Elected in 1992
“For leadership in flying qualities theory and practice, and for contributions to flight control systems and aerospace vehicle system design.”
BY TOM MYERS AND WADE ALLEN
SUBMITTED BY THE NAE HOME SECRETARY
IRVING L. ASHKENAS, distinguished aerospace engineer and cofounder of Systems Technology, Inc., passed away peacefully at his home in Los Angeles, California, on April 10, 2011. He was 94 years old. Ashkenas was born in New York City on September 3 1916 the son of Max and Rose Ashkenas.
Irving Ashkenas attended the California Institute of Technology, where he earned his bachelor of science degree and two master’s degrees and graduated with honors in 1939. His professional career began at North American Aviation, where he played a key role in the development of the P-51, one of the most famous aircraft of World War II. The original design was prone to overheating, and Ashkenas developed an air inlet design that overcame this problem. During his 14 years with Northrop Aircraft, he worked on the aerodynamics and control system design of such pioneering aircraft as the Northrop flying wings and the P-61 and F-89 fighters.
In 1957, Ashkenas cofounded Systems Technology, Inc., an internationally acclaimed company specializing in systems analysis of air, sea, and ground vehicles and human operator dynamics. Ashkenas had responsibility for and made significant and innovative contributions to over 30 aircraft and missiles. During his long and distinguished career he served on a number of investigative and governmental oversight committees, generated some 70 technical papers, wrote five