Sir Leonard Bairstow

Sir Leonard Bairstow, Aviation Engineer, 1880 – 1963

Born in Yorkshire, Leonard Bairstow won a scholarship to attend the Royal College of Science, where he conducted research into the explosive quality of gases.

He graduated with a Diploma in Mechanics, and began working for the National Physical Laboratory, where he became Head of Aeroplane Research.

Leonard's work was of great importance during the First World War.between 1914 and 1918. In1915, Education Minister, Mr. Pease said:

Our success over our enemy in aviation is largely due to the investigations made into automatic stability by a young man who went through an elementary school, fought his way up to the Imperial College, went through a course at the National Physical Laboratory...invented and introduced the B.E.Plane.

Leonard's efforts were rewarded with a CBE 1917.

During his later career, Leonard was Professor of Aerodynamics at the Imperial College of Science and Technology. He was a Member of Royal Society and became Vice President of the Royal Aeronautical Society, 1930 – 4. He was knighted 1932.