WIESLAW ZENON STEPNIEWSKI
1909 — 1998 mechanical engineer, aircraft designer
He was evacuated to France in September 1939, where he worked in the aviation industry at the Bronzavia factories in Paris. After the fall of France, he was evacuated to the UK, and from 1941 he worked as head of aerodynamics and endurance at the Canadian factory of the British company De Havilland (DHC).
After the war, he settled in the US, where he became involved with the helicopter industry, first with Jet Helicopter Corp., and from 1947 at the Piasecki Helicopter Corp. (later Boeing Vertol), where he held managerial positions in aerodynamic research and advanced technologies.
He worked on aerodynamics for dual-rotor tandem helicopters. He led work on the vertical takeoff and landing Vertol 76 (VZ-2) aircraft with tilt rotors. He lectured in rotorcraft aerodynamics courses for engineers.
In 1969-75, Stepniewski lectured at Princeton University. He published nearly 100 papers, including the fundamental textbook for rotorcraft aerodynamics. He also translated scientific studies from Russian into English.
From 1975, Stepniewski was retired, but continued as a consultant with Boeing Helicopters in Philadelphia. In 1992, he founded his own company to conduct studies and translations for the military and NASA.
Stepniewski’s main achievements include the formation of aerodynamics, flight mechanics, and the performance for more than 5,000 aircraft, the development of transparent methods for the calculation of helicopter aerodynamics, and the training of hundreds of helicopter professionals.