Parkin, John Hamilton

1912 Electrical and Mechanical 
Inducted: 1980 

John Hamilton Parkin led a richly rewarding and diversified career in aeronautical research and development. In 1912, he joined the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering, and in 1917 he initiated aerodynamic research at the University of Toronto. This resulted in his design and the installation of a 1.2 metre wind tunnel, the second unit of its kind in Canada.

From 1917-1929, Parkin was responsible for the University of Toronto wind tunnel operation, which resulted in the development of such Canadian Flying Boats as the Canadian Vickers Ltd., Vedette, used for many years by the RCAF, the Varuna and the Vista.

In 1929, he became the Assistant Director of Aeronautical Research, National Research, Ottawa, gaining new responsibilities until in 1951, he was appointed the first Director of the National Aeronautical Establishment, a position he held until his retirement in 1957.


  • Initiated aerodynamic research at the University of Toronto
  • Contributed greatly to aerial surveying, forest patrols and firefighting