Bernard Etkin

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Bernard Etkin, CM FRSC (May 7, 1918 – June 26, 2014) was a Canadian academic and one of the world's recognized authorities on aircraft guidance and control.

Order of Canada Canadian national order

The Order of Canada is a Canadian national order and the second highest honour for merit in the system of orders, decorations, and medals of Canada. It comes second only to membership in the Order of Merit, which is the personal gift of Canada's monarch.

Fellowship of the Royal Society of Canada (FRSC) is an award granted to individuals that the Royal Society of Canada judges to have "made remarkable contributions in the arts, the humanities and the sciences, as well as in Canadian public life".

Canadians citizens of Canada

Canadians are people identified with the country of Canada. This connection may be residential, legal, historical or cultural. For most Canadians, several of these connections exist and are collectively the source of their being Canadian.


Education and academic work

Born in Toronto, Ontario, Etkin was a graduate of the University of Toronto and was Dean of the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering at the university in the 1970s. Most recently, he was a Professor Emeritus at the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies. [1]

Toronto Provincial capital city in Ontario, Canada

Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario and the most populous city in Canada, with a population of 2,731,571 in 2016. Current to 2016, the Toronto census metropolitan area (CMA), of which the majority is within the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), held a population of 5,928,040, making it Canada's most populous CMA. The city is the anchor of the Golden Horseshoe, an urban agglomeration of 9,245,438 people surrounding the western end of Lake Ontario. Toronto is an international centre of business, finance, arts, and culture, and is recognized as one of the most multicultural and cosmopolitan cities in the world.

Ontario Province of Canada

Ontario is one of the 13 provinces and territories of Canada. Located in Central Canada, it is Canada's most populous province accounting for 38.3 percent of the country's population, and is the second-largest province in total area. Ontario is fourth-largest jurisdiction in total area when the territories of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut are included. It is home to the nation's capital city, Ottawa, and the nation's most populous city, Toronto, which is also Ontario's provincial capital.

University of Toronto university in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

The University of Toronto is a public research university in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, located on the grounds that surround Queen's Park. It was founded by royal charter in 1827 as King's College, the first institution of higher learning in the colony of Upper Canada. Originally controlled by the Church of England, the university assumed the present name in 1850 upon becoming a secular institution. As a collegiate university, it comprises eleven colleges, which differ in character and history, each with substantial autonomy on financial and institutional affairs. It has two satellite campuses in Scarborough and Mississauga.

As an expert in aeronautics and astronautics, he contributed to the design and production of two glider aircraft, including the de Havilland Sparrow, and a number of Avro Canada aircraft, including the Avro Arrow. [1]

The Czerwiński Sparrow, sometimes known as the de Havilland Canada glider, was a single seat glider, designed and built by a group of de Haviiland engineers in Canada in 1942. It was intended to popularise gliding and be suitable for both basic training and thermal soaring.

Avro Canada Defunct Canadian aircraft manufacturer

Avro Canada was a Canadian aircraft manufacturing company. It started in 1945 as an aircraft plant and within thirteen years became the third-largest company in Canada, one of the largest 100 companies in the world, and directly employing over 50,000. Avro Canada was best known for the highly advanced CF-105 Arrow, but through growth and acquisition, it rapidly became a major, integrated company that had diverse holdings.

Apollo 13

During the Apollo 13 emergency, U.S. contractor Grumman Aerospace Corp., which built the lunar module for NASA, asked the University of Toronto for help specifically in how to jettison the lunar module just prior to re-entry. A team of six engineers at the university was formed - led by Etkin as the senior scientist - to solve the problem in one day using nothing more than slide rules and collective expertise. (Besides Etkin, the team also consisted of Rod Tennyson, Barry French, Philip Sullivan, Peter Hughes, a specialist in orbital mechanics, and another senior scientist, Irvine Glass, a specialist in shock waves.) Given that a small tunnel connected the lunar module to the command module, the team concluded that if they closed the tunnel hatch and pressurized the tunnel, the astronauts could explosively separate the lunar module and blow it away from the command module just prior to re-entry. The scientists had 6 hours to compute the pressure required using slide-rules. They needed a precise calculation as too high a pressure might damage the hatch and its seal causing the astronauts to burn up; too low, and the lunar module would not separate from the command module. The resulting calculation was relayed by Grumman to NASA, and from there to the astronauts who implemented the solution. [2]

Apollo 13 A failed crewed mission to land on the Moon

Apollo 13 was the seventh crewed mission in the Apollo space program and the third intended to land on the Moon. The craft was launched on April 11, 1970, from Kennedy Space Center (KSC), but the lunar landing was aborted after an oxygen tank in the service module (SM) failed two days into the mission. The crew instead looped around the Moon, and returned safely to Earth on April 17, 1970. The mission was commanded by Jim Lovell with Jack Swigert as command module pilot (CMP) and Fred Haise as lunar module pilot (LMP). Swigert was a late replacement for the original CMP Ken Mattingly, who was grounded after exposure to rubella.

Honours and awards

In 2010, forty years after the Apollo 13 flight, the U of T scientific team was publicly honoured with medals presented to surviving members by the Canadian Air and Space Museum for their role in the incident. One of the astronauts, Fred Haise spoke at the presentation thanking them personally. [2]

Canadian Air and Space Museum Aviation museum in An office on GTAA property in Mississauga, Ontario. Not open to the public.

The Canadian Air and Space Museum was an aviation museum that was located in Toronto, Ontario, featuring artifacts, exhibits and stories illustrating a century of Canadian aviation heritage and achievements. The museum was located in a hangar that once housed the original de Havilland Canada aircraft manufacturing building, but in September 2011 the museum and all of the other tenants in the building were evicted by the landlord, the Crown Corporation, PDP. The site was slated for redevelopment as a new sports centre but after closing the museum the development was placed on hold. The museum is developing a new location and its collections are currently not available for public viewing.

Fred Haise American astronaut

Fred Wallace Haise Jr. is an American former NASA astronaut, fighter pilot with the U.S. Marine Corps and the U.S. Air Force and test pilot. He is one of only 24 people to have flown to the Moon, having flown as Lunar Module Pilot on Apollo 13. He was to have been the sixth person to land and walk on the Moon, but the Apollo 13 mission was aborted before lunar landing. He went on to fly Space Shuttle Approach and Landing Tests in 1977, and retired from NASA in 1979.

Etkin's treatment of six degree of freedom (6-DoF) theory in "Dynamics of Atmospheric Flight" was unusual in being sufficiently general that it touched upon hypersonic flight and was usable in simulating Atmospheric reentry.

In 1970, he was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. In 1980 Etkin received the Thomas W. Eadie Medal from the Royal Society of Canada. [3] He was named to the Order of Canada as a Member in 2003 for his contributions to the aerospace industry in Canada. [4] He died in Toronto on 26 June 2014.


Notes and references

  1. 1 2 Obituary & 8 July 2014.
  2. 1 2 The Globe and Mail & 23 July 2014.
  3. The Royal Society of Canada & 27 September 2011.
  4. Toronto Star & July 2, 2014.

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