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Past Guggenheim Medalists

Welcome to the searchable collection of past Guggenheim Medalist Biographies.

Use the search box to the right to locate past medalists by name or year. Your search results will appear in a list below the search box. To view a medalists biography, click their thumbnail or name displayed in the search results list.


View a listing of Past Medalists.          Guggenheim%20past%20Medalists.pdf

Download Nomination Form.          Guggenheim%20Nomination%20Form.doc


Medalist For 1967
For his many contributions to the achievement of outstand­ing progress in subsonic flight, and in the promise of super­sonic flight, and in the equip­ment and methods for space exploration.


This distinguished aeronautical engineer has a heritage of instrumental research— his father was one of the founders of KDKA, the first commercial broadcasting station in the U.S., and also a pioneer in electronic television.

Even as a youth, George Schairer was something of a prodigy. During his college years at Swarthmore and later at MIT, he studied the theory of airplane performance calculation methods and invented “Schairer’s Airplane Performance Slide Rule;” his master degree thesis at MIT was a wind tunnel test of four helicopter rotors.

After graduation from MIT, he was employed by Bendix and then joined the Consolidated Aircraft Corporation where he played a major role in designing the wing and tail surfaces of the B-24 bomber. From Consolidated he went to Boeing where his design contributions went into such aircraft as the B-17, B-29, Strato-cruiser, B-50, C-97, 707, KC-135, B-47, B-52 and 727. He became vice president of Research and Development in 1959.

Much of his value to Boeing stemmed from a two-year stint (1944-45) as a member of the U.S. Army Air Force Scientific Advisory Group under the chairmanship of Theodore Von Karman and vice chairmanship of Hugh L. Dryden—both Guggenheim Medalists. It was during this assignment that he became interested in the concept of swept-wing aircraft, and he subsequently initiated Boeing’s activity on sweep-back—his persistent championship of the concept led to development of the XB-47 bomber and eventually to Boeing’s entry into the commercial jet field.

A native of Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania, Schairer learned to fly during his college years, figuring it would help him better understand the flying characteristics of airplanes. It was typical of a man whose work in aeronautics has brought him numerous awards and worldwide recognition. A tireless worker in behalf of national defense, he served on numerous government scientific panels dealing with defense projects and was a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee to the Defense Intelligence Agency.

Schairer died October 28, 2004.

For information, contact Daniel Guggenheim Board of Award,
c/o AIAA, 1801 Alexander Bell Drive #500, Reston, VA 20190, 703-264-7623

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 Guggenheim Medalists

 Paul Name: Paul MacCready
Year:  1987
 Abe Name: Abe Silverstein
Year:  1997
 Orville Name: Orville Wright
Year:  1929
 Ludwig Name: Ludwig Prandtl
Year:  1930
 Frederick Name: Frederick William Lanchester
Year:  1931
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