Klemin, Alexander (Dr.)


  • Born, London, England, May 15, 1888;
  • Entered US 1912, Naturalized 1917.
  • B.S. University of London, England 1909, with honors
  • M.S. (Aeronautical Engineering), M.I.T. 1915;
  • LL.D Kenyon College, Ohio 1934.

Aviation Business Record:

  • Instructor of Aeronautics, M.I.T. and technical editor of Aviation Magazine 1915 - 1917;
  • Consultant Bureau of Aeronautics, Navy Dept. 1917-1919;
  • Consultant U.S. Airmail service;
  • Consultant U.S. Army Air Corps;
  • Designed first amphibian gear applied to an American flying boat;
  • Taught first Aeronautics course New York University, 1919-1925;
  • Director and Professor Guggenheim School of Aeronautics, New York University 1925-retirement (1945);
  • Superintended formation of Air Commerce Bureau.
  • Consultant: Civil Aeronautics Administration, misc. aircraft manufacturers;
  • Lecturer College of Engineering, Princeton University;
  • Editor Dept. of Commerce and American Engineering Council report on civil aviation.


  • Rotary Wing Expert;
  • Instrumental in the formation of the American Helicopter Society;
  • Designed original double-return wind tunnel (which was at the time, the largest non-governmental wind tunnel in the U.S.;
  • Developed a moving belt to simulate ground effects for stationary models;
  • Designed a mirror-pitot to measure air speed in flight more accurately;
  • Designed an experimental rig for measuring spinning characteristics of airplanes in a horizontal tunnel;
  • Designed testing apparatus for autogyro models to eliminate scale effects;
  • Instrumental in the develp9ment of a power-plant laboratory, a towing basin and other aeronautical development of N.Y.U.;
  • Taught the first course on the theory of rotary wings in the world in 1937;

Honors and Awards

  • Honorary Degree of Doctor of Engineering from N.Y.U., January 26, 1950.
  • Lauded for "his inspiration and untiring efforts; he brought the reputation of the institution to top-ranking position in this country." [Aero Digest, March 1950, p.38]
  • Establishment of the Dr. Klemin Annual Award by the American Helicopter Society (post-mortem)

Military record:

  • First Lieutenant in charge of Research U.S. Army Air Corps McCook Field, Dayton, Ohio, 1917-1919.


  • American Society of Mechanical Engineers,
  • N.A.C.A.,
  • Society of Automotive Engineers,
  • Institute of Aeronautical sciences,
  • Royal Aero Society.


  • Airplane stress analysis, 1927;
  • Textbook of Aeronautical Engineering, 1919;
  • Simplified Aerodynamics, 1928;
  • If you want to fly, 1928.


  • Technical articles on Aeronautical subjects to Aircraft Engineer,
  • Scientific American (Aeronautical Editor),
  • Air Law Review,
  • Flight Magazine (London);
  • Journal of the Aeronautical Sciences,
  • Aviation,
  • Aero Digest,
  • Encyclopedia Britannica,
  • Encyclopedia Americana,
  • Nation’s Business.


It should be noted that the UCLA Library displayed much of Dr. Klemin's papers and research from December 7, 1964 to January 31, 1965 in the Department of Special Collections (Room 120 College Library building), in the Engineering & Mathematical Sciences Library (Room 8270 Engineering 11), and the University Research Library. UCLA library claims its Klemin Collection "contains more than 60,000 pieces of indexed research materials in the form of lectures, correspondence, original photographs, technical data, reports, specifications, and designs, and thus provides a rich source for the study of aeronautical development during the first half of the twentieth century."


  • Who’s Who in Aviation 1947
  • UCLA Library pamphlet by James V. Mink, University Archivist
  • A.H.S. News, May 1950
  • Aero Digest, March 1950, p. 38



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