Mission Control Concepts
The term “flight operations” has had a variety of meanings to different groups of people and at different points in time. During and after WW-II it was used by the military and described preparing for, and executing fighter and bomber missions. At the National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics (NACA) Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory during this period it was the testing of both military and civilian aircraft. This involved wind tunnels and the acquisition of large amounts of data. Pilots would fly aircraft in order to acquire data in various portions of the flight envelope. There were not “control centers” as we use the term today; there were people in a room inside the hanger who would gather to monitor the “flight test.” And at the Wallops Island Station, the Pilotless Aircraft Research Division launched all manner of unmanned craft in the late 1940s and did not use the term so much as “flight test” because for those flights, once you’d “lit the fuse” it was gone!