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Harold C. Larsen         June 15, 1918 - October 19, 1998

Harold C. Larsen, Professor Emeritus of Aerospace Engineering, was born June 15, 1918 in Granite, Utah.
He earned his pilot license in 1937, BS in 1941 at the University of Utah, MS in 1946 and AE at the California Institute of Technology. He was Production Engineer at Lockheed Aircraft Corporation in 1941, working with Kelly Johnson at the Skunk Works. He went from Assistant, to Professor of Aerodynamics and Head, Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at the United States Air Force Institute of Technology 1946 to 1956.

Harold Larsen, with calculator in hand, ponders the L-1 design.

Professor Larsen led a very full and unique life worthy of a book or documentary film. He has designed rockets, aircraft, and wind tunnels. He worked on nuclear aircraft and rockets, project Blue Book, trained the first Astronauts, and designed the most efficient wind/electric generator ever. I am told the U-2 spy plane was originally a towable fuel tank he designed, and that he worked on the SR-71 Blackbird, the fastest aircraft known. His range of expertise was wide, aerodynamics his specialty. When I met him he was working as a retired civilian employee at a research grade horizontal wind tunnel at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, where he performed experiments and taught aerodynamics to Air Force students. He took an immediate interest in my vertical wind tunnel design effort and spent a huge amount of time on it during the next four years.

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