M Frank Rudy, an aerospace engineer, patented the Nike Air cushioning system in 1979.
This was 8 years before David Forland and Tinker Hatfield made Nike Air infamous by making the air visible in the Air Max 1 in 1987.
After seeing the blow mold process used for NASA space helmets, Frank used these insights to create the air bag for footwear applications.
Frank took his ideas to footwear companies back in the 70's, no one was interested. There was a culture of risk aversion to changing existing manufacturing processes.
Until Nike took a risk on an aerospace engineer with a crazy idea on changing the existing manufacturing process.
An aerospace engineer with relentless creativity and a focus on solving problems.
Frank passed away in 2009, but the effects of his innovations are still changing the footwear manufacturing process today with shoes like the Nike Vapormax
Thank You Frank