David Hazen 4 Replies David Hazen, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, emeritus, died April 27, 2019
Professor Haven talked me out of changing majors when I had trouble in the Sophomore course in strength of materials and checked up on me from time-to-time during my career. His aircraft design course and his mentoring when I designed a VTOL business jet for my Senior independent work were valuable (maybe even essential) during my career.
I can’t find any link that will let me correct my post, so…
The VTOL business jet was part of the senior design course (still a major influence on my career and the topic of many conversations with him over the years). The independent work was to design a transatlantic free balloon. Apparently VTOL was too Prof Haven thought I needed more encouragement to think outside the box, but both efforts were challenging and fun. We never discussed lighter-than-air after I graduated, but it seems that he never lost interest in balloons, blimps and dirigibles, as the Naval Airship Association was listed as a preferred recipient of memorial contributions.
Well, nice people are remembered by nice people. I was the Prof’s worst student, and a friend of Stanley.
He was swell as long as he was with us. Fortunately, Stanley still is.
I still recall a few incidents involving the Professor with a degree of fondness, even after more than a half-century, never having entered the aeronautical field, and only speaking with him once (about 5 years ago) after leaving Princeton in ’63.
His obit was exceptionally interesting, and alluded to many fascinating projects he undertook of which I had no knowledge; but I can add one. He was commissioned to study the air quality in the NJ – NYC tunnels (he ascertained that the big trucks effectively acted as horizontal plug-pistons, somewhat negating the vertical effect of the tunnel’s exhaust fans).
He was on the low end of a normal, but decidedly slight, stature and build, so naturally was known to we undergrads as “Moose”. He was well aware of this, but his genial nature merely enjoyed it rather than took offense (and none, of course, was intended).
And he was no pushover. Despite only limited acquaintance, in one sentence he more accurately summed-up my personality than anyone before or since (you’ll not learn of it here — you’ll have to figure it out for yourself).
Yet in retrospect, he seemed to have that delightful personality type which is more concerned with what someone does right, rather than if there was a slip-up or error. And the normal undergrad foul ups from youthful over enthusiasm never seemed to bother him.
Fred Kuffler and I rapidly jerked an airfoil to a high level of attack in a wind tunnel, instantly blowing-out a dozen or so glass manometers (is that the right word? — I’ve never seen or used it since profusely apologizing that day), but Moose was unfazed, and even smiled.
And Stanley and Efrem Mallach combined to get me through a course in aircraft design, the culmination of which was to actually design an aircraft. They did a magnificent job (my personal contribution was short of negligible). The plane was a delta wing with all sorts of bells and whistles. Decidedly the slickest look from the class. Unfortunately, if it started to taxi in Madrid, it would still lack a few of the inches needed to clear the (then existent) wall by the time the autobahn reached Berlin (something about not taking into account the 3-dimensional nature of airflow over the wing). But thankfully for the wellbeing of society, Moose didn’t let a trifle like that influence the genius he saw in Ef and Stan, or their grades. As for me, I barely understood what was being talked about when the issue was raised.
And everything was a potential learning experience.
I remember a picnic he held for us at his house one spring, wherein we all toyed with paper airplanes (apparently foreshadowing his involvement with the later “contests”), hand-held dime-store balsa gliders
(which we tortured into many unintended configurations, yet still they flew), and kites. Precisely who was the driver who drove down that country road in his convertible while we were attempting to fly a kite from the rear seat is now lost to memory, but we also played with one later in the yard, experimenting with different tails.
And then came that year’s final.
Two questions still ring clear from that day.
The first was “Explain why a kite flies better with a Professor’s tie as a tail.”. Oh will I ever learn to pay attention to my surroundings?
And the second was “You are piloting a passenger aircraft transporting a professional football team (i.e. – much weight which can be moved quickly in a highly organized fashion) when the controls cease to operate. What signals do you call to safely land the plane?”. That embedded parenthetical still gives delight to all who hear it.
Mourn his passing? No. Rather let’s picture him in that Better Place.
Save the regrets for the undergrads who’ll never know him.
I’m glad to that Dick is still active and hasn’t lost his gift for words. He underrates his contribution to the MAKAMA Aircraft Corporation and the profession; the Manno line is every bit as important as the Fanno and Rayleigh lines.