This July, the National Aviation Hall of Fame (NAHF) will honor Dr. S. Harry Robertson during its 50th annual Enshrinement Ceremony as part of the class of 2011. Robertson is one of four honorees this year. Roberston, considered the “father of the crashworthy fuel system,” is being recognized for his contributions to crash investigations and helicopters.
Robertson invented the crashworthy fuel system known as “Robbie Tanks,” after research showed that a majority of military helicopter fatalities resulted from fires following the crash, and not the crash itself. After Robertson’s fuel systems were implemented in 1970, fatalities from fires after crashes dropped by 99.9 percent, according to NAHF. Robertson’s designs went beyond helicopters—the fuel systems can also be found on military ground vehicles, police cruisers and high-performance racecars. This year’s NAHF ceremony is set for July 16, 2011 in Dayton, Ohio.