Biographical / Historical
The Langley Theater (now called the Lockheed Martin IMAX Theater) at the National Air and Space Museum (NASM) has been the venue for numerous lectures, seminars and special events. Opened in 1976, the theater was an arena for speakers who dealt with almost every aspect of aviation and space history and science. Many famed pilots and astronauts, aircraft and spaceship designers, and space scientists presented lectures or were part of symposiums at the Museum's theater. These presentations, preserved on audio cassette tapes, constitute a rich historical legacy in sound. In 1994, curator Von Hardesty, Aeronautics Division, received a 5000 dollar grant from the Aviation and Space Writers Foundation to help with the cataloging and preservation of the theater lecture tapes. As the grant was not large enough to pay for outside conservation work, equipment (one CD recorder and two audio tape cassette recorders) was purchased and an archival preservation system was implemented. Each selected tape had a cassette and CD copy made. Famous lecturers include: David L. "Tex" Hill, Gerhard Neumann, Adolf Galland, Douglas Bader, George Gay, Gregory W. "Pappy" Boyington, Donald Lopez, Johannes Steinhoff, Francis Stanley "Gabby" Gabrieski, Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., Charles Elwood "Chuck" Yeager, and Paul Tibbets.