The aerospace industry has deep roots on Long Island from the birth of flight to the space race.
Space Shuttle Tail manufacturing. Photo: Cradle of Aviation Museum, Garden City, NY.
It’s no wonder that even parts and pieces of the magnificent vehicles that took Americans into outer space were assembled by Long Island companies.
Section of Space Shuttle Tail under production. Photo: Cradle of Aviation Museum, Garden City, NY.
Even the tail section of the Space Shuttle was manufactured right here on Long Island at Fairchild (alternatively referred to in documents as Fairchild Republic.) According to technical specs on NASA’s website the contractor for the vertical tail and rudder/speed brake is Fairchild Republic, Farmingdale, N.Y.
Space Shuttle Tail complete and wrapped for shipping. Photo: Cradle of Aviation Museum, Garden City, NY.
“The vertical tail consists of a structural fin surface, the rudder/speed brake surface, a tip and a lower trailing edge,” the website says. “The rudder splits into two halves to serve as a speed brake.”
Space Shuttle Tail wrapped & crated for shipping, Republic Aviation, Farmingdale. Photo: Cradle of Aviation Museum, Garden City, NY.
These photos from the Cradle of Aviation Museum archives show the tail section of the Space Shuttle in various stages of manufacture and being prepped to ship.