James Chadwick

United States of America


James "Jim" R. Chadwick was born in Los Angeles, California in 1922. He was a natural hobbyist and tinkerer and built his own telescope at age 12. He attended Caltech, worked at Douglas Aircraft, and served in the US Navy as a photo officer on the USS Montpelier in the Pacific theater in World War II.

After a few years at Jet Propulsion Laboratory, he started Chadwick-Helmuth Company with his colleague Jim Helmuth in his shop at home in 1953. The company evolved into a world leader in the field of vibration analysis and rotor balance on helicopters and other aircraft. The Chadwick Helmuth 177 Balancer was an analog system that could be used to easily track rotor systems to include those with more than two blades. Chadwick further refined their diagnostic tools with the Model 192 spectrum analyzer, which allowed the maintainer to see harmonic vibrations on a particular component for the first time. In the early 1960s, Chadwick-Helmuth also produced a portable helicopter rotor track and balance system with field procedures for vibration management, later known as Vibrex/Strobex, at the request of Hughes Helicopters. Over 10,000 Vibrex/Strobex systems remain in service around the world today. In the mid-1980s, Chadwick-Helmuth introduced the model 8500 Balancer/Analyzer with Smart Chart Rotor Track and Balance technology, and the 8500 model is still produced today, along with new advanced vibration management systems. 

In July 2002, Chadwick Helmuth became a business unit of Honeywell International.

Due to Mr. Chadwick's many notable contributions to rotor track and balance, his name has been transformed into a well-known eponym in the rotorcraft industry:  to "Chadwick" your helicopter means to balance its rotors.

Mr. Chadwick passed away peacefully at age 87 in 2009.