA. 1966.
  • "Calibration of the Langley 16-Foot Transonic Tunnel with Test Section Air Removal." NASA. 1974.



17.7 Cubic Feet (9 boxes; 17 folders)


The Blake W. Corson, Jr., Papers are comprised of professional and personal files, correspondence, and published materials from 1861-1984 (bulk, 1934-1979), primarily relating to his career as an engineer at NASA Langley.


This collection is organized into five series by material type.

Series I: Personal Papers, 1861-1865, 1962-1966, n.d. includes Corson’s resume, personal photographs, and materials relating to the Corson family history, genealogy, and copies of family correspondence. This series is arranged by material type.

Series II: Personal Projects, 1941-1979, n.d. consists of research, subject files, patent forms, and extensive notes on a variety of research projects conducted by Corson outside of his work for Langley. The majority of this series surrounds two projects: “Toward Energy Independence” and Corson’s interest in environmental clean up in the Newport News area. This series is arranged by project/topic.

Series III: Correspondence/Memorandum, 1938-1978, n.d. contains letters to and from a variety of scientists, researchers, community members, government employees, and some corporations and agencies. In addition, there are extensive memos written reporting on projects of which Corson was a part. There is a list of major correspondents below. This series in in chronological order.

Major correspondents in this collection include:

  • A.W. Vogley
  • Abe Silverstien
  • Acoustics Division (Position Transfer)
  • Admiral Ralph W. Cousins (Cleaning Up Newport News)
  • Anita Cavagnara Associate Director (Cooperation and Research with Boeing)
  • Bill Greathoose Booth (High Speed Tunnel)
  • Chief Of Aerodynamics (High Speed Tunnel Reports)
  • Chief of Compressibility Research (16ft High Speed Tunnel Rotating Seal)
  • Chief of Compressibility Research (Project Z)
  • Chief of Research (Mechanical Sink)
  • Chief of Research (Propeller Projects and Papers)
  • Chief of Research (Thermal Deiceing Propeller and Jet Driven Propeller)
  • Clyde Lumpkin Construction Office, John D.R. Zeno (ASME Talk on Propeller Theory)
  • David Biermann (Moffett Field/Langley Field Fans, R-2800 Engine)
  • Director John R. Erwin (Shadow Graph Wing Shock)
  • Donald D. Amos (Oscillating Orfice Pump)
  • Donald D. Baals
  • Dr. Adolph Busemann
  • Dr. Clinton C. Kemp E. Boxer (Compressor Noise Reduction)
  • E. J. Manganilleo E. Johnson (Moffett Field Fans)
  • Edgar M. Cartright Energy Research and Development Administration Engineer in Charge (High Speed Tunnel)
  • Engineer in Charge (Servo Control) FAECT-- PAC Committee of Chapter 15
  • Frank Smiley (Newport News City Manager)
  • G.W. Lewis
  • George R. Kinney
  • H. J. E. Reid
  • H.B. Edwards (16 foot Wind Tunnel Fan Blades)
  • Hamilton Standard Division
  • Harleth G. Wiley (Research and Technology Resume Numbering System)
  • Harry E. Shanner
  • Henry Balfour
  • Howard J. Osborn; Office of Patent Council LRC (Mutiple Cell Toridal Vortex Tube)
  • Hugh L. Dryden (University Conference on Aerodynamics)
  • J. G. McHugh
  • J.M. Carson, Jr. (Office Patent Council)
  • J.O. Tresansky (Office Patent Council)
  • J.W. Crowly
  • James B. Delanor
  • John L. Crigler
  • John N. Randolph (Patent, Improved Type of Crate for Bottled Beverages)
  • John V. Becker (Moffett Field Tunnel Fans)
  • Keffer (Langley Field Rear Propeller)
  • L. R. Quarles (Blade Elements)
  • Lawrence K. Loftin, Jr. (McDonnel Douglas Review)
  • Leland B. Salters, Jr.
  • Lindsey I . Turner (Oscillating Orfice Pump)
  • Lowell Hasel
  • Manned Spacecraft Center
  • Mark R. Nichols (VTOL, FSRD)
  • Mason (16 ft Wind Tunnel Study and Alteration)
  • Mason (Gust Tunnel)
  • Messick (Langley Field Rear Fan)
  • Michael A. Chaszeyka (McDonnel Douglas Review)
  • Mr. DeFraue (Two Dimensional Pressure Tunnel)
  • Mr.Wood (Free-Flight Tunnel)
  • NACA/LMAL Travel Permission
  • Norman Silvers
  • P.W. Mangen (Hotel New Yorker)
  • Paul Taynton (Texaco; Hydrazine in Fuel)
  • Peninsula Planning District Commission (Cleaning Up Newport News)
  • Planning Office of the Technical Service Division
  • President Jimmy Carter (Energy Crisis)
  • R.C. Platt
  • R.J. Landberg (McDonnell Douglas Review)
  • Ray W. Hooker (Gust Tunnel)
  • Ribner
  • Richard O. Carden
  • Robert R. Gilruth
  • S. Walter Hixton Jr. (Management Training)
  • State Corporation Commission
  • Sylvia Thomas (S.A.E.)
  • Tab Smith (York County Board of Supervisors)
  • Travel Request and Authorization U.S. Office of Patents (Purox System)
  • Union Carbide Corporation (Cleaning up Newport News/ Towards Energy Independence)
  • William A. Harding
  • William A. Scheller

Series IV: Professional Projects, 1937-1984, n.d. includes a small group of outlines and reports. This series primarily consist of five subseries, organized by topic/project, consisting of a variety of formats from Corson's work as an Aerospace Engineer with NASA.

Subseries A: Research Tunnels includes papers and research relating to a variety of tunnels on which Corson worked (other than the 16 foot Transonic Tunnel (which is its own subseries below).

Subseries B: Propellers and Propeller Research includes notes, graphs, calculations, and subject files on propellers and fan designs.

Subseries C: Nozzles and Nozzle Research includes reports, notes, figures, proposals, and designs for nozzles.

Subseries D: Research Projects contains drawings, calculations, notes, and subject files on topics relating to aspects of flight and engineering, especially certain parts or processes.

Subseries E: 16 Foot Transonic Tunnel and Research includes extensive notes, photographs, calculations, notes, and reports on one of Corson’s major projects and research topics. Materials in these series, subseries, and sub-subseries are organized by topic/subject.

Major projects in this series include:
  • 19 Foot Pressure Tunnel
  • 20 Spin Tunnel
  • AERL Ice Tunnel
  • Air Breathing Propulsions Systems
  • Annular Nozzle with a Concave Central base
  • Annular Nozzle with a Semi Toridal Base
  • Carderock Wind Tunnel
  • Cascade Plug Nozzle
  • Convergent Divergent Nozzle
  • Exhaust Nozzle and Jet Nozzle Performance
  • High Speed Tunnel
  • Jet Interference Program
  • McDonnell Douglas Review
  • Moffett Field
  • Perforated Diffuser Nozzle Bifurcated Rotary Joint
  • Propeller Research Tunnel
  • Stability Tunnel
  • Swept Wing
  • Transonic Tunnel
  • Two Dimensional Pressure Tunnel

Series V: Publications, Journals, and Reports, 1934-1982 contains published works by Corson or collected by him for research purposes. The majority are directly related to projects on which Corson worked. This series includes six subseries, organized by type of publication (Publications, Reports, Papers, Journals, Articles, and Pamphlets, Brochures, and Directories). Materials in each subseries are organized alphabetically by title.

Physical Access

Please note: The majority collection is in off-site storage and requires 2-3 days notice for retrieval. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives for more information.

Source of Acquisition

The Blake W. Corson, Jr., Papers were donated to Special Collections and University Archives in 1990.

Rights Statement for Archival Description

The guide to the Blake W. Corson, Jr., Papers by Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech, is licensed under a CC0 (

Blake W. Corson, Jr., Papers 1861-1984 (Bulk, 1934-1979)
Kaitlyn Britt, Student Assistant, and Kira A. Dietz, Archivist
2016 (CC0 1.0)
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

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