Autobiography of JOHN A. GORHAM Birth Date: August 8, 1922 AMA Number: 54367 Written & Submitted by JWS (3/93) Transcribed by NR (12/99) Edited by SS (2002) Career: " Successfully flying the world's finest Radio Controlled (RC) model Vane Controlled VTOL through the complete flight profile " Designed and manufactured first USA RC helicopters " Formed and headed-up company that designed and produced first successful 1/5 scale Hind D drone helicopter " Successful flight guidance and controls engineer in many countries " Worked with Smith Industries (U.K.), FAA and NASA and many aircraft companies in Europe, U.K. and the U.S.
" Designed and promoted many model aircraft designs in the U.K. and the U.S. Honors & Patents: " Elected Chartered Engineer on British Register - 1963 " Elected Fellow of Royal Aeronautical Society 3 1991 " Holder U.S.
patent #3,589,648 Direct Lift Control for improved glide slope performance " Elected Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics 3 1967 The following biography was taken from a Hall of Fame application. The application was submitted by John W. Strobel III on 4/17/93.
I first met John Gorham in 1979 when I filmed the first model helicopter I had ever seen flown. ... more. less.
John was flying it. We lost track of each other until 1991 when he joined and became a very active member of the Channel Islands Condors.<br><br> John has given more to our hobby than anyone I know, from manufacturing to contributing to expanded fields of flight. He is presently in- volved with successfully flying the world 9s first RC model vane controlled VTOL through the complete flight profile. The engineering and modeling techniques that brought this about border on genius and in themselves should be enough to nominate John to the AMA Hall of Fame.<br><br> I am happy to nominate my friend, mentor and fellow club member John A. Gorham, to the Hall of Fame and hope that electors to that organization will recognize the great contributions John has brought to our hobby. John is not only a dedicated modeler, but also a gentle man who elicits the highest regard from his fellow modelers and illustrates the zenith of modeling achievement.<br><br> I do not think the AMA could find a better person to add to the illustrious list of modelers who are now members of the AMA Hall of Fame. Biography John A. Gorham - Chartered Aeronautical Engineer on the British Register Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society Gorham Page 2 of 3 Associate Fellow A.<br><br> I.A.A. Education - Degrees in Engineering Career Summary 1940-1946 Joint Manager of Royal Air Force R & 0 unit, Madras, India 1948-1954 Chief of Design, Royal Aircraft Establishment Unit, England 1954-1965 Engineering Manager, Smith's Aviation Company, England 1965 Immigrated to the USA - now American citizen 1965-1967 Manager, Advanced Research, ARINC Corporation, Maryland 1967-1972 Assistant Chief Engineer, Flight Guidance, Primary Flight Control Systems and Flight Station for Lockheed L-1 01 1 1972-1997 Founder and owner of Gorham Associates, providing consulting services since 1970 to various NASA centers, FAA and industry on systems design and Alight guidance and control, including all-weather and terminal area operation and the UAV industry. Current member of Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel to NASA.<br><br> Currently Retired Specific Accomplishments and Contacts " Royal Air Force - South East Asia Command (six years) 1942-1946 3 Organized, set-up and designed all test equipment for a Repair and Overhaul unit to maintain and repair combat aircraft instruments in Madras, India. Successfully operated unit in support of South East Asia Command Air Force flying activities for four years. " Royal Aircraft Establishment, Blind Landing Unit 3 England (five years) As chief designer, designed many airborne and ground systems in support of British government cAll Weather Operation d research.<br><br> This included radio altimeters, heads up displays, flare and roll-out systems. " Smith 9s Aircraft Industries - Cheltenham, England (10 years) Engineering Manager - Flight Control Systems Branch. Responsible for design test and certification of ground and airborne flight guidance and control systems for 14 civilian and military aircraft types.<br><br> Led special task team to design, develop and test a new Vmd control system for Vulcan 'V' bomber to an accelerated schedule of 16 weeks. Responsible for design and certification of Category III Triplex Autoland on British European Airways Trident. " Lockheed Aircraft Company - Burbank, California (five years) Assistant Chief Engineer, Commercial Aircraft on L-1011 program.<br><br> Proposed, developed and was responsible for program to accomplish Cat III All-weather operation on L-1011. Program successful. Aircraft entered service with first certifiable Cat III system on a United States commercial aircraft.<br><br> Led team of 800 engineers for development, design, test, production and certification of L-1011 flight controls, flight Gorham Page 3 of 3 station, avionics, navigation and electrical systems. " Gorham Associates 3 San Marcos, California (1972 to Current) Provides aviation consulting services on systems design and flight guidance and control to government and industry. Airline Technical and Operational Groups " Worked directly with most UK, USA, European and Japanese airlines on flight control and navigation systems, and low weather minima and terminal area operations.<br><br> Familiar with IATA, ALPA and ARINC activities. Government Organizations NASA 1991 3 1997 Consultant member of National Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel Headquarters Chairman TVC (Terminal Configured Vehicles) National panel for two years Langley, Virginia, Ames, San Jose, California Consultant various programs Consultant various programs, including STOLAND FAA 1990 3 1997 Designated Engineering Representative (DER) to Federal Aviation Administration, approved for Certification Criteria Management of all avionic systems Headquarters- Washington, D.C. and Western Region (Active liaison for 15 years) Team member in formulating first FARs for utilization of probability terms in the certification process CAA British Civil Airworthiness Authorities Committee member in first formulation of the use of probability terms in aircraft/systems certification.<br><br> General certification activity on many European aircraft Addendum The following information was added by John Gorham in 2002. Modeling Biography of John A. Gorham Born: August 8, 1922 in Ipswich, United Kingdom Resident citizen in the U.S.<br><br> from 1967 to present 1933 to 1939 : First model was a tow-launch glider made of spruce and silk; first place at County Model Engineer Static Competition; subsequently built and flew various gliders and rubber- powered Free Flight models made of cane, spruce and paper. 1939 to 1946: Modeling suspended 3 Overseas service in Royal Air Force during World War II Gorham Page 4 of 4 1946 to 1948: Designed, built and flew various models 3 indoor, Free Flight, glider and rubber- powered; joined the Society of Model Aeronautic Engineers (SMAE); flew in many local and national competitions. 1948 to 1957: Became president of Ipswich Model Club.<br><br> Entered various national and international competitions. In 1950 the Ipswich club members became national champions in rubber, glider Free Flight and power categories. John also became British National Open Champion in 1949 and runner-up to one of his own club members in 1950.<br><br> The Ipswich Club, under John 9s guidance, became the National Champion Club of 1950. 1954: Selected as U.K. team member for FAI World Free Flight Power Championship; placed fourth in championships in New York County.<br><br> 1958: Awarded first FAI cC d merit certificate for top performance in glider rubber and Free Flight power. Designed model and published plans for the following: " Contender, Free Flight power, 1950, won many national competitions " Ghost, Wakefield, 1951 " Lil Aud, Free Flight power, 1951, featured in Zaics 1951-52 yearbook " VerTigO, Free Flight power, 1954, placed fourth in the World Model Air Olympics 1958 to 1967: Continued sport flying at local clubs (between studying for aeronautical degrees) 1967: Emigrated to the U.S. to assist in design of the Lockheed SST and L1011 program 1967 to 1979: Built various RC models for sport flying in local club events; busy (chief enginner 3 flight guidance and control) on Lockheed L-1011 design program so modeling was temporarily suspended.<br><br> 1979: Resident in Los Angeles, California. While working at Lockheed became interested in RC helicopters and designed and built various helicopters including own designs, Jelly Bean and Cricket. At studio 9s request, flew Cricket in cAll night Long, d a Streisand/Hackman movie.<br><br> Formed Helicopters Anonymous group in early days of RC helicopter flying to explore and promote RC helicopter flying in California with weekly meetings. 1980 to 1990: Gorham Model Product (GMP). Designed and produced many RC helicopters, including Cricket, Hughes 500, Competitor, Cobra, Legend and Viper.<br><br> GMP was awarded INC 500 in 1983 for one of the fastest growing privately held companies in the U.S. Cricket ultimately sold 16,000 new helicopters that helped considerably in promoting RC helicopter flying all over the world. GMP helicopters took first place in many national and international contests.<br><br> 1980 to 1985: Helicopter columnist for Radio Control Modeler magazine (RCM). Wrote the cGive it a Whirl d column that helped fly RC helicopters over the world. CEO of GMP and Gorham Drone Helicopter, Inc.<br><br> (GDH). Gorham Page 5 of 5 1981 to 1989: Promoted and attended many competitions all over the U.S. that further encouraged model helicopter flying.<br><br> 1986 to 1990: Designed and built a unique 1/5-scale RC Drone, Hind-D, helicopter (see cJane 9s All the World 9s Aircraft, d 1986-87, pages 810-811). Production run of 16 for U.S. government.<br><br> Design adopted for production by Boeing. 1991 to 1993: Various aerospace and NASA consulting activities on stability and control. Continued RC model flying as a hobby, mainly flying larger size fixed wing models.<br><br> Member of several local clubs. 1992 to 1993: Working as a consultant designed the control system and successfully flew the world 9s first Grumman designed RC model vane controlled VTOL through the complete flight profile. Continued RC modeling and UAV activities.<br><br> Consulting activities also extended to many U.S. aircraft control problems working with NASA and FAA. 1993 to present: Retired to San Marcos, California, with wife Louise.<br><br> President of local model club. RC airplane flying every few days and other delightful modeling activities as wished. 2002: On August 8, became an Octogenarian RC flyer.<br><br> Papers and Lectures IATA ALL-WEATHER CONFERENCE, Lucerne, Switzerland, May 1963 Performance of the British Autoland System in the FAA DC7 Automatic Throttle Control Systems for Autoland JOINT ENGLISH/FRENCH/GERMAN NAVIGATION SYMPOSIUM, Brighton, UK, May 1964 The Role of the Automatic System in All-Weather Operations AIAA FLIGHT CONTROL CONFERENCE, Hunstville, Alabama, 1968 cWhere Are We With All-Weather Landings? d SAE NATIONAL AIR TRANSPORTATION MEETING, New York, April 1969 Design & Development of the Fail-Operative Automatic Landing System for the Lockheed L-1011 ATA SYMPOSIUM, ALL-WEATHER OPERATIONS COMMITTEE, Washington, DC, May 1969 cThe Use of Airborne Radar as a Monitor of Airplane Landing Operations Under Adverse Weather Conditions d Gorham Page 6 of 6 SAE NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION MEETING, Atlanta, Georgia, May 1971 Development Testing of the L-1011 Independent Landing Monitor SAE FLIGHT-CONTROL SYMPOSIUM, Miami, Florida, May 1973 Experience with Category II Landing Systems USSR/US AERONAUTICAL TECHNOLOGY SYMPOSIUM, Moscow, Russia, July 1973 Automatic Flight Control & Navigation Systems of the L-1011 NASA - LANGLEY AND AMES, 1974 The Design Process for Civil Airplane Airborne Flight Control and Navigation Systems STANFORD UNIVERSITY, May 1975 Design of Complex Avionic Systems in a Civil Airplane Environment IEEE LECTURE, Los Angeles, April 1976 Future Air Carrier Avionics Requirements & Constraints STANFORD UNIVERSITY, APRIL 1976 cThe last 100 Feet d - Low Visibility Landing Operations ICAO ALL-WEATHER OPERATIONG GROUP, Atlantic City, April 1976 A Typical TRSB Category III Microwave Landing System Airborne Configuration STANFORD UNIVERSITY, October 1977 Aircraft Cockpits of the 1980s NASA HEADQUARTERS, 1991 3 1997 Annual technical reports to Congress regarding Shuttle safety criteria and operation - End -