Retired Air Force Col. Edward Joseph Ainsley, 60, a veteran of World War II and longtime area resident who had worked for the Honeywell Corporation since 1972, died Sunday at his home in Wayzata, Minn. He had a heart ailment.

Col. Ainsley served in North Africa and Italy during World War II, then worked as an engineer in New York City before being recalled to active duty during the Korean conflict.

He came to the Washington area in 1957 and made his home in Temple Hills. He was assigned to the Air Force Systems Command where he worked on weapon development programs. From 1962 to 1966, he was plans director of the Command's research and technology division at Bolling Air Force Base. He was chief of the armaments systems division at Air Force headquarters here from 1967 until retiring from active duty in 1972.

Later that year he became a staff engineer in Honeywell's Military and Space Sciences Department. From 1977 to 1979, he was director of technical planning for Honeywell's Aerospace and Defense Group here. Since 1979, he had lived in Minnesota where he was director of technology planning for Honeywell's Aerospace and Defense Group.

Col. Ainsley was a native of New York City and a 1942 graduate of Fordham University, where he earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry. He earned a master's degree in business administration at the University of Chicago in 1956.

Survivors include his wife, Helen, of Wayzata; two daughters, Carol and Gail, both of Wayzata, and his mother, Anna Ainsley of Plainfield, N.J.