Edwin J. Ducayet
United States of America
Edwin J. Ducayet was the first president of Bell Helicopter Corporation.
An AHS member since 1954, Ducayet began his career at the Curtiss Aeroplane Division of Curtiss-Wright Corp. in Buffalo, shortly after receiving his aeronautical engineering degree from M.I.T. in 1931. He remained with the Curtiss Wright Corporation until 1950, when he joined Bell Aircraft as the assistant to the vice president in charge of the helicopter division.
In 1951, Ducayet coordinated the move of the division to Ft. Worth, Texas, became assistant manager of the Texas Division, and later vice president of Bell Helicopter Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of Bell Aircraft Corp. When Textron Inc. bought Bell Helicopter Corp. in 1960, Ducayet was named president of the new Bell Helicopter Corporation.
Under Ducayet's leadership, Bell grew into its role as a leader in helicopter manufacturing. During the Vietnam War, Bell's military mission expanded, while the company also emphasized its role in the civil market. Ducayet became Bell's chairman in 1972 and retired at the end of that year.
Ducayet served as chairman of the AHS and in 1967 was presented the Grover E. Bell Award, along with Bell's Huey/Cobra team.
Ducayet passed away on May 8, 1992. He was 83.
AHS Update: Vertiflite September/October 1992