Elected in 1980
“For contributions to all phases of aircraft gas turbine design and development including responsibility for first high bypass turbofan used worldwide.”
BY DONALD W. BAHR
MARTIN C. HEMSWORTH, a pioneer in the design and development of aircraft jet engines, died on March 28, 2009.
As an engineering leader at General Electric Aircraft Engines (GEAE), Martin was a significant contributor to the advancement of aircraft turbine engine technology for more than 60 years. Among his major accomplishments was his team leadership role, during the late 1960s, in the design, development, and qualification of the TF39 turbofan engine for the U.S. Air Force C5 Galaxy transport aircraft. This engine was the world’s first high-bypass turbofan—a revolutionary design concept that rapidly transformed military and commercial aviation. With this concept, large thrust increases together with large fuel efficiency improvements were realized. This engine type is now extensively used in many military and commercial aircraft applications.
At GEAE, versions of the TF39 engine, the CF6 engine family, were soon evolved for commercial aircraft, including the Boeing 747. These efforts led, in turn, to the development of several other turbofan engine models for a large variety of aircraft applications and established GEAE as a major supplier of turbofan engines for both commercial and military aircraft.