Morris Leroy Spearman

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[top] Background

(L-R) Leroy Spearman and Charles Donlan brief visitor (from Claude Patterson collecrion)

From Kevin Burns, AIAA Associate Fellow:

Mr. Spearman was head of Langley’s supersonic wind tunnels and is a legendary person within the accomplishments of the NASA Langley facilities. He started working there in 1944 and retired in 2005 with the longest career service in Langley’s history. He has presented many papers within the History TC Sessions at numerous AIAA Conferences which have been published within those proceedings, and are often referenced in books and other publications about NASA Langley. Mr. Spearman is a national treasure in the profession of aerospace.


[top] Selected Publications

Significant Aerodynamic Research at NACA/NASA Langley During the First Century of Flight. M. Leroy Spearman. 2009. AIAA 2009-966.

A Lighter-Than-Air System Enhanced with Kinetic Lift. M. L. Spearman. 2002.

Some Aviation Growth Events. M. Leroy Spearman. 2002. AIAA 2002-1072.

A Review of 50 Years of Aerodynamic Research with NACA/NASA. M. Leroy Spearmn. 1994. TM 109163.

Historical Review of Missile Aerodynamic Development. M. Leroy Spearman. 1989.

Some effects of external stores on the static stability of fighter airplanes. M. Leroy Spearman. TN D-6775.

An investigation of the low-speed static stability characteristics of complete models having sweptback and sweptforward wings. Spearman, M. Leroy and Paul Comisarow. 1948. NACA RM L8H31.

Links to Conference Papers.

[top] Obituary

NEWPORT NEWS - Morris Leroy Spearman, 93, passed away Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015. He was the widower of Lilibel Totty Spearman, his wife of 67 years. A native of Birmingham, Ala., he was a peninsula resident since 1944.

He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Auburn University in 1943, and then began a career at NASA, Langley, that spanned sixty years. He held various titles and positions during his tenure, to include subsonic and supersonic wind tunnel research. He was Chief Scientist for Military and Foreign Technology, where he served as a military advisor to the Central Intelligence Agency. He also served as a mentor for the New Horizons Regional Education Center and the Virginia Governor's School Program. He wrote and published over 300 technical papers and presentations in the field of aeronautics. He was recognized as an authority in the fields of aerodynamics, stability and control, aircraft, spacecraft, and missile performance.

He was an Emeritus Lifetime Member and Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the Air Force Association, the Auburn University Alumni Engineering Council and a Fellow of the Virginia Academy of Science. Leroy was a member of Hidenwood Presbyterian Church. He believed in helping others, loved the Lord, and shared his love of the Gospel with others.

Survivors include a son, Michael L. Spearman and his wife, Mary; two daughters, Judianne Heath and Karlene Spearman; five grandchildren, April Wood ( Bill ), Christopher Spearman, Brian Spearman ( Caprice ), Robert Heath ( Tara ), Michael Heath; twelve great grandchildren, Alison, Christian, Logan, Copeland, Riley, Haley, Madeline, Alisjia, Kyle, Brittany, Zachary and Kayleigh.

Special thanks to House Calls, Riverside Home Care, and his Overnight Angels. A memorial service will be held Saturday, Sept. 12, at 1 p.m. at Hidenwood Presbyterian Church with the Rev. William G. Lamont officiating. Burial in Peninsula Memorial Park will be private. Peninsula Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

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