Don Jordan – a profile
Second World War – design and development of Vought Corsair Navy Fighter.
Career as aeronautical engineer joining Pratt & Whitney after the war and working on the then new jet engines, retiring as Chief engineer with the Company at a time when the first engines were being delivered for the Boeing 747 Jumbo.
In retirement, spent 10 years as a Senior Lecturer at the Massachusets Institute of Technology.
Committee service including US Airforce Scientific Advisory Boardand NASA Advisory Committee for Airbreathing Powerplants.
1976 elected to US National Academy of Engineering.
Lifetime sailor and licensed pilot.
Died 8 November 2008. His legacy will endure.
Don had no financial interest in the manufacture or sale of the drogue. He provided his own funding for the development. He was greatly assisted by the U.S Coast Guard, who made their facilities available for testing and analysis and who tested the final configuration in breaking waves at the Motor Lifeboat School on the Columbia River bar.
The impetus for his work was the 1979 Fastnet Race disaster in which 15 lives were lost and 24 boats were either sunk or abandoned. He felt that, with his background and with modern engineering tools, such tragedies need not continue. He said “it is a real tragedy that, while my 25 years of effort was devoted to preventing a recurrence of the 1979 Fastnet, none of the unfortunate boats in the 1998 Sydney Hobart race carried the drogue”.