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S. D. Heron (1891-1963)
"WE regret to record the death in Detroit, U.S.A., on July 10 of MR. S. D. HERON, who was a pioneer and an internationally recognised authority on the development of aircraft piston engines and fuels. Born in Newcastle upon Tyne on May 18, 1891, Mr. Heron entered the infant aircraft industry as a machinist, draughtsman and designer of parts for aircraft piston engines while attending night school from 1910 to 1914. During the first World War, Mr. Heron participated in the design and development of the first successful aluminium air-cooled engine cylinders at the Royal Aircraft Factory.
From 1921 to 1926 and 1928 to 1933, he made significant contributions to the development of the air cooled aircraft engine in the United States, while employed by the Engineering Division, U.S.A.A.C., at McCook Field, Ohio. He spent the 1926 to 1927 period with Wright Aeronautical Corporation, being responsible for inspection of the parts making up the "Whirlwind" engine used by Lindberg for his trans-Atlantic flight.
In 1934, Mr. Heron joined Ethyl Corporation in Detroit as director of aeronautical research, a position he held until his retirement in 1946 except for a leave of absence to the U.S. Government during the Second World War. Since 1946 he served as a consultant to the U .S. Government, Ethyl Corporation and others, on engines, fuels and engineering materials. He held several patents, including that for the sodium-cooled valve, and was a warded many honours, one of which was a Certificate of Merit from President Truman in 1948 for his contributions to the war effort."