Former Aviation Week Editor David North Dies
David M. North, a naval aviator and Pan Am commercial airline pilot who went on to become editor-in-chief of Aviation Week & Space Technology and editorial director of the Aviation Week Network, died Nov. 24 in St. Michaels, Maryland.
His family announced the death on Dec. 6 and did not disclose the cause.
A 1957 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, North flew 107 A-4 Skyhawk missions during the Vietnam War. He joined Aviation Week & Space Technology in 1976 and test flew more than 120 aircraft for the magazine, including the U-2, B-2, Rafale, Gripen, F/A-18, Airbus A320, 330, 340 and 380 and Boeing 737, 757, 767 and 777. In 1990, he became the first Westerner to fly the Soviet Union’s MiG-29 fighter.
North was elevated to editor-in-chief of the magazine and editorial director of Aerospace DAILY and Aviation DAILY in 1995, based in Washington. Under his leadership, Aviation Week led coverage of the dramatic post-Cold War consolidation of the aerospace industry, the rise of Airbus, the debut of regional jets, Boeing’s acquisition of McDonnell Douglas, a tragic space shuttle accident and the second Gulf War. It was during his tenure that Aviation Week made its first step into the digital age by making articles available on the internet. He retired in 2004.
North is survived by his wife of more than 50 years, Vicky, a daughter, son and six grandchildren. He is predeceased by another son. A private service is planned for Dec. 12 in St. Michaels.