Thursday, July 7, 2011

B-58 Designer Robert Widmer Dies

The designer of the world’s first supersonic bomber recently died in Fort Worth, Tex., at age 95.
Robert H. Widmer was an aeronautical engineer and the designer of the Convair B-58 Hustler. The B-58 Hustler wasn't just the first operational supersonic bomber, but also the first bomber to achieve the epochal speed of Mach 2. It was recognized as a notable aerodynamic achievement.
B-58A-30-CF Hustler—#61-2053—as it appeared in the late 1960s when assigned to SAC’s 305th Bomb Wing at Bunker Hill AFB, Ind.
In his later years Widmer worked on the type of unmanned aircraft that became integral to American warfare in Iraq and Afghanistan today. He went on to lead the design and development of major aircraft like the F-111 “Aardvark” and the F-16 “Fighting Falcon” as well as the Tomahawk cruise missile. His designs helped enforce the cold war strategic balance known as mutual assured destruction.
Widmer died June 20, according to his New York Times obituary. 

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