Aircraft designer, Robert Widmer, dies at age 95

Robert Widmer, a long time engineer and aircraft designer, has passed away. He led the development of the first supersonic bomber, the B-58, as well as the F-111 and F-16.

When I worked at General Dynamics in the 1980’s he was a sort of gray eminence working out of a tiny office off the main corridor of the engineering building. He would occasionally appear in a meeting or design review, offer a few sharp criticisms or salty stories, and then disappear again into the ether.

In 1983, he won the Reed Aeronautics award from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics for pioneering the eras of supersonic cruise and fly-by-wire controls.

He will be missed.

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