About Jerome C. Hunsaker and the Rise of American Aeronautics
Jerome C. Hunsaker’s cumulative effect on both American aeronautics and engineering is immense. Early in his career, he established the aeronautical engineering program at MIT and organized the U.S. Navy’s aviation design and procurement program during World War I. This meticulous chronicle of Hunsaker’s six decades in aeronautics traces both his incredible accomplishments and dispiriting setbacks.
Hunsaker’s career parallels the rise of aviation in America. Whether looking at the years he spent working on aerial navigation systems for Bell Labs or commercial airships with Goodyear-Zeppelin, Trimble shows how Hunsaker drew from a varied background in the sciences and social sciences to solve many difficult technical and administrative problems. Serving for fifteen years as chairman of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics — the forerunner of NASA — was both Hunsaker’s greatest challenge and his crowning achievement.
In presenting such a detailed account of Hunsaker’s influential career, Trimble also traces major trends in engineering and technology in the United States.