Harvey Allen is best known as the genius behind the blunt-body concept, published in 1953, which enables spacecraft to return safely home through Earth's dense atmosphere. He was also an extraordinary research leader, who led a world-class research program in hypersonics at the NACA Ames Aeronautical Laboratory. This paper reviews his career as one of America's leading theorists and experimenters, including his engineering education at Stanford, his work on the inverse problem of calculating the airfoil profile to obtain a desired pressure distribution, his hand in constructing wind tunnels and experimental facilities at Ames, and his pioneering and wide-ranging work on atmospheric re-entry. It concludes with an appreciation of his uniquely inspirational style of research management, and of his magnetic personality.


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Literature Cited

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