History & Heritage



His·tor·ic – (h -stôr k) – 1. Having importance in or influence on history

His·tor·i·cal – (h -stôr -k l) – 2. concerned with events in history

AIAA has the distinction of being both a historic and a historical organization.

 In Its Historic Role...

AIAA has been an integral part of the aerospace community since it began as a group of science fiction writers dreaming of spaceflight in 1930. Over the past 80+ years, AIAA and its predecessor societies have supported the aerospace community in so many ways – with publications; public lectures and later, technical conferences; journals, and many other activities. A group of the earliest members even performed their own rocket experiments, later forming a commercial company that became a leader in the industry. AIAA has also monitored and often recorded the activities of its members, through those same books, papers, journals, conferences. We watched as airplanes developed into jets; as jets went supersonic; and as spaceflight went from a dream to reality. AIAA can say with pride that an AIAA member has been involved with most of the major milestones in flight, so our history is interweaved with the history of aerospace. We present here a brief history of AIAA as an organization as well as a recognition of important events and pioneers from around the world.