Elected in 1983
“For extraordinary contributions to the conception, design, development, and application of advanced high performance aircraft gas turbines.”
BY M. J. BENZAKEIN
BRIAN H. ROWE, a successful engineer, business leader, and former chief executive officer of General Electric Aviation, died on February 22, 2007, at the age of 75. Brian was an innovator who developed technology decades before his time. He was a man who helped define aviation in the 20th century.
Brian Rowe’s legacy began as a young man in an apprenticeship at deHavilland Engine Company, where he designed a jet engine component for the deHavilland Comet, one of the world’s first commercial jet aircraft. After graduating from college and returning to work at deHavilland, Brian soon left Britain to pursue a career in the Flight Propulsion Lab at General Electric in Evendale, Ohio.
After a few years, Brian began his ascension through the ranks, eventually moving to Lynn, Massachusetts, to lead GE’s efforts on lift fan technology. Brian’s team in Lynn demonstrated the astounding amount of air that could be pulled through lift fans. He discovered that when turned at 90 degrees these lift machines could become efficient cruise fans. This newly revealed technology would greatly contribute to a jet propulsion revolution that led to the introduction of high-bypass turbofan engines. Brian soon became manager of the