On this day, 100 years ago an IMechE member was killed in action.

Edward Teshmaker Busk: 5th November

Busk's membership form
Busk’s membership form

Member, since 1914.

At the outbreak of war he was Assistant Engineer Physicist, Royal Aircraft Factory.  Prior to the War, 2nd Lieutenant London Electrical Engineers Territorial’s (from 1911).

Wartime posting(s) was/were, Lieutenant, Royal Engineers (helped prepare for Arras).

Busk was killed on 5 November 1914 while flying a B.E.2 which caught fire at Laffans Plain (now Farnborough Airfield), near Aldershot. He was buried at Aldershot Military Cemetery with full military honours; Busk was a pioneer of early aircraft design, and the designer of the first full-sized efficient inherently stable aeroplane.

Awarded: 1914 Star. He was also recognised by the posthumous award of the Gold Medal of the Aeronautical Society of Great Britain.

1915 Obituary 

EDWARD TESHMAKER BUSK was born at Winchmore Hill, Middlesex, on 8th March 1886.

He was educated at Bilton Grange School and at Harrow, and followed a three years’ course of engineering at the University of Cambridge, taking the First Class Mechanical Sciences Tripos.

In 1909 he started an apprenticeship of two years with Messrs. J. and E. Hall, Dartford, and in 1912 became assistant engineer in charge of Physical Experimental Work at the Royal Aircraft Factory, South Farnborough. It was in this capacity that he devised several valuable improvements in the mechanism of aeroplanes and the disposition of their parts tending to complete stability without material loss of efficiency.

By the autumn of 1913 he had carried his researches so far that any aeroplane built to his design would give such a result, and in November 1913 was for the first tune [sic, time] able to snake [sic, make] uncontrolled flights of several hours’ duration in winds up to thirty-eight miles an hour. On one occasion Colonel Seely, the then Secretary of State for War, was his passenger, and he later made demonstration flights before the King and Queen. After flying with Colonel Sykes, the Commanding Officer of the Royal Flying Corps, from the Royal Aircraft Factory, Farnborough, to Salisbury Plain and back, both passenger and flyer leaving the aeroplane to control itself whilst they wrote notes throughout the journey, he persuaded the authorities to take the matter up as having been tested and demonstrated in practical form.

Mr. Busk was flying his own stable aeroplane at Aldershot, when, on 5th November 1914, it caught fire in the air, causing his death, in his twenty-ninth year.

He had in 1911 received a Commission as 2nd Lieutenant in the London Electrical Engineers, Territorials.

He was elected an Associate Member of this Institution in 1914.

Institution First World War Honour Roll.

Members login to Ancestry, via our Virtual Library, to access membership records for free.

Archive, Institution of Mechanical Engineers



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