Ernest Walter Stedman

Ernest Walter Stedman, aircraft engineer (b at Malling, Eng 21 July 1888; d at Ottawa 27 Mar 1957). Stedman trained as an engineer and ended his WWI service as a lt-col in the RAF. He then joined the Handley-Page aircraft company

Turnbull, Wallace
Wallace Turnbull posing with his variable pitch propeller, a major advance in aviation (courtesy NRC).

Stedman, Ernest Walter

 Ernest Walter Stedman, aircraft engineer (b at Malling, Eng 21 July 1888; d at Ottawa 27 Mar 1957). Stedman trained as an engineer and ended his WWI service as a lt-col in the RAF. He then joined the Handley-Page aircraft company and came to N America with the firm's (unsuccessful) entry in the 1919 race to fly the Atlantic (won by J.N.W. Alcock and A.W. Brown). He liked Canada and immigrated in 1920, planning to manufacture aircraft parts, but took the post of director of the technical branch of the newly appointed Canadian Air Board. Thus, he was from 30 Oct 1920 the government's chief aeronautical engineer, under various titles, until his retirement in 1946 as an air vice-marshal, director general of air research of the RCAF. His work involved every aspect of aviation in Canada, including the W.R. TURNBULL propellor, J.H. PARKIN's research at U of T and the NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL, the R-100 airship flight to Canada in 1930, practical work on winter flying (eg, starting cold engines and landing on snow), the foundation of TRANS-CANADA AIRLINES, buying and building aircraft for WWII, and jet-engine design in 1944. After retirement he was a Canadian witness at the Bikini atomic bomb test of 1946 and founded the engineering faculty of Carleton. His From Boxkite to Jet: the Memoirs of an Aeronautical Engineer was published posthumously in 1963.