Born: United States of America
Primarily active in: United States of America
1924 - 2017
Mamrol, born June 8, 1924, started his career in 1942 as a draftsman at Frank Piasecki’s P-V Engineering Forum. Mamrol, having just turned 18, began employment with Piasecki immediately after graduation from high school. Mamrol worked on the PV-2 and was present for its legendary first flight on April 11, 1943. When asked if he was astonished or awed by the famous flight, he replied, “Of course not. That’s what it was supposed to do.”
Following service in the US Army through the end of World War II, Mamrol again worked with Piasecki on the XHRP-1, the world’s first operational tandem rotor helicopter. After receiving a degree in aeronautical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Mamrol’s career led him back to Piasecki, where he was, among other things, the project engineer on the Piasecki VZ-8 AirGeep. He then went to work at Boeing Vertol where he would lead the rotor hub and controls design projects, including Chinook upgrades.
In the early 1970s, Mamrol led the redesign, fabrication, and successful test period of the XCH-62A Heavy Lift Helicopter (HLH) elastomeric bearing rotor hub. After the cancelation of the HLH program, he left Boeing to work for General Electric, where he was the lead designer of the GE MOD-1 wind turbine and led the design, construction, and testing of the GE 132D6479 blade in 1977. He was a pioneer in the wind industry as it was the largest ever built at the time. He also worked on
advanced satellite technology while at GE.
After retirement, Mamrol contributed to the preservation of helicopter history, volunteering endless hours in the library/ archives at the American Helicopter Museum and Education Center. The museum’s Jan Feighner noted that “Frank was an integral part of the American Helicopter Museum since its inception. He was a pioneer in the industry and a great source for all things helicopter.”
Frank Mamrol — part of Frank Piasecki’s original team — passed away on Dec. 19, 2017, at the age of 93. Go to www.vtol.org/vff.
AHS Update: Vertiflite March/April 2018