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

1931 - 1993

William G. Flannell died on October 31, 1993 at Manchester Memorial Hospital after a long illness.  Bill joined Kaman Aerospace in 1957.  In his 36 years at Kaman, he participated in design, analysis, and tests of all of Kaman's helicopters from the HOK the present K-MAX and he made ssignificant contributions to these programs.

He also made outstanding contributioins to the helicopter industry, particularly in anti-resonant theory.  Bill held thirty patents.  Two of his inventions - Gyroscopic Vibration Absorber, a tunable viberation absorber, and the Dynamic Anti-Resonant Vibration Absorber (DAVI) tuned to a specific frequency - proved deadly suited to helicopter application for vibration isolation.  The late Dr. Irwin Vigness of the Naval Research Laboratory thought the DAVI to be the most significant contributioin to vibration control since the development of the vibration absorber.

Bill was an expert in the theory of structural dynamics.  This expertise led to the development of analytical testing, which utilizes mobility test data and analysis to provide the global parameters of a structure, i.e., mass damping, modes and natural frequency.  These analytical testing procedures led to system identificatioin, a methodology which uses the global parameters of a structure and mobility data to yield the equations of motion of the structure without the ue of theoretical derived equations.

Generalized force determination, also developed by Bill, is a method utilizing mobility data and the response of the vehicle in flight to determine the minimum forces required to duplicate the flight characataeristics.  This methodology is ideally suited for low and hi-cycle fatigue tests.  Bill's most recent contributions is Holometrics, a technical procedure that determines loads occuring in the helicopter rotating system by monitoring fixed system parameters.

He received a BS degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1954.  A member of the Society of Sigma Xi, he has served on the Dynamics Committee of the American Helicopter Society, as a referee for the Presidential Young Investigation Award of the National Science Foundation, as a reviewer for the Shock and Vibration Information Center of the Naval Research Laboratory, and on doctoral thesis committees at RPI.  He has authored twenty professional papers and published several articles in engineering magazines.  He was listed in the book "Americna Men and Women in Science" and was also listed in "Who's Who on the Eastern Shore."

AHS Update: Vertiflite March/April 1994