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Remembering a Legend in Rotorcraft Engineering
U.S. Navy photo by Javier Chagoya

Remembering a Legend in Rotorcraft Engineering

By Dale M. Kuska  

NPS Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE) Professor Emeritus Dr. E. Roberts Wood is pictured in front of an Army OH-6A helicopter he acquired for utilization as a research test bed during his time with the university's Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Wood passed away Saturday, January 23, following a lengthy illness.
 
Current MAE Chair Dr. Garth Hobson remembers Wood very well … In fact, Hobson says Wood was the department chair who brought him to NPS back in 1990, and was highly regarded for his groundbreaking achievements in rotary-wing aircraft engineering.
 
"He was famous for being the first to implement Higher Harmonic Control (HHC) in a flight demonstration while working at McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Co., then Hughes Helicopters, in Arizona in 1985," Hobson said. "He was very active in the AHS [American Helicopter Society] and also wrote the annual Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) summary of global technical developments for Aerospace America."
 
An Honorary Fellow in AHS International, Wood was a prolific researcher while on campus, and mentored countless students through their thesis research, resulting in several awards for the officers, and the institution.
 
"While at NPS, first as Chair of the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, his students won numerous AIAA [American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics] and AHS design contest awards for their capstone designs," Hobson recalled. "Bob also won numerous teaching awards, particularly for his rotorcraft design courses."


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Today@NPS showcases some of the speakers, conferences, experiments, lectures, and other events that take place at the Naval Postgraduate School on a daily basis. If you would like more information about any of the highlighted activities please contact the public affairs office at pao@nps.edu.

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January 2016

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