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Guide to the Vernon L. Rogallo Papers, 1948-1992
PP14.02  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
The Vernon L. Rogallo Papers feature technical publications, memoirs, albums, photographs, and artifacts related to Rogallo's employment as an engineer for the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) Ames Aeronautical Laboratory and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Ames Research Center, as well as his family's aerobatic kite flying team "The Rockets," which was a vehicle to publicize the Flexikite. The Flexikite, which was based on Vernon's brother Francis's own design and aptly named the "Rogallo Wing," was marketed and distributed on the West Coast by Vernon.
Background
Vernon L. Rogallo graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 1942 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. In October, shortly after graduating, Rogallo was employed by Hughes Aircraft in Culver City, California where he was in charge of range studies for the Spruce Goose until June 1944. In April 1948 Rogallo joined the Ames Aeronautical Laboratory of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) at Moffett Field, California. He was employed at Ames for nearly 21 years. From 1948 to 1958 he worked as an aeronautical research scientist and project engineer in the 40 x 80-foot wind tunnel where his research led to numerous published technical papers, and paved the way for some of his later inventions, such as a propeller blade loading control. After the establishment of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the absorption of NACA in 1958, Rogallo, started working in the instrumentation division. It was there he developed instruments for biomedical, aeronautical, and space research applications until his retirement in September 1969. Rogallo is best known for his work during this period, specifically his adaptation of a Momentum Transducer into a Ballistocardiograph, a device that still endures today for its medical application as an instrument to measure ballistic forces on the heart. While working on the Ballistocardiograph, Rogallo earned the nickname "egg man" of Ames due to his use of the highly sensitive instrument to measure the heartbeat of avian embryos. At least six of Rogallo's inventions at Ames were awarded patents including: Propeller Blade Loading Control (1964), Null-Type Vacuum Microbalance (1965), Thermo-Protective Device for Balances (1965), Force Transducer (1967), Apparatus and Methods for Measuring Energy of Light Beams and Ion Beams (1968), and the Ballistocardiograph (1969).
Extent
Number of containers: 7

Volume: 5 cubic feet
Restrictions
Copyright does not apply to United States government records. For non-government material, researcher must contact the original creator.
Availability
Collection is open for research.