Skip to main content

George Alan Starr Papers

Identifier: CV046-08

Scope and Content

This collection contains documents and records, correspondence, personal journals, manuals and reports, photographs, presentations, transparencies, charts and diagrams, clippings and articles, ephemera and memorabilia, and other materials that were created and/or collected by George Alan Starr during his work for Chance Vought Corporation and Aerospatiale Helicopter Corporation. The George Alan Starr Papers are housed in fourteen manuscript boxes, one half size manuscript box and two non-standard boxes totaling 6.72 linear ft.

The collection arrived in good condition. It was packed and arranged by the donating party and the order was continued and maintained by the curator. The archivist identified three series with the first series being the Personal Papers Series, which is further organized in four subseries: 1. Private Documents, 2. Business Documents, 3. Images, and 4. Articles and Personal Activities.

Subseries 1. consists of a fable written by Alan Starr, French class notes, a personal journal listing the books read by him, a series of journals noting personal reflections , objectives, ideas, business problems, and opportunities and a Aerospatiale Newsletter. Also included are a number of service recognition certificates, awards and plaques.

Subseries 2. contains appointment calendars, an executive summary response to a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter RFP, retirement ceremony booklet, service recognition citations and certificates and a symposium paper concerning titanium usage for high-speed hydrofoils co-authored by Alan Starr.

Subseries 3. includes images of retirement party, business meetings, and first delivery of U.S. Coast Guard 350D and HH65 helicopters.

Subseries 4. consists of a newsletter article about Chance Vought naval aircraft, Indiana Technical College alumni meeting letters and articles, and Elderhostel activities.

The second series being the Praxis Proposal, which is organized in one subseries: 1. Documents

Subseries 1. consists of letters, memoranda and correspondence between Alan Starr and various personnel at Chance Vought Corporation and Southern Methodist University in order to pursue agreement and approval to commence studies to attain a Doctor of Engineering Degree. This series also contains documents related to technology management, assessment and marketing, computer based situation modeling, Department of Defense, National Science Foundation and Massachusetts Institute of Technology articles, booklets and budgets, research and development papers, class lecture notes, project management, and industry symposium ephemera. The third and largest series being the Praxis Development, which is organized in one subseries: 1. Documents.

Subseries 1. includes lecture notes from classes attended at Southern Methodist University, personal notes and observations while developing the content and structure of his thesis. Of interest is a series of presentations and reports proposing that Chance Vought consider decentralizing from its core aeronautical business and pursue opportunities in the field of alternative energy solutions. The research and preparation for these suggested alternate business pursuits are supported by documents, reports, articles, personal observations and notes. Overall this collection is primarily aligned towards Alan Starr's pursuit to attain his Doctorate in Aeronautical Engineering. On a smaller scale are various documents that relate to some general business activities and career service milestones while working at Chance Vought and Aerospatiale.

This collection does not contain any concept, engineering, drawings, development or technical documentation related to any specific aircraft or other aeronautical projects. The sole exception is an executive summary overview response to a U.S. Coast Guard new helicopter RFP.


  • 1952 - 1988
  • Majority of material found within 1965 - 1985


Access Restrictions

Materials in this collection are open for research.

Literary Rights Statement

Permission to publish material from this collection in any form, current or future, must be obtained from the Special Collections and Archives Division, Eugene McDermott Library, The University of Texas at Dallas.

Biographical Sketch

George Allan Starr was born in Pleasantville, New Jersey on September 28, 1920. In 1942, he graduated from the Indiana Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Aeronautical Engineering. Shortly after graduation, he joined Chance Vought Aircraft Corporation at Stratford Connecticut as a Structures Design Engineer. During 1945, Alan Starr was struck by spinal meningitis and experienced an immediate and permanent total hearing loss. He was able to recover from this setback by learning to read lips and continued his aeronautical career uninhibited. His developed expertise in lip reading enabled him to join Toastmasters International and he participated fully in this endeavor. His skills were acute to a point where he was able to comment on the speeches of others although he was hearing impaired. Later in his career due to business activities with Aerospatiale, he collaborated and interfaced with the French. He learned to speak French and impressed his teacher by being able to incorporate the French dialect into his vocabulary.

Alan Starr received his Master’s in Aeronautical Engineering in 1945 and his Doctorate in 1977 from Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas, Texas. During the years 1942 through 1950, he was a Structures Design Engineer on various Chance Vought aircraft such as the famous World War II F4U Corsair, the XF5U-1 Flying Pancake, XF6U-1 Pirate (Chance Vought’s first jet powered aircraft) and the F7U-1 Cutlass. His responsibilities encompassed propeller and gearbox loads and stress analysis, flight loads, wing, and fuselage structural design.

In 1950, he was assigned to Preliminary Design and was responsible for structural arrangements and analysis for advanced aircraft. During this time, Alan Starr established a structures design team that responded to a U.S. Navy Request for Proposal (RFP) for a supersonic capable fighter aircraft. Subsequent conceptual design studies lead to the development of the XF8U-1 Crusader configuration, which won the competition, and in 1953, he was appointed as the Structures Project Engineer for this aircraft.

In 1955, Alan Starr was promoted to the position of Supervisor of the Structures Design Group. A year later, because of the emerging importance of technology research and development (R and D), he helped to form the nucleus of a newly formed technology R and D organization with initial responsibility for directing all research in structures design, structural mechanics, dynamics, and materials. During 1959, he assumed responsibility for the direction of all company sponsored and contract technology R and D. Also during this year, Alan Starr, in addition to his work responsibilities at Chance Vought, was appointed to a technical panel as an uncompensated consultant to the Materials Advisory Board of the National Academy of Sciences. This consulting relationship with the Materials Advisory Board continued for over ten years. In 1977, he was named Director, Engineering Technical Research and Development and later that year retired from this position.

During the course of that year, Alan Starr joined the Aerospatiale Helicopter Corporation (AHC), which was formerly the Vought Helicopter Corporation. He led the engineering effort in responding to an RFP from the U.S. Coast Guard for a short-range recovery helicopter. Aerospatiale won the competition and he was named Director of Engineering for the division responsible for engineering development collaborating with the Aerospatiale Division in France. The first delivery of ninety-six helicopters designated the HH-65 Dolphin was made to the U.S. Coast Guard in 1984. He retired from AHC in 1987.

George Alan Starr passed away on February 23, 2008 in Bedford, Texas.


"Alan Starr Papers," Professional Goals, Correspondence August 11, 1971, Folder 7, Box 6, Series II. Subseries 1., History of Aviation Collection, Special Collections and Archives Division, Eugene McDermott Library, The University of Texas at Dallas.
Anonymous, Biography, "Vought Aircraft Retiree Club," (Online) Undated. (accessed May 26, 2010).
Anonymous, Obituary, "Fort Worth Star Telegram," (Online) 26 February, 2008. (accessed January 10, 2011).


6.72 Linear Feet (Fourteen manuscript boxes, one half size manuscript box and two non standard boxes (10.5x12.5x3).)

Language of Materials


Series Description

The George Alan Starr Papers are arranged in three series:

Series I. Personal Papers 2.14 linear ft. (one manuscript box and two non-standard boxes), 1952-1988.

Arranged in five subseries: 1. Private Documents, 2. Business Documents, 3. Images, 4. Articles and Personal Activities, and 5. Plaques and Awards.

Subseries 1. Private Documents 0.04 linear ft. (five folders), 1952-1981.

Arranged in original order.

Subseries 2. Business Documents 0.2 linear ft. (nine folders), 1965-1989.

Arranged in original order.

Subseries 3. Images 0.08 linear ft. (eleven folders), 1963-1983.

Arranged in original order.

Subseries 4. Articles and Personal Activities 0.01 linear ft. (three folders), 1956-1987.

Arranged in original order.

Subseries 5. Plaques and Awards 1.64 linear ft. (two non-standard boxes, 1977-1988.

Arranged by size.

Series II. Praxis Proposal 1.8 linear ft. (four manuscript boxes), 1962-1977.

Arranged in one subseries: 1. Documents.

Subseries 1. Documents 1.8 linear ft. (twenty nine folders), 1962-1977.

Arranged in original order.

Series III. Praxis Development 3.4 linear ft. (eight manuscript boxes and one-half manuscript box), 1958-1977.

Arranged in one subseries: 1. Documents.

Subseries 1. Documents 3.4 linear ft. (seventy four folders), 1958-1977.

Arranged in original order.

Provenance Statement

The George Alan Starr Papers were donated to the History of Aviation Collection, Special Collections and Archives Division, Eugene McDermott Library, The University of Texas at Dallas, by The Vought Heritage Foundation on 2008-03-05.

Additional Sources

More information about Alan Starr can be found on the following website:

Vought Aircraft Industries Retiree Club - Biographies and the Chance Vought Archives.

Books and Magazines

Books and magazines were pulled and catalogued to be included into the HAC monograph and magazine stacks.

Image ID

It is the researcher's responsibility to secure permission from copyright holders of materials to which this institution does not own copyright.

Images in this collection are identified by a unique number that provides information about the format, record group, collection, series, box, folder, and image numbers. Please use this number when ordering reproductions of images from this collection.

Record Group Code

1 = CAT/Air American Archives

2 = Doolittle Archives

3 = Lighter than Air Archives

4 = George H. Williams, Jr., World War I Aviation Library

5 = History of Aviation Archives

6 = University Archives

7 = HAC Stacks

8 = WPRL Stacks

9 = Cecil H. and Ida M. Green Collection

10 = Belsterling Collection

11 = Closed Stacks

12 = Unidentified

13 = Chance Vought Archives

14 = Twirly Birds Archives

Image Format Code

P = Photograph/Postcard

S = Slide

N = Negative

T = Positive Transparency

B = Black and White

C = Color

Example: 13AS-1-1-PC1

13 = Chance Vought Archives

AS = George Alan Starr Papers

= Series Number

1 = Box Number

1 = Folder Number

P = Photograph/Postcard

C = Color

1 = Image Number

Images archived in plastic image holders may also have a location code in the format: 1/TL. In this example, the number is the sheet number and the letters indicate the top left position on the sheet. Position indicators are T = top, L = left, R = right, M = middle, and B = bottom. Position indicators may be combined to describe the position on the sheet, as shown in this example.

Note to the Researcher

Staples and fasteners were removed and replaced with coated paperclips where necessary. Spiral or other types of bulky bindings were removed from journals and booklets and the pages were trimmed where it was feasible. The content of these documents were interleaved with acid-free paper and placed into folders.

Photographs in albums depending on their size were removed and re-housed in polypropylene sleeves. A copy was made of all photo album content on acid-free paper to record original order and these are housed in appropriately labeled folders. The remaining images, negatives and transparencies were removed from non archival storage medium and placed in polypropylene sleeves, or interleaved with acid-free paper in the folders. Removal sheets indicate their location within the collection and are cross referenced.

Oversized recognition and service award plaques were pulled from their location and re-housed in non-standard boxes. Cross reference sheets indicate their former locations.

Material Removed List

2.50 linear ft. (two record center boxes) of duplicate materials, reports, proposals, technical publications, Doctorate project reports, photographs, and personal financial records and statements were removed and de-accessioned.

Guide to the George Alan Starr Papers, 1920-2008
Neil H. Teitelman
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
English (eng)
Edition statement
First revision by Patrizia Nava, CA. 2020-07-23.

Revision Statements

  • 2020-07-23: 1st revision was an update of the collection number and the finding aid format by Patrizia Nava, CA.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and Archives Division, History of Aviation Archives. Repository

3020 Waterview Pkwy
Suite 11.206
Richardson Texas 75080 US