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Great Aerospace Personalities

Antonio

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Do you know the great names behind aerospace design?.
What about compiling a list of brief biografies, anecdotes and pics about the most important aerospace designers?.

I toke the idea from Borovik's post

http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,467.msg18306/topicseen.html#msg18306
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Edgar Schmued

From Wikipedia:

The talented and inventive Schmued, by now, a citizen of the United States, was employed by North American Aviation (NAA) in Dundalk, Maryland. In 1935, North American was relocated to Los Angeles, California, from General Motors. When his wife Luisa proved reluctant to relocate from the east coast, Schmued joined Bellanca but his time there was short-lived. While travelling to California to work again for North American, the Schmueds' car was involved in a head-on collision on Route 60. His wife was tragically killed while Schmued was seriously injured. After recovery, he went to work for "Dutch" Kindelberger in early 1936 as a preliminary design engineer. Schmued was involved in the XB-21 (designing the front turret), creating the NA-50 single-engine fighter for Peru then going on to design work on the NA-62 (later the B-25 Mitchell). Schmued would later became Chief of Preliminary Design. [1]

During his long tenure at NAA, he contributed greatly to the design of many airplanes. By far his most famous design was the highly successful P-51 Mustang of World War II. The legend began with NAA's President, "Dutch" Kindelberger asking, "Ed, do we want to build P-40s here?" Schmued had been long awaiting a question like this. His answer would begin the design process, "Well, Dutch, don't let us build an obsolete airplane, let's build a new one. We can design and build a better one." [2] His adaptation of the then new laminar flow wing and other innovations made the P-51 performance outstanding in all respects and its flying qualifies superb. This aircraft was still winning races and setting speed records for piston engine-powered airplanes decades after its production had ended. Although he was renowed as a workaholic at North American, Schmued undertook the design of the Morrow Victory Trainer in 1941 on an independent contract; it was dubbed the "Mini-Mustang" because of its close resemblance to the P-51. [3]

An urban legend has grown up about Edgar Schmued, possibly related to his German origins, claiming he had once worked for Willy Messerschmitt and that the Mustang was heavily influenced by the Bf 109. Just as familiar is the notion that the abortive Curtiss XP-46 was the basis of the P-51 design.

Schmued was employed by North American Aviation, later a division of the Rockwell International Corporation, for 22 years. During his tenure, Schmued also designed the F-82 and, the other iconic NAA designs, the F-86 Sabre and F-100 Super Sabre. After leaving North American, he spent five years as an aircraft designer for the Northrop Corporation, where he helped design the F-5 and the T-38.

Edgar Schmued died at Oceanside, California, on 1 June 1985.
 

flateric

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http://en.rian.ru/russia/20070927/81336710.html

S-400 designer Alexander Lemansky dies of heart failure
17:06 | 27/ 09/ 2007

MOSCOW, September 27 (RIA Novosti) - The chief designer of the S-400 Triumf (SA-21 Growler) air defense system died Thursday at the Kapustin Yar firing range in south Russia, a spokesman for the Almaz company said Thursday.

"It happened this morning at the Kapustin Yar firing range. According to unconfirmed reports, he died of heart failure," the spokesman said.

Alexander Lemansky was the chief designer at the Almaz Scientific Production Association. He was born May 24, 1935 in Moscow.

In 1959, he graduated from the Moscow Engineering Physics Institute. A Doctor of Engineering and professor, from 1958-2001 Lemansky worked for the Almaz Central Design Bureau designing the S-300 and S-400 AD systems.

He was a holder of the Distinguished Scientist Award of the Russian Federation, the USSR State Prize winner (1978), and the USSR Academy of Science Prize winner (1986).

The S-400 is designed to intercept and destroy airborne targets at a distance of up to 400 kilometers (250 miles), or twice the range of the U.S. MIM-104 Patriot, and 2.5 times that of the S-300PMU-2.

The system is believed to have high capability to destroy stealth aircraft, cruise missiles, and ballistic missiles with an effective range of up to 3,500 kilometers (2,200 miles), and a speed of up to 4.8 kilometers (3 miles) per second.

Experts believe that the ability to intercept and destroy cruise missiles and ballistic missiles makes the S-400 Triumf a crucial part of theater missile defenses.

A regular S-400 battalion comprises at least eight launchers and 32 missiles and a mobile command post, according to various sources.

The ADS is believed to form the new baseline for Russian air defense up to 2020 or even 2025.

The S-400 was first demonstrated at MAKS-2007, an aviation exhibition held in the town of Zhukovsky, in the Moscow Region, this year.

:'(
 

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Antonio

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Impressive curriculum, a genius is lost :'(

Flateric, what do you think about moving this post to our Great Aerospace Personalities?

http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,2157.0.html

BTW, Great Aerospace Personalities should be moved from the Bar to Aviation/Aerospace
 

flateric

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"...Colonel Everest Riccioni. He has an extraordinarily illustrious career. He began with playing around with aircraft in 1943. He learned to be a test pilot at the knee of Chuck Yeager; was a flight test engineer and experimental test flight pilot instructor in the experimental test pilot school; taught the most advanced engineering course at the Air Force Academy; then went on to command both the prototype and flight mechanics divisions of the Flight Dynamics Lab at Wright-Patterson; inspired and chaired the first supersonic cruise fighter design conference in history; went on to fly 55 military aircraft of all types, most fighters, as well as bombers, transports and trainers. He then became one of the three legendary fighter mafia, along with Colonel John Boyd and Pierre Spray, which were responsible for the F-16, and ultimately the F-18.

And after retiring from the Air Force in 1976, [he] went on to Northrop, where he worked until seven years ago through both their ATF programs and their B-2 division. [...] decision-makers in Washington really should listen to what Colonel Riccioni has to say, and I believe that what I have found listening to him, that the F-22 really is a case of a lot more bucks for not much more bang."

http://www.pogo.org/p/defense/do-000608-f22.htm
 

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sferrin

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flateric said:
decision-makers in Washington really should listen to what Colonel Riccioni has to say, and I believe that what I have found listening to him, that the F-22 really is a case of a lot more bucks for not much more bang."

http://www.pogo.org/p/defense/do-000608-f22.htm

I thank God that they don't. We'd still be flying F-5s with 2 20mm cannon and a ranging radar if he'd had his way.
 

Sundog

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Lee Begin. There was a good article about him in Vol. 10, No.1 (January 1976) of Air International entitled Braybrook Versus Begin: Fighter Design Philosophy. I highly recommend it. For anyone who doesn't know he was, he was with Northrop and the designer behind the Cobra/YF-17, which began development long before the LWF was started.
 

sferrin

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Von Braun
Kelly Johnson
Jack Northrop
Alexander Kartveli
Igor Sikorsky
 

Antonio

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Ed Schmued

http://www.amazon.ca/Mustange-Designer-Ray-Wagner/dp/1560989947
http://www.amazon.ca/s/ref=nb_ss_b?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=P-51+paul+ludwig
 

Archibald

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Pierre Etienne Mercier.
He designed very efficient engine cowlings for LeO-451, and added propulsive exhaust pipes. This added 30 km/h to the speed of this french bomber and allowed them to escape Me-109 in shallow dives.
He also studied an autostabilisation system against squalls.

Nathan C.Price.
He modified a Travellair biplane with a steam engine in 1931. Then he went to Lockheed were he designed the very first US turbojet, the L-1000, a two-spool turbojet.
He also studied flying-disc aircraft in the 50's.

More to come...
 

GTX

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Martin Baker. Produced what had the potential to be the best piston fighter of WWII but was either too late or cancelled in favor of a design by a volume-producing manufacturer. (MB-5) Not to mention the ejection seat business on the side

Please note that there was no "Martin Baker" per sae - the company name (Martin-Baker) is derived from the names of it's two starters:

  • Sir James Martin CBE, DSc, C Eng, FImech E, Hon FRAeS
  • Captain Valentine Baker M.C, D.F.C.

Please refer to http://www.martin-baker.com/History/General.aspx for more details.

If you were referring to these individuals, then fine, but please don't make the mistake of thinking there was a person Martin Baker that was behind this.

Regards,

Greg
 

sferrin

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GTX said:
Martin Baker. Produced what had the potential to be the best piston fighter of WWII but was either too late or cancelled in favor of a design by a volume-producing manufacturer. (MB-5) Not to mention the ejection seat business on the side

Please note that there was no "Martin Baker" per sae - the company name (Martin-Baker) is derived from the names of it's two starters:

  • Sir James Martin CBE, DSc, C Eng, FImech E, Hon FRAeS
  • Captain Valentine Baker M.C, D.F.C.

Please refer to http://www.martin-baker.com/History/General.aspx for more details.

If you were referring to these individuals, then fine, but please don't make the mistake of thinking there was a person Martin Baker that was behind this.

Regards,

Greg

You know, I hadn't really thought of that. Obviously the "-" isn't a person's middle name. :-[
 

Sundog

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Don't forget Ed Heinemann from Douglas. After reading his bio there, I had no idea he was VP of engineering at GD and oversaw the development of the F-16.

From his bio:
During his long career at Douglas, Heinemann designed more than 20 combat aircraft for the US Navy, including many that became legends in their field. His designs included:

* SBD Dauntless dive bomber
* A-20 Havoc attack aircraft
* A-26 Invader attack aircraft
* A-1 Skyraider attack aircraft
* A-3 Skywarrior bomber
* A-4 Skyhawk light bomber
* F3D Skyknight night fighter
* F4D Skyray carrier-based fighter aircraft
* Douglas Skyrocket and Douglas Skystreak research aircraft

The sad thing is, aircraft development takes so many years now I doubt we'll ever know anyone in the modern age that can compare, since they will probably only be involved in a few designs that fly over their lifetimes.

Although I think we have to add Burt Rutan to the list as well.

Also Mikoyan, Gurevich, Sukhoi, Tupolev, Kurt Tank, Sydney Camm, and of course R.J. Mitchell.
 

Deltafan

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I think that we can add the french futuristic designer and builder Nicolas Roland Payen :)

If only he had more money and no misfortune (and no blind french air authorities in the 30's) :-\

I think that the best link about Payen is here (it is not finished) ;D ;) :

http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,1475.0.html
 

danielgrimes

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Sir George Edwards - started his career at Vickers on the Wellington Bomber, finished it as the MD of BAe having delivered Concorde.
 

Trident

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Speaking of the Wellington - Barnes Wallis :)

Notable personalities from the space part of 'Aerospace':

Valentin Glushko

Sergey Korolev

Vladimir Chelomei
 

Antonio

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Rex B. Beisel: designer of the F4U Corsair and later President of Vought.
 

Antonio

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Jiro Horikoshi: designer of Mitsubishi A6M and A7M naval fighters
 

archipeppe

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I want to introduce Prof. Luigi Pascale founder of Partenavia and Tecnam ventures and also designer of P-66, P-68 and P-92, P-96 and P-2002 ultralight, and very well sold, aircrafts.

He is still operational in Naples, after been (for almost 40 years) professor at Aeronautical Engineering Dept. of University of Naples "Federico II".
 

lantinian

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Assen Jordanoff
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asen_Yordanov

A fellow Bulgarian I might add.

and

Ben Rich
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben_Rich
(it was in one reply but no link was given)

I strongly support only Names + Link format to avoid cluttering the tread with
info people can find in the link anyway. Also highligh the names somehow.

P.S. How about everyone go and modify his post like that, huh!
 

Antonio

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I strongly support only Names + Link format to avoid cluttering the tread with
info people can find in the link anyway. Also highligh the names somehow.

I agree to use that style for next posts :)
 

Antonio

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Frank Piasecki died on February the 11th :'(

http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/graham-warwick/2008/02/frank-piasecki-remembered-1.html

http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/graham-warwick/2008/02/helicopter-pioneer-frank-piase.html
 

yasotay

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I had the honor of meeting Mr. Piasecki three years ago at his facility in Philadelphia. It was then and remains quite thrilling to think what one man can do if he puts his mind to it.
 

Antonio

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Paul Czysz is a Professor Emeritus of Aerospace Engineering at Saint Louis University, the former Chief Scientist for the National Aerospace Place (NASP) project, and the CEO of his hypersonic research company, Hypertech Concepts, LLC.

http://www.americanantigravity.com/authors/74/Prof.-Paul-Czysz
 

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Pyrrhic victory

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I'm surprised no one has mentioned this man yet.
 

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flateric

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Sukhoi ex-chief test pilot Vladimir Sergeevich Ilyushin (yes, son of...) and T-4 ('100') in Monino AF Museum
Both are smiling...
 

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KJ_Lesnick

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Sundog,

Lee Begin. There was a good article about him in Vol. 10, No.1 (January 1976) of Air International entitled Braybrook Versus Begin: Fighter Design Philosophy. I highly recommend it. For anyone who doesn't know he was, he was with Northrop and the designer behind the Cobra/YF-17, which began development long before the LWF was started.

When did he start the development on the plane?


KJ Lesnick
 

martinbayer

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Sorry for joining this thread late, but I only became aware of it now.

My addition to the list is Ernst Heinkel, who was a true visionary for high speed flight. Based on his passion, he developed both the first aircraft to fly with a turbojet (He-178) as well as the first aircraft to fly powered only by a liquid rocket engine (He-176, after tests with a rocket-assisted He-112), both as private ventures rather than under nazi government contracts. He had in fact been a critic of the Nazi regime, and after the war he was acquitted by the Allies based on evidence of anti Hitler activities and his treatment by the Nazis, who 'nationalized' his company in 1942.

Martin
 

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