The Scott Osler Story
The short life of a 1941 Aero alum and his impact on aviation
It was a quick yes. We don’t know how the Osler family knew who to connect with at the University of Michigan, but when the email made its way to the Aerospace department, we wholeheartedly said yes to their offer.
And their offer was pretty thrilling. In determining what to do with the historical documentation about their family member, Scott Osler, they were quick to decide that they wanted his story to be a part of the University of Michigan aerospace engineering legacy.
We couldn’t agree more.
Honoring the history of our program and the amazing alumni who have come before and contributed to aeronautics and astronautics is a privilege for us. It’s wonderful to see how inspiring our current students find the lives of alumni who lived decades before them. It is a source of pride for all of us.
So when we received the original photos and the extremely well told story of Scott Osler, (‘41), we were in awe of the painstaking effort the Osler family went to preserve the memory of one of our own Wolverines.
Scott’s niece Tandy wrote his story. It is here for you to read and is a beautifully written compilation of Osler’s love of aviation and how they made an impact in our field.
Osler’s life was cut short in a tragic accident testing the Boeing aircraft that he loved, and his family, including renowned aviation expert Bill Cook, who became his brother-in-law, are a big part of this story.
So here’s the legacy of University of Michigan aerospace engineering alumnus Scott Osler and his impact on the Aerospace community and the people in his life. Now we can tell the story and share it with Michigan alumni and current students so his story lives on and serves to inspire the next generation who are as enraptured with our field as he was.
His story in pictures is below, and his story in written form can be found here.
An article in The Saturday Evening Post for February 14, 1948, featured a short story about the XB-47 program and included a large photograph of the prototype in flight plus a smaller photo of Bob Robbins and Scott Osler on the ground, standing on a ladder beside the nose section. A headline read, “You’re looking at tomorrow!”
December 1947: Boeing corporate photograph of test pilots examining the undercarriage of the XB-47, (the date and identifications were handwritten on the back of the photograph by Priscilla Osler Cook).
(1) Jack Ridley
(2) Chuck Yeager
(3) Guy Townsend*
(4) Bob Robbins
(5) Scott Osler