search

UMD    CORE




Bissell receives his Academy medallion in 2003 from chair William Fourney and Dean Nariman Farvardin

Bissell receives his Academy medallion in 2003 from chair William Fourney and Dean Nariman Farvardin

 

?The wing designer has been given his own wings!?

William S. Bissell (BSAN, ?52) passed away on January 11, 2009, in Kalispell, Montana. Bissell graduated from the University of Maryland in 1952 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Aeronautical Engineering.

Mr. Bissell turned his love of building model airplanes into a career when he joined Lockheed Aircraft Company upon graduation. Bissell was assigned to work in the Lockheed Advanced Development Project, known as the ?Skunkworks,? as a designer in 1954. His first project was the U-2. Later, Bissell and his group reengineered the U-2 and this new plane, known as the U-2R, was able to carry more fuel and reach a higher altitude than the original. Bissell also designed and built the JetStar, which was a 10-passenger personnel transport for the Air Force and was later used as a Presidential plane.

Bissell was a wing designer on the A-12, a Mach 3.2 photographic aircraft. He was a designer in the Wing Group for the SR-71 from 1962 to 1964 and they built this plane entirely out of titanium. He assisted in designing the forward fuselage of the L-1011 cockpit area, and helped design the wings for the XST (Have Blue) prototype. He was also the Wing Group Engineer for the exterior configuration design of the F-117A. After 40 years with Lockheed, Mr. Bissell retired and he and his wife moved to Bigfork, Montana.

In 2003, Mr. Bissell was inducted in the Department of Aerospace Engieering?s Academy of Distinguished Alumni at the College Park Aviation Museum. That year, the event celebrated not only this class of Academy inductees, but also the 100th Anniversary of Flight and the 55th Anniversary of the Department. In his speech, Mr. Bissell gave thanks to his family and friends, sharing fascinating stories and anecdotes about his time at Maryland and at Lockheed.

Bill is survived by his wife of 57 years, Mary Bissell of Bigfork; three sons: Steve and wife Bonny of Oregon, Eric and wife Karen of Oregon; and Don and wife Cindy of Bigfork; and a daughter: Debbie Fulford and husband Kirk of Bigfork; a brother: Bob; one sister: Sally; seven grandchildren: Michael, Daniel, Sheila, Ben, Israel, Shaunna and Hannah; three great grandchildren: Alena, Kylie and Elliot as well as many other relatives and friends.

Memorial gifts can be given to the Edgewood Vista Senior Living, C/O Bill Bissell Memorial Bus Fund: 141 Interstate Lane, Kalispell, Montana 59901. These funds will be used for much needed transportation to enrich the lives of Bill?s fellow residents.



February 18, 2009


«Previous Story  

 

 

Current Headlines

A Lifetime of Aerospace Engineering and Exploration

Garbulinski Receives USMSC GSG Outstanding Student Leader Award

Adam Del Colliano Wins Regional AIAA Best Aircraft Operations Paper

Past and Present: Jacob Moschler

Ingenuity Helicopter Team Wins Howard Hughes Award

Senior Colby Merrill Wins SSPI Conference Award

In the News: Leatherbacks Combat Robotics Team on ABC7

UMD Dedicates IDEA Factory

Congratulations to Our 2022 Undergraduate Department Award Winners

Engineering at Maryland magazine celebrates the power of philanthropy, impact on students

 
 
Back to top  
CORE Home Clark School Home UMD Home Aerospace Engineering