Daredevil pilots of the barnstorming era, bold
entrepreneurs and military strategists of the 30s and 40s, and
the visionaries and down-to-earth managers of the Space Age
are a few of the aerospace leaders to be profiled at a day-
long public symposium, “Realizing the Dream of Flight.”

On Nov. 5, 2003, some of the country’s most distinguished
aerospace historians will gather at the Great Lakes Science
Center in Cleveland to honor the Wright Brothers’ invention,
along with the advancements of other scientists and engineers
who made human flight one of the most important technical
achievements of the twentieth century.

The symposium will be divided into three panel sessions that
will profile “Dreamers and Doers,” Barnstormers and
Entrepreneurs,” and “Aerospace Leaders and Managers.” NASA’s
Glenn Research Center Director Dr. Julian M. Earls will
welcome participants prior to the start of the first panel
session. NASA Headquarters historians Steven J. Dick and
Stephen J. Garber will offer concluding remarks.

Featured speakers and their topics follow.

Tom Crouch, senior curator for aeronautics at the
Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum in
Washington, will focus on Willy Ley, a German rocket
enthusiast featured in Crouch’s recent book, “Aiming for
the Stars: Dreamers and Doers of the Space Age.” Crouch is
the author of the prize-winning book “The Bishop’s Boys: A
Life of Wilbur and Orville Wright.”

Alan Gropman, professor at the Industrial College of the
Armed Forces, National Defense University, will provide a
personal glimpse of the accomplishments of Benjamin O.
Davis Jr. General Davis led the Tuskegee Airmen during
World War II and played a major role in the integration of
the U.S. Armed Forces.

Susan Ware of Harvard University will speak on Amelia
Earhart. Ware is the author of “Still Missing: Amelia
Earhart and the Search for Modern Feminism.”

Tami Davis Biddle, a professor at the U.S. Army War
College, will discuss “Curtis E. LeMay and the Ascent of
American Strategic Airpower.”

Roger E. Bilstein, of the University of Houston, Clear
Lake, and author of many books on aviation, including
“Flight in America” and “The Enterprise of Flight: The
American Aviation and Aerospace Industry,” will speak on
“Donald Douglas: From Aeronautics to Aerospace.”

Other profiles include:

“The Astronaut’s Godfather: Robert Gilruth and the Origins
of Human Spaceflight,” by Roger D. Launius, National Air
and Space Museum;

“Bessie Coleman: The Irrepressible Dreams and Harsh
Realities of Flight,” by Amy Sue Bix, Iowa State

“The Political and Diplomatic Skills of Juan Trippe,
Founder of Pan American Airways,” by William M. Leary,
University of Georgia;

“The Autogiro Files the Mail: Edward V. Rickenbacker,
Eastern Air Lines, and the Experimental Use of Rotorcraft,
1939-1940,” by W. David Lewis, Auburn University;

“A Powerful Influence: NASA’s Hugh L. Dryden,” by Michael
Gorn, NASA Dryden Flight Research Center;

“Wernher von Braun: A Visionary as Engineer and Manager,”
by Andrew J. Dunar, University of Alabama in Huntsville;

“Celebrating the Invention of Flight in a Hands-On Way:
Replicating the 1902 Experimental Glider Flights of the
Wright Brothers,” by Edward J. Pershey, Western Reserve
Historical Society.

The symposium is sponsored by NASA and the U.S. Centennial of
Flight Commission. Local sponsors include NASA’s Glenn
Research Center, The Great Lakes Science Center, the history
departments of Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland
State University, The Northeast Chapter of the Tuskegee
Airmen, Inc., and the International Women’s Air and Space

The event, which is free and open to the public, begins at
8:30 a.m. in the Reinberger Auditorium at The Great Lakes
Science Center. Seating is limited, so early registration is
encouraged. For a complete program and details on how to
register, visit: