Jerome Clarke Hunsaker
Jerome Clarke Hunsaker
Lt. Cmdr. Hunsaker, circa 1917
|Died||September 10, 1984 (aged 98)|
|Known for||pioneering research in aeronautics|
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/||United States Navy|
|Years of service||1904–1926, 1942–1951|
|Battles/wars||World War I|
World War II
Distinguished Service Cross
Hunsaker was born in Iowa but grew up in Michigan, studying at schools in Detroit and Saginaw where his father was a newspaper publisher. He then entered the U. S. Naval Academy, graduating in 1908 as the best student. Still in uniform, he studied naval architecture at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, obtaining his master's degree in 1912.
He witnessed the flight of one of Louis Blériot's planes around the Boston harbor. It inspired him to take up study of Resistance of the Air and Aviation by Gustave Eiffel. His notes to the author resulted in an invitation to Paris to see airplane construction. At M.I.T. he was assigned the task of developing appropriate courses in aerodynamics. He visited facilities in Europe and returned to build the first wind tunnel for M.I.T. He became an instructor at M.I.T. in 1914-16. Donald Willis Douglas Sr., of Douglas Aircraft, received his degree at M.I.T. where he remained an additional year as an assistant to Hunsaker.
He was president of Goodyear Zeppelin Company.
He became Head of the Mechanical Engineering Department at MIT in 1933. Under him, graduate students were trained as aeronautical engineers. He designed the first modern airship built in the United States as well as the C and D class Navy airships, and with Westervelt and Richardson, also designed the Curtiss NC flying boats.
From 1941 to 1956 he was chairman of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics. He also served on the board of trustees of Science Service, now known as Society for Science & the Public, from 1955-1958.
Among his published works are: Stable Biplane Arrangements; Aërodynamic Properties of the Triplane; and Aëroplane Stability. He was awarded the Edward Longstreth Medal of the Franklin Institute in 1942 and the 1955 Langley Gold Medal awarded by the Smithsonian Institution.
- "About Aero-Astro - History". MIT Aero-Astro:.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
- Kerrebrock, Jack L. (2000). "Jerome Clarke Hunsaker 1886–1984" (PDF). Biographical Memoirs. 78. National Academy of Sciences. ISBN 0-309-07035-X.
- "Dr. J.C. Hunsaker Becomes Head of M.E. Department", The Tech, September 25, 1933
- "Franklin Laureate Database - Edward Longstreth Medal 1942 Laureates". Franklin Institute. Archived from the original on December 10, 2012. Retrieved November 23, 2011.
- Hunsaker Receives Langley Medal from Smithsonian Institution
- "Awards and Medals". Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved March 14, 2012.
Trimble, William F. (2002). Jerome C. Hunsaker and the rise of American aeronautics. Smithsonian Institution. p. 224. ISBN 1-58834-006-6.
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