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Milliken Research Associates, Inc.

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In 1930, Bill Milliken designed, built, flew and crashed his own airplane. Since then he has had a strong interest in vehicle handling problems!

After graduating from MIT in 1934, he worked in the aircraft industry for 20 years in analysis, wind tunnel and flight testing, with emphasis on stability and control. He was assistant head of Flight Test at Boeing Aircraft during World War II, and was on the first flights of the prototype XB-29 and several B-17 models.

As head of Flight Research at Cornell Aeronautical Laboratory (CAL) he initiated a program for measuring aircraft dynamics in flight using automatic control techniques, accomplishing the first frequency response measurements. Also, as co-inventor of the variable stability aircraft (circa 1948) he was invloved in pioneering stability augmentation and modern electrohydraulic flight control systems.

Bill Milliken competed in over 100 post-war road races. He was a founding member of the Watkins Glen Road Races, serving as head of the Rules Committee. He competed in the very first Watkins Glen event in 1948 (in which he rolled-over). "Milliken's Corner" on the original Watkins Glen circuit is named after him. He drove cars such as Type 35 and 54 Bugattis and an ex-Indy four wheel drive Miller at Watkins Glen, Pikes Peak, Sebring and many others across North America for 15 years. Later, continuing involvement included a term as Chief Steward for the Formula One US Grand Prix.

As a result of his racing activity, he became interested in automobile stability and control and the potential for applications of aircraft technology. Under the sponsorship of General Motors, vehicle dynamics activity at CAL developed and substantiated the automobile dynamic equations of motion and developed the first variable stability (servo-controlled) cars. The first six-component tire testing machine was developed, leading to TIRF, the original high-speed, flat-belt tire tester which, some 30 years later, is still one of the most advanced tire testing machines in the world.

In 1976 Bill Milliken started his own consulting/research firm, Milliken Research Associates, Inc. (MRA). MRA engages in analytical and testing contracts over the range of vehicle dynamics topics. Original developments include the Moment Method approach to automobile stability and control, tire data non-dimensionalization, specialized computer programs for race application, etc.

For a listing of MRA's services, click here.

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