19th Dec 2005, 12:01
Keith Duckworth, who with Mike Costin founded Cosworth engines in 1958, died last night.
Although best known for his enormous contribution to motorsport, he was actively involved in microlighting for many years through Pegasus and latterly Mainair.
19th Dec 2005, 13:16
Very sad news.
He was a great character as well as a great figure in motorsport.
As Heliport says, he had a keen interest in aviation and wanted to actively support a British engineering company after he left motor racing, hence his involvement with Pegasus. I knew him slightly through that connection and always enjoyed meeting him, the final time being in the summer, sitting in his garden while he gave me a good-natured ribbing about what to expect from married life not long before my wedding.
19th Dec 2005, 14:32
Sad times indeed. Over the past few weeks we have seen many from the worlds of aviation and sport pass away.
In no particular order:-
Richard Burns, George Best, Dizzy Addicott, Ray Hanna, Gig Eifflaender; and now Keith Duckworth.
Characters one and all, God bless.
19th Dec 2005, 16:09
Co-producer of the Cosworth DFV.
155 Formula 1 victories, with (at a quick count) thirteen teams, over a period of about fifteen years. Never before, and never again, I'm sure. I think for quite a lengthy period over half the cars running in a grand prix were powered by the DFV.
A most remarkable man.
Genghis the Engineer
19th Dec 2005, 19:23
My god, what a shock - last I saw him he seemed in the very best of health.
I'd never had the privilege of working closely with Keith, but had got to know him on first name terms over the years, and enjoyed once or twice a year a long technical discussion (actually usually a goodnatured argument lasting an hour or so) on some topic or other.
I recall one in particular where he was explaining at great length why he thought that the simplistic safety factors used in most engineering standards were unnecessary - because if you carefully stress-analysed every bolt, rivet (and I seem to remember, individual screwthread) on an areoplane there's no need for that sort of thing. His entry in whos who showed his hobby as "recreational stressing"!
He was a truly brilliant engineer, a really nice chap, and somebody who had done far more than most to support the British light aircraft industry. In particular his rescue some years ago of Pegasus Aviation, and his more recent acquisition of Mainair Sports and merger of the two companies were inspired decisions (which I think actually made him some money).
A genius and visionary, without whom British light aviation would be far poorer.
Whilst I had no contact with him in that sphere, I believe that his influences on the engine and motorsport industries in this country were no less significant.
A great loss. Good luck restressing the pearly gates Keith,
19th Dec 2005, 21:23
Some might say rather more significant ......
Cosworth heritage (http://www.cosworth.com/content.php?pageid=1) and Roll of Honour (http://www.cosworth.com/content.php?pageid=1&contentid=23)
21st Dec 2005, 09:53
There is a brilliant three-quarter page obituary to Keith in the Guardian today,complete with a large cut away drawing of the DFV.
A fitting tribute to one half of a truly great race engine design team.