Saturday, January 19, 2008

Read: A History of Military Aviation in San Antonio (up to pg 76)

The airplanes are as much, if not a greater, part of the story as the individuals.

Still at Brooks.

Aeromedical evacuation did not become the preferred method of moving wounded soldiers until the Korean War. The Convair C-131A Samaritan was the first aircraft whose primary purpose was to ferry soldiers who needed medical attention. Before, during World War II, the C-47 was used. In 1968, the currently-used aircraft, the C-9A Nightingale entered service for peacetime use. Wartime uses the C-130 Hercules.

The first meeting on space flight medical problems was held at Brooks, in 1948. More than ten years later, Brooks personnel developed the prototype for the escape system for the Mercury Program. The prototype was tested on a monkey, and succeeded.

Brooks and NASA have worked together on manned space flight research, especially altitude decompression sickness. Recent research at Brooks has focused on treatments for exposure to the vacuum of space, ebullism. The people who work there may be able to tell if the vacuum exposure scene [not a video link] in 2001: A Space Odyssey is realistic or not.

Onto Randolph Field. The move from aircraft providing a primary defense service, rather than auxiliary, became official in 1926. The location of primary training at Brooks, and advanced at Kelly, meant that when time came to expand the Air Corps, the expansion would occur in San Antonio.

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