William F. Milliken
Titles by the Author
William F. Milliken

William F. Milliken was born in Old Town, Maine in 1911. He graduated MIT in 1934. During World War II he was Chief Flight Test Engineer at Boeing Aircraft. From 1944, he was managing director at Cornell Aeronautical Laboratory (CAL/Calspan), retiring as the head of the Transportation Research Division, which he founded.

Bill joined the SCCA in 1946 (Competition License No. 6) and contested over 100 races as well as holding many responsible club positions. Milliken Research Associates was founded in 1976 and continues as a foundational research asset to the automotive and auto racing industries. Bill remained active in MRA until the end of his life, which is now run by his son, Douglas L. Milliken.

Bill co-authored Race Car Vehicle Dynamics and Chassis Design. He was an SAE Fellow, member of the SCCA Hall of Fame, recipient of the SAE Edward N. Cole Award, the Laura Taber Barbour Air Safety Award as well as many other citations for innovation.

Selected highlights of a remarkable life and career:

  • April 18th, 1911 - Bill Milliken born in Old Town, Maine.
  • September 5, 1933 - Bill designs, builds and flies his M-1, the first home-built airplane in the state of Maine.
  • May 1934 - Bill graduates from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with a degree in aeronautical engineering and mathematics.
  • January 1940 - Bill joins the Boeing flight development team for the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bomber, later to be used to great effect in World War II.
  • September 21, 1942 - As member of the initial flight crew, Bill participates in the Boeing B-29"s first test flight.
  • September 1, 1947 - Bill places 6th as the first SCCA entry in the Pikes Peak Hill Climb (SCCA Competition License No. 6).
  • October 2, 1948 - Bill races in Watkins Glen Grand Prix, the first postwar road race and the site of the now-famous "Milliken"s Corner".
  • December 31, 1950 - Bill races at the very first endurance race at Sebring, the 6 hour "Sam Collier Memorial Grand Prix of Endurance".
  • December 1956 - Bill establishes the Vehicle Dynamics Department at the Cornell Aeronautical Laboratory.
  • May 1, 1976 - Bill starts his own engineering/consulting firm, Milliken Research Associates.
  • December 1994 - Bill"s book Race Car Vehicle Dynamics is published to wide acclaim.
  • October 1996 - Bill returns to Bridgehampton to race in his original FWD Miller, courtesy of current owner Dean Butler.
  • July 12, 2002 - Bill races his 80-horsepower two-stroke MX-1 Camber Car at the 2002 Goodwood Festival of Speed hill climb.
  • November 24, 2004 - Bill is inducted into the inaugural class of the SCCA Hall of Fame.
  • November 1, 2006 - Bill"s engineering autobiography Equations of Motion is published by Bentley Publishers.
  • December 1, 2010 - Bill receives the Pendray Aerospace Literature Award from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics at an event at the Cornell Aeronautical Laboratory.
  • April 18, 2011 - Bill turns 100 and is honored at a birthday event at the International Motor Racing Research Center in Watkins Glen, NY.
  • September 9, 2011 - At a ceremony in Watkins Glen, NY, Bill is inducted into the Watkins Glen Legends of the Glen.
  • July 28, 2012 - Bill passes away peacefully at the age of 101.