AGARD, originally founded as an Agency of the NATO Military Committee, was set up in May 1952 with headquarters in Neuilly sur Seine, France. In a mission statement in the 1982 History it published, the purpose involved "bringing together the leading personalities of the NATO nations in the fields of science and technology relating to aerospace".:iv The Advisory Group was organized by panels:
- Aerospace medical, avionics, electromagnetic wave propagation, flight mechanics, fluid dynamics, guidance and control, propulsion and energetics, structures and materials, and technical information.:95–194
There were annual meetings, frequently in Paris, but also in Delft, Turin, Cambridge, Washington DC.:45–70 The Advisory Group administered a consultant and exchange program including lecture series and technical panels.
The AGARD publishing program included a multilingual aeronautical dictionary, about ninety titles per year, with a normal run of 1200. An Agardograph is a work prepared by, or on behalf of, AGARD’s panels.:217 For example, an agardograph on the AGARD-B wind tunnel model was prepared.
Later examples of AGARD studies include such topics as non-lethal weapons, theatre ballistic missile defence, protection of large aircraft in peace support operations, and limiting collateral damage caused by air-delivered weapons. AGARD was also one of the first NATO organizations to cooperate with Russia in a mutual exchange of information dealing with flight safety.
- Jan van der Bliek Editor AGARD The History 1952-1997: RTO,1999, ISBN 92-836-1079-2.
- Frank Wattendorf & Rolland A. Willaume editors (1982) The AGARD History 1952 — 1981, AGARD Publishing
- R. Hills (1961) A Review of Measurements on AGARD Calibration Models, AGARDograph 64, Aircraft Research Association Bedford, England, 1961
- Keith L. Gardner and Terry A. Franks (January 1997) NATO's new Research and Technology Organization, NATO Review 45(1): 20,1
- Theodore von Kármán with Lee Edson (1967) The Wind and Beyond: Theodore von Kármán Pioneer in Aviation and Pathfinder in Space: Little, Brown and Company