A flight engineer at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) Aircraft Engine Research Laboratory monitors test equipment in the rear of the Lockheed RA–29 Hudson. Lockheed manufactured several variations of the light bomber in the late 1930s. The Hudson was one of the few military aircraft models available in large quantities during the early years of World War II, and both the US and British air forces utilized it as a patrol aircraft. The RA–29s were soon superseded by newer aircraft, but continued to serve as crew trainers, light cargo carriers and staff transports.
The NACA flight engineers in the Planning and Analysis Section were responsible for working with researchers to install and monitor the experimental equipment on the NACA’s research aircraft. This process could require weeks or months. When larger aircraft, like the RA–29 Hudson, were utilized the flight engineers often participated in the flights.
The NACA acquired their RA–29 in November 1943, and used the aircraft for fuel blend studies and instrumentation development. The Hudson also frequently served as a transportation vehicle for the staff and visitors. The RA–29 was transferred from the NACA in July 1945.