Duane (Mac) Torrance McRuerOctober 25, 1922 - January 24, 2007
A Tribute to Mac by Herm RediessAerospace Control and Guidance Systems CommitteeMeeting 99Boulder, CoFebruary 27 March 2, 2007
Duane T. McRuer, Mac, an entrepreneur, scholar, humanitarian, conservationist, educator, author, and engineer who was instrumental in the development of aircraft flight control technology and the understanding of how people control vehicles of all types.
Mentor and technical advisor to many of us in the aerospace business.
My personal friend as he was to many others.
Born October 25, 1925 in Bakersfield, California
Died of prostate cancer January 24, 2007 at his home in Manhattan Beach, California.
Survived by his wife Betty and daughter Lara.
1957 - 2007 - Member SAE Control Systems Committee (now ACGSC)Attended 1956 meeting at the Navy Bureau of Aeronautics organized by Leo Chatler that lead to formation of the ACGSCFormer ChairmanFormer Subcommittee D ChairmanMember PABFirst STI representative and presenter of many important papers
National Academies Elected to the National Academy of Engineers in 1988Lead or participated in several National Research Council StudiesMember of the National Aeronautics and Space Engineering BoardFormer Chairman
Honorary Fellow, AIAA
Fellow California Council for Science and TechnologyProfessional Associations
Brief Professional BiographyServed as a Navy Lieutenant, JG, in WW II, developing anti-submarine technology1945 BS, 1948 - MSEE degree from CalTech1948 - Joined Northrop Aircraft, quickly became Chief of Flight ControlsLed flight control development of many aircraft, including the Northrop flying wing, F-89 and othersAmong the first to introduce artificial stability augmentation to aircraft - necessary for high-speed flightCoined the term Stability Augmentation System (SAS) when working on the flying wing (originally stability derivative augmentation system, but would not fit in the drawing box)First yaw damper SAS on the flying wing (as I recall)Leader of mathematical analysis of automatic and manual flight controlAuthored series of reference books sponsored by the Navy Bureau of Aeronautics, which later evolved to become the popular text Aircraft Dynamics and Automatic Control co-authored with Dunstan Graham and Irv AshkenasCo-authored Analysis of Nonlinear Control Systems with Dunstan GrahamHeld four patents in flight control
Brief Professional Biography (continued)1957 - Co-founded Systems Technology, Inc. (STI) with Irv AshkenasPresident and Technical Director until 1993, remained as Chairman of the BoardWorked directly or as consultant on many of the AF and Navy fighter aircraft and many commercial transportsBroadest knowledge of flight dynamics, pilot-in-the-loop,and automatic flight controls Principal contributor to theory of human operator control of vehicles (land, sea, under-sea and air) and mathematical modeling of man-machine systems STI documented the stability and control characteristics of many high-performance aircraft for NASA DrydenPioneer in Pilot Induced Oscillations (PIO) phenomenonFirst to understand and analyze X-15 later-directional PIO at high angle-of-attackAnalyzed PIOs on many aerospace vehicles, including the Space ShuttleAfter downturn in aerospace after the Apollo, broadened STI interests to vehicles, including cars, trucks, trailers, airships, submarines and tanksSTI researched and developed a remotely piloted, free-flying Pterodactyl for Smithsonian InstituteServed on the NASA Advisory Council and Chaired several Advisory Committees and SubcommitteesAdvisor on the Space Shuttle Flight Readiness Review Board
Professional Honors and Awards1992 - AIAA Minta Martin Lectureship
1992-93 - Jerome Clarke Hunsaker Professor of Aeronautics at MIT
1983 - CalTech Distinguished Alumnus Award
NASA Distinguished Public Service Award
AIAA Mechanics and Control of Flight Award
Levy Medal of the Franklin Institute Award
Human Factors and Ergonomics Society A.C. Williams Award
National Sierra Clubs Olvier Kehrlein Award
. May be others
1962 - Joined Angeles Chapter of the Sierra Club. Authored then edited several versions of the Leadership Reference Book
1975 - took up mountain climbing at the age of 50
1985 - Completed the 297 mountains on the Sierra Club Sierra Peaks list
1997 - visited or climbed the highest points in all 50 states, except Mount McKinley
1997 - Awarded the National Sierra Clubs Olvier Kehrlein Award for Outings Leadership
1998 - Awarded Sierra Club Angeles Charters Lifelong Service AwardConservationist and mountaineer