George Alan Starr Papers
George Alan Starr was born in Pleasantville, New Jersey on September 28, 1920. In 1942, he graduated from the Indiana Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Aeronautical Engineering. Shortly after graduation, he joined Chance Vought Aircraft Corporation at Stratford Connecticut as a Structures Design Engineer.
Alan Starr received his Masters in Aeronautical Engineering in 1945 and his Doctorate in 1977 from Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas, Texas. During the years 1942 through 1950, he was a Structures Design Engineer on various Chance Vought aircraft such as the famous World War II F4U Corsair, the XF5U-1 Flying Pancake, XF6U-1 Pirate (Chance Vought’s first jet powered aircraft) and the F7U-1 Cutlass. His responsibilities encompassed propeller and gearbox loads and stress analysis, flight loads, wing and fuselage structural design.
In 1950, he was assigned to Preliminary Design and was responsible for structural arrangements and analysis for advanced aircraft. During this time period, Alan Starr established a structures design team that responded to a U.S. Navy Request for Proposal (RFP) for a supersonic capable fighter aircraft. Subsequent conceptual design studies lead to the development of the XF8U-1 Crusader configuration which won the competition and in 1953 he was appointed as the Structures Project Engineer for this aircraft.
In 1955, Alan Starr was promoted to the position of Supervisor of the Structures Design Group. A year later, because of the emerging importance of technology research and development (R&D), he helped to form the nucleus of a newly formed technology R&D organization with initial responsibility for directing all research in structures design, structural mechanics, dynamics and materials. During 1959, he assumed responsibility for the direction of all company sponsored and contract technology R&D. Also during this year, Alan Starr, in addition to his work responsibilities at Chance Vought, was appointed to a technical panel as an uncompensated consultant to the Materials Advisory Board of the National Academy of Sciences. This consulting relationship continued for over ten years. In 1977, he was named Director, Engineering Technical Research and Development and later that year retired from this position.
During the course of that year, Alan Starr joined the Aerospatiale Helicopter Corporation (AHC), which was formerly the Vought Helicopter Corporation. He led the engineering effort in responding to a Request for Proposal (RFP) from the U.S. Coast Guard for a short-range recovery helicopter. Aerospatiale won the competition and he was named Director of Engineering for the division responsible for engineering development collaborating with the Aerospatiale Division in France. The first delivery of 96 helicopters designated the HH-65 Dolphin was made to the U.S. Coast Guard in 1984. He retired from AHC in 1987.
George Alan Starr passed away on February 23, 2008 in Bedford, Texas.
Permission to publish material from this collection in any form, current or future, must be obtained from the Special Collections Department, Eugene McDermott Library, The University of Texas at Dallas.