United States Air Force Scientific Advisory Board

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The United States Air Force Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) is a Federal Advisory Committee that provides independent advice on matters of science and technology relating to the Air Force mission, reporting directly to the Secretary of the Air Force and Chief of Staff of the Air Force. In the past, it has provided advice on technologies such as: supersonic aircraft, weather forecasting, satellite communications, medical research, crewless airplanes, and defenses against aircraft and missiles. Today, the SAB performs in-depth reviews of the Air Force Research Laboratory's science and technology research, and performs studies on topics tasked by the Secretary and Chief of Staff.[1] Members are appointed by the Secretary of Defense.[2]


The board was established in 1944 under the name Scientific Advisory Group with General Henry H. Arnold as the military director and Dr. Theodore von Kármán as the board chair. The group was asked to evaluate the aeronautical research and development programs and facilities of the Axis powers of World War II, and to provide recommendations for future United States Air Force research and development programs. The group's name was changed to the Scientific Advisory Board in 1946.[3]: 146 

SAB Chairs[edit]

No. Name Term of Office
Began Ended
1 Dr. Theodore von Kármán (Chairman Emeritus −1963[3]: 172 ) 1946 1955
2 Dr. Mervin J. Kelly 1955 1956
3 Gen. James H. "Jimmy" Doolittle, Maj Gen 1956 1959
4 Lt. Gen. Donald L. Putt 1959 1962
5 Dr. H. Guyford Stever 1962 1969
6 Dr. Courtland D. Perkins 1969 1973
7 Dr. Robert G. Loewy 1973 1977
8 Dr. Gerald P. Dinneen 1977 1978
9 Dr. Courtland D. Perkins 1978 1979
10 Dr. Raymond L. Bisplinghoff 1979 1982
11 Dr. Eugene E. Covert 1982 1986
12 Dr. Robert W. Lucky 1986 1989
13 Dr. Edwin B. Stear 1989 1990
14 Dr. Harold W. Sorenson 1990 1993
15 Dr. Gene McCall 1993 1996
16 Mrs. Natalie Crawford and Dr. William F. Ballhaus 1996 1999
17 Dr. Robert W. Selden 1999 2002
18 Dr. Daniel E. Hastings 2002 2005
19 Ms. Heidi Shyu 2005 2008
20 Dr. John Betz 2008 2011
21 Dr. Eliahu Niewood 2011 2014
22 Dr. Werner J.A. Dahm[2] 2014 2017
23 Dr. James Chow [4] 2017 2020

Scientific Advisory Board Military Directors
1944–1946: Gen Henry Harley "Hap" Arnold[3]: 172 
1946–47: Maj Gen Curtis E. Lemay
1947–1948: Lt Gen Laurence Craigie
1948–52,54- : Maj Gen Donald L. Putt

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Air Force Scientific Advisory Board". United States Air Force. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  2. ^ a b Joe Kullman (13 August 2014). "ASU engineer to lead Air Force Scientific Advisory Board".
  3. ^ a b c Dik A. Daso (2002). Architects of American Air Supremacy: General Hap Arnold and Dr. Theodore Von Kármán. University Press of the Pacific. p. various (see superscripts). ISBN 0-89875-861-0.
  4. ^ "2020 Current Fiscal Year Report: U.S. Air Force Scientific Advisory Board". S. General Services Administration. Retrieved 19 October 2020.