Born: United States of America
Primarily active in: United States of America

1913 - 2008

Frederic B. "Gus" Gustafson was born in Kansas City, Missouri, on November 28, 1913, "Gus" displayed an interest in aeronautics at an early age when he built a wind tunnel in the family basement. He later attended the University of Kansas where he earned a Master of Science degree in Aeronautical engineering. During football games, he gained further knowledge of wind tunnel applications by use of a wind tunnel located beneath the stadium. 

Following graduation, he accepted a position at NACA (now NASA) Langley Field, in Hampton, Virginia, where he made significant contributions to the evolution and design of the helicopter over the next 30 years. At Langley, he served with distinction as Staff Scientist for the Flight Mechanics and Technology Division. Later he served as Chief of the Langley Center's VTOL Branch for eight years, where his work centered largely on flight research, including VTOL test beds as well as autogyros and helicopters. He also served as a Director-at-Large on the AHS Board of Directors and as Technical Advisor to Vertiflite magazine.

Mr. Gustafson received the Society's prestigious Alexander A. Klemin Award in 1963, "for notable achievement in the advancement of rotary wing aeronautics." His citation recognized him "for his achievements, dedication, and effort in rotary wing science, research and development and his pioneering in the area of helicopter stability and control."

He passed away in Philadelphia on May 13, 2008. He had been a member of AHS International since 1950.

AHS Updates: Vertiflite Winter 2008