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September 13, 1963 - Image 26

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1963-09-13

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Friday, Sept. 13, 1963 — THE DETROIT JEWISH NEW S — 26

Jewish Scientist Who Shaped
American Aerospace Power,
Von Karman Foresaw Helicopter

By MILTON FRIEDMAN

(Copyright, 1963,
Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Inc.)

aerial combat as a scientific
a d v i s e r to the Austro-
Hungarian Air Force. One of
the theories he then worked
on was the concept of an air-
craft that would fly straight
up. He thus foresaw the heli-
copter.

WASHINGTON—When Jews
on Yom Kippur mourn those
who have died in the last year,
it would be fitting to recall a
Jewish s c i en t i s t who made
a monumental contribution to
Dr. von Karman remained at
American defense.
the Aachen Aeronautics Insti-
Dr. Theodore von Karman, tute until 1929. He early pre-
premier aerodynamicist, work- dieted spaceflights as a pare-
ing prophet of the aerospace tical possibility. "I'm not a fan-
age, and scientific patron saint tast," he said. "It is just a sim-
of the U.S. Air Force, last ple fact that one pound of kero-
F e b r u a ry humbly thanked sene has more energy than is
President Kennedy at a White necessary to take . . . one pound
House ceremony for the chance out of the gravitational field.
to serve America. President It is only a question of tech-
Kennedy had summoned Dr. nology and progress -and time."
von Karman to the White - He was invited to America in
House to award him the first 1926 by the Guggenheim Foun-
National Medal of Science. dation and the late Dr. Robert
But by May 6, Dr. von Kar- Millikan, Nobel-prize physicist
man died in Aachen, Germany, at the Institute of - Technology.
of a heart attack, at the age of He accepted directorship of the
81. Caltech Guggenheim Aeronau-
No individual had con- tical Laboratory, forerunner of
tributed more to the science of today's Jet Propulsion Labo-
flight or to the defense of the ratory at Pasadena, Calif.
free world through aerospace
It was a fortunate decision

power.
Dr. von Kar man's list of
scientific achievements and
contributions to the strength
of his adopted country is
overwhelming. He settled
here permanently in 1930, in-
spired by the American ideal
contrasted with the rise of
fascism and bigotry in Eu-
rope.

for Dr. von Karman, for his
new country, and for human
freedom. He was to see the
wholesale destruction of Eu-
ropean Jewry, from whose
stock he had sprung. And he
was to be in a situation to
provide the democracies with
air power developments that
helped destroy Nazism.

In those years, his pioneering
He was a native of Hungary work in jet propulsion, rocket-
and a child prodigy who devel- ry, and supersonic flight paved
oped early into an outstanding the way for the aerospace won-
mechanical engineer. His life ders of today.
was transformed- at the age of
His eye was always on the
26 when, in 1906, he witnessed future. To Dr. von Karman and
powered flight of an airplane to his close friend, the late
in France. The pre-dawn flight Gen. H. H. "Hap" Arnold, goes
excited the young Jewish en- the prime credit for the re-
gineer into a new career, aero- search and development orien-
dynamics.
tation of today's Air Force.
After further study and re-
In 1944 Gen. Arnold foresaw
search in Germany, Dr. von the future significance of the
Karman produced "The von a i r p o w e r that had already
K arm an theory of vortex helped decide World War II.
s t r e e 't s;" the mathematical The General asked Dr. von
foundation and formulae on Karman to serve as first chair-
which aircraft designers have man of the Army Air Forces
depended ever since.
Scientific Advisory Group. This
By 1912, he was running Ger- top-level panel was to chart
many's newly established Aero- the postwar future of airpower.
nautics Institute at Aachen and
As Gen. Arnold wrote in
was taking flying lessons on the
his book, "Global Mission,":
side. His flying career was
"I told these scientists that
abortive. He walked away un-
I wanted them to think ahead
hurt from a crash but was fined
20 years . . . I wanted them
for making an unauthorized
to think about supersonic-
landing in a potato patch. He speed planes, planes that
went back to theory.
would move and op e r at e

In World War I he helped
develop the infant art of

at Wright-Patterson Air Force

Aeronautical Research and De-
velopment (AGARD). AGARD
was established in 1952 to co-
ordinate research e f f or t s in
support of NATO, with the U.S.
Air Force designated as the
executive agent. Dr. von Kar-
man served as its chief from
AGARD's beginning until his
death.

Base, Ohio, and the Arnold
Engineering Development Cen-
ter, Tennessee.
4. The Air Force's Air De-
fense program in conjunction
with Massachusetts Institute of
Technology.
5. The ICBM program, which
was stimulated by the von Kar-
man's Group's analysis of Ger-
man World War II rocket ac-
tivities.
Dr. von Karman climaxed his
career by conceiving and form-
ing the Advisory Group for

against future aircraft .. .
television ... weather,
medical r e s e arc h, atomic

energy, and any other phase

of aviation which might af-
fect the development of the
airpower to come . . . I as-
sured Dr. von Karman I
wasn't interested in when he
submitted his report . . . He
was to go ahead . . . to look
into the future 20 years."

The 30-odd volumes pro-
duced by the task force headed
by Dr. von Karman were en-
titled "Toward New Horizons."
The summary volume, "Sci-
ence, Key to Air Supremacy,"
was a remarkable blueprint for
future airpower developments.
Uncannily, the von Karman
Committee f or e s a w develop-
ments that came in the 1960's,
particularly the feasibility of
t h e intercontinental ballistic
missile— which other scientists
had dismissed as an unwieldy,
impractical approach to
weaponry. -
The impact of the von Kar-
man group on the Air Force
was enormous. The magazine
"Air Force" credited him with
these achievements:
1. Establishment of the Air
Force S ci ent if i c Advisory
Board, of which Dr. von Kar-
man was chairman for the first
ten years of its existence.
2. Establishment of the Air
R e s e a r c h and Development
Command (now System Com-
mand), later recommended by
the Ridenour-Doolittle Report.
3. Establishment of the Air
Force Institute of Technology

. . .„
b.,;:

The Jewish genius helped
shape a future that never sur-
passed his own limitless vision.
He will be uniquely missed by
those entrusted with the na-
tional defense.

THE RADOMER AID AND LADIES SOCIETY
WISH ALL THEIR MEMBERS AND FRIENDS
A HEALTHY, HAPPY AND PROSPEROUS
NEW YEAR.

.

... ,

:-.,. ,
X

THE JEWISH CENTER
CULTURE CLUB

Wishes to extend Happy and Prosperous New Year
Greetings to all members, social workers, and the
following guest speakers who have contributed
their services to the club for the past year:

L

Mr. Morris Becker
Mr. Joseph Bernstein
Dr. Frances Cousens
Mr. Albert Elazar
Mr. Isaac Finkelstein
Mr. Movsas Goldaftas
Mr. Aaron Gornbein
Mr. Moishe Haar
Mr. Harry Kaminer
Mrs. Rose P. Kleinman
Mr. Louis Levine
Mrs. Michael Michlin
Mrs. David Mondry
Mrs. Harry Mondry
Rabbi Isaac Paneth

David Gornbein, President;

Dr. Irving Panush
Mr. Sidney Raizman
Mrs. Ettie Raphael
Mrs. Jay Rosenshine
Mrs. Irene Schumer
Mr. Solomon Schklover
Mr. Howard Silver
Mr. David Sislin
Mr. Wolf Snyder
Dr. Meyer Teitelbaum
Mr. Julius Weinberg
Mrs. Myra K. Wolfgang
Mrs. David Zellman
Mrs. George M. Zeltzer

Jennie Schubiner, Secretary.

S

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WK:::K.N7i3eiZgiWK7 .1 ■ Y]:::‹ 4 *Mit0.2?;:r>W<g•X>: ■ >7.g..,.K.:g.V.F-7MW1::- K.;•:aWiN

GREETINGS ON THE NEW YEAR

gen,

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JEWISH NATIONAL FUND

GREETS THE ENTIRE
JEWISH COMMUNITY
WITH BEST WISHES
FOR A

HAPPY
NEW YEAR

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MRS. MORRIS KUTINSKY

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President, Women's Auxiliary

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