New World Vistas

On 10 November 1994, SECAF Dr. Sheila Widnall and CSAF Gen. Ronald Fogleman (click the image), challenged the USAF Scientific Advisory Board to look into the future of air, space and computational technology and create a broad, forward-looking study in one year’s time. Dr. Widnall’s challenge was powerful. “…this is not another Air Force internal requirement scrub to justify the Air Force science budget. Rather, it should be a truly independent futuristic view of how the exponential rate of technology change will shape the 21st Century Air Force. My goal for you is that you should publish New World Vistas in December 1995, on the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of Toward New Horizons.” General Hap Arnold had challenged Dr. Theodore von Kármán to look far into the future and create a report that could guide the air forces into a technologically advanced world. On 15 December 1995, Toward New Horizons was delivered to the Chief and the Secretary during holiday celebrations near Dr. Widnall’s office in the Pentagon, fulfilling the challenge. Today, the contents of that S&T report are largely forgotten, but they should not be. Contained within the volumes are forecasts for the evolution of hypersonic technology, unmanned weaponry and refueling possibilities, command and control consolidation, 3D command centers and much, much more. The Air Force Historical Foundation is proud to make it available to you for the first time in more than two decades.
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