Dr. Joseph Foa Photograph Collection

Display Status:

This object is not on display at the National Air and Space Museum. It is either on loan or in storage.

Giuseppe Vittorio Foa was born July 10, 1909, in Torino (Turin), Italy. He received a degree of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Torino in 1931, and graduated as Doctor of Aeronautical Engineering from the University of Rome in 1933. Between 1935 and 1937, Foa was Chief Engineer at the Studio Caproni Reggio Emilia (Italy) where he worked on the design of the Piaggio P.32-II (a.k.a. Reggiane P.32bis) and its adaptation for transport use. From 1937 to 1939, Foa was a Project Engineer at Cantieri Aeronautici Piaggio (the Piaggio & Co. works at Finale Ligure Marina, Italy) where he designed the Piaggio P.23R and the Reggiane Ca 405 Procellaria. In 1939, Foa was forced to leave his job because of his anti-fascist beliefs and because he was Jewish. After being arrested, imprisoned, and released several times, Foa fled to Zurich, Switzerland, to escape further persecution. In September 1939, Foa immigrated to the United States (changing his name to Joseph Victor Foa) where he worked as a research engineer for the Bellanca Aircraft Corp. and later at the Aeronautical Research Laboratory of the Curtiss-Wright Corporation (both in Buffalo, New York), which became the Cornell Aeronautical Laboratory following World War II. From 1952 to 1970, Foa was a Professor at Renssalaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy, NY); Foa was Chairman of their Dept. of Aeronautical Engineering and Astronautics from 1956 to 1967. From 1970 to 1980, Foa was Professor of Engineering and Applied Science at George Washington University (Washington, DC), becoming Professor Emeritus in 1980. Foa died March 31, 1996, in Bethesda, Maryland.