Frank Russel Thurston

Frank Russel Thurston, aircraft engineer (b at Chicago, Ill 5 Dec 1914). Thurston's British parents took him at age one to England, where he worked from 1937 at the National Physical Laboratory.

Thurston, Frank Russel

Frank Russel Thurston, aircraft engineer (b at Chicago, Ill 5 Dec 1914). Thurston's British parents took him at age one to England, where he worked from 1937 at the National Physical Laboratory. He was recruited by the NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL in 1947, one of hundreds of British engineers brought to Canada to develop the postwar aircraft industry. He became head of the NRC's Structures Laboratory and in 1959 director of the National Aeronautical Establishment, charged with finding a new industrial role for the NAE, after the cancellation of the AVRO ARROW project. This was done by developing new installations for low-speed aerodynamics, useful in fields from short-takeoff-and-landing aircraft to urban planning. Before retirement in 1979, Thurston was chairman of the NATO Advisory Group for Aerospace Research and Development and organized development of the CANADARM used by US space shuttles. He became an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1982.