B-58 Designer Robert Widmer Dies

Robert H. Widmer, the aeronautical engineer who designed the Air Force’s first operational supersonic bomber, the Convair B-58 Hustler, died in Fort Worth, Tex., at age 95. Widmer died June 20, according to his New York Times obituary. Born on May 17, 1916, in Hawthorne, N.J., Widmer received an aeronautical engineering degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., and then earned a master’s degree at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, before joining Convair at its headquarters in San Diego. He later transferred to the company’s main aircraft factory in Fort Worth, where he established the design and engineering department there. He worked at Fort Worth well into his 80s, as the company became General Dynamics, then Lockheed, and then Lockheed Martin. Among his accomplishments, Widmer also played instrumental roles in developing the F-111, F-16, and Tomahawk cruise missile, states the obituary.