- Collection ID:
Weick, Fred E., 1899-1993
- Physical Description:
0.3 Cubic feet
1 legal document box
Aeronautical engineer Fred E. Weick (1899-1993) had a profound effect on light aircraft development. He was responsible for the development of NACA's low-drag cowling for radial engines, introduced the concept of "fifty foot obstacle clearance" as a measure of aircraft take-off performance, and was instrumental in the development of several aircraft, including the Piper Pawnee and Piper Cherokee.
Scope and Content
Scope and Content
This collection consists of transcripts of Weick's dictation for this autobiography, published as
From the Ground Up: Autobiography of an Aeronautical Engineer
(Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1988). A copy of this book can be found in the Smithsonian Library at the National Air and Space Museum.
Aeronautical engineer Fred E. Weick (1899-1993) had a profound effect on light aircraft development. While working for the National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics (NACA) he developed the NACA low-drag cowling for radial engines (1928) and built a low landing speed aircraft as an independent project sparked by a series of light aircraft design seminars at NACA's Langley Research Center (1931). He introduced the concept of "fifty foot obstacle clearance" as a measure of aircraft take-off performance, which remains a standard measure today. In 1936 he joined Henry Berliner at the Engineering and Research Corporation (ERCO) to develop and market a commercial version of Weick's aircraft. Although the resulting Ercoupe faded in the general aviation slump following World War II, Weick moved to Texas A&M (1948-56) where he developed a series of agricultural aircraft which evolved into the Piper Pawnee series. He remained at Piper until he retired (1956 to c. 1970) and developed the Piper Cherokee with John Thorpe and Karl Bergey. After retirement, Weick remained active in aeronautics, assisting in design studies for Beech Aircraft as well as undertaking private projects in aircraft trim and control.
Arranged and described by Kate Igoe, 1997.
Encoded by Amanda Buel, 2014.
Immediate Source of Acquisition note
Fred E. Weick, gift, 1984, XXXX-0425
Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Use
Conditions Governing Access note
No restrictions on access
Fred E. Weick Autobiographical Transcripts, Acc. XXXX-0425, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
National Air and Space Museum Archives
14390 Air & Space Museum Parkway
Chantilly, VA 20151