Anne Burn (1915–2001), aeronautical engineer and glider pilot
1915 Anne Pellew was born in Heworth Without, near Flaxton, Yorkshire, daughter of Captain Fleetwood Hugo Pellew (1871–1961), of the West Yorkshire regiment, and his wife, Violet Annie (d. 1964), younger daughter of James Du Pré.
1939 She was one of the first women to read engineering science at Oxford university, graduating with a first-class degree in 1939.
1940 Anne Pellew joined the Royal Aircraft Establishment, Farnborough as a scientific assistant. There she worked on experimental snatch-launching for Hotspur troop-carrying gliders.
1941 Married John Pearce Gould but the marriage soon ended in divorce.
Late 1940s: she was the first flight test observer to employ strain gauges in an aircraft in flight.
1947 Married Denis Owen Burns (1912–1990), a research engineer then serving as a senior scientific officer in the Admiralty.
1948 Obtained her power pilot's licence in a Tiger Moth
1953 Anne Burns was appointed a principal scientific officer at the Royal Aircraft Establishment. She investigated the loads imposed on aircraft structures during flight, specialized in metal fatigue and the effects of clear air turbulence.
She was the only female researcher to fly in the Comet Able Victor during the investigation into two unexplained losses at high altitude of this pioneering aircraft. The team identified the problem as metal fatigue at a window corner leading to catastrophic cabin failure.
1954 Soloed in a T21 glider. Later set a number of women's British and world gliding records.
1958 the Royal Aeronautical Society awarded her its R. P. Alston award for her contribution to flight safety
1966 the Royal Aeronautical Society awarded her its silver medal for aeronautics.
2001 Died at Frimley.
Sources of Information
- Biography of Anne Burns, ODNB