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U.S. Aviation Pioneer,
Born Bremen, Germany
Sept. 12, 1888 - Feb. 29, 1976
Grover Loening received his Degree from Columbia College in 1908, and Master's Degree in Aeronautics from Columbia University in 1910 - the first such degree awarded in America. After graduation, Loening joined the Queen Aeroplane Company in New York, building Bleriots for exhibition pilots.
Having published his Master's thesis, Monoplanes and Biplanes in 1915, Loening published his second book, Military Aeroplanes, which was officially used by the U.S. Army and the Royal Air Force, the U.S. Navy, the Canadian Armed Forces and others. In the same year, he became Vice President of the Sturdevant Aeroplane Company, where he pioneered the first American steel framed airplane. In 1917, he formed the Loening Aeronautical Engineering Corporation to work on a Navy contract for a small plane to be launched from ships. In the same year, he started on an Army contract for the M-8 two-seat pursuit monoplane embodying the use of rigid wing strut bracing patented by Loening.
After World War I, Loening produced the Flying Yacht, a 5-seat monoplane boat that established world records and opened the first significant market for seaplane private aircraft. For this, he received the Collier Trophy in 1921. His next success was the pioneer Loening Amphibian, with the first practical retractable undercarriage, used by the U.S. Army, Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard along with airlines and private owners throughout the world. Among its achievements was the Army's famous Pan American good will flight of 1926.
The Loening Aeronautical Engineering Corporation merged with the Curtiss-Wright Corp. in 1928. Loening subsequently formed the Grover Loening Aircraft Company, building several research aircraft and establishing his first consulting engineering practice. He entered public service in 1937, as chief advisor to the National Advisory Committee on aeronautics and in 1942, as chief consultant to the War Production Board.
Invested 1965 in the International Aerospace Hall of Fame
From "These We Honor," The International Hall of Fame; The San Diego Aerospace Museum, San Diego, CA. 1984
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