5.4.1912 Norcia/I - 28.12.1975 New York/USA
The death of Antonio Ferri, Astor professor of aerospace sciences at New York University, meant a great loss to the international community in aerospace engineering. Ferri obtained the PhD title in aeronautics from the University of Rome in 1936. From 1935 Ferri was a collaborator at the newly founded aerodynamics research center in Guidonia. From 1937 he there headed the supersonic wind tunnel group. Following the Allied occupation of Italy in 1944, Ferri was offered a position in the Langley Research Center in Hampton, VA. Ferri there headed the gas dynamics branch from 1949 and was admitted US citizenship in 1952. He joined in 1951 the faculty of the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn as aerodynamics professor, and in 1957 became head of its Department of Aerospace Engineering and Sciences. Ferri joined in 1964 the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at the New York University. He was elected a Member of the National Academy of Engineering in 1967, and was honored by prizes such as the Premio dell'Accademia d'Italia in 1938, the Akroyd Stuart Prize from the Royal Aeronautical Society in 1965 and the 1975 Sylvanus Albert Reed Award from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics AIAA.
Ferri had talents in solving theoretical and experimental problems in engineering; he was an admirable teacher and a wonderful demonstrator of laboratory observations. The 5th Annual Volta Congress was held in Rome in 1935, with participants such as Ludwig Prandtl (1875-1953), Theodor von Karman (1881-1963) and Geoffrey Ingram Taylor (1886-1975). This meeting presented to Ferri an excellent opportunity to follow the latest ideas of these experts and to become acquainted with the limitations on the most advanced wind tunnels of the time. In 1949, Ferri presented the famous book which shed light on his outstanding research capabilities and had an impact on his later career in the USA. He was also a consultant for the US airplane industry and caused the technical advancement of flight by considering the noise problem.
Busemann, A. (1979). Antonio Ferri. Memorial Tributes National Academy 1: 57-60.
Ferri, A. (1938). Untersuchungen und Versuche im Überschallwindkanal zu Guidonia. Jahrbuch der Deutschen Luftfahrtforschung: 112-138. P
Ferri, A. (1939). Caratteristiche aerodinamiche di un profilo alare a velocità prossime a quella del suono. L'Aerotecnica 19: 404-425.
Ferri, A. (1949). Elements of aerodynamics of supersonic flows. MacMillan: New York. Visich, M. (1976). Antonio Ferri. Astronautics and Aeronautics 14(2): 71. P

Hydraulicians in Europe 1800-2000 . 2013.

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