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Edward Heinemann

Premier Aircraft Designer

Born Saginaw, Michigan

March 14, 1908


November 26, 1991

Edward Henry Heinemann began designing aircraft in 1926 as a draftsman with Douglas Aircraft Company. He moved to International Aircraft and to Moreland Aircraft as Chief Engineer. Heinemann proved his concepts as the test pilot of the aircraft that he designed. In 1930, he joined Northrop Aircraft Corporation as Project Engineer, but it was as Vice President for Military Engineering for Douglas Aircraft Company in 1936 that he achieved his greatest design triumphs. In 1962, he became Corporate President of Engineering with General Dynamics, the position he occupied until his retirement in 1973. He continues to be active and makes his rare talents available to the aerospace industry.

Heinemann was responsible either totally or in part for the design and development of more than 20 outstanding military aircraft. To name but a few, the SBD Dauntless dive bomber of World War II fame of which 4982 were built; the A-20 and a A-26 light bombers of which over 8000 were built; the A-1 Skyraider; the F4D Skyray; the supersonic research aircraft D-558 Skystreak; and his crowning achievement, the outstanding A-4D Skyhawk which has just been phased out of the Navy's operational arsenal.

In addition to aircraft designs, Heinemann and his staff were responsible for the development of a number of aircraft components and weapons such as ejection seats, cartridge ejector bomb racks, low-drag streamlined bombs, fuel tanks, autopilots, and flight data computers.

Edward Heinemann's career was devoted to solving engineering problems in aeronautical science. A genius of the times, his intellect and creativity has made a major contribution to the advance of world aero science.

Edward Heinemann passed away on November 26, 1991.

Invested 1982 in the International Aerospace Hall of Fame

From "These We Honor," The International Hall of Fame; The San Diego Aerospace Museum, San Diego, CA. 1984

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