Robert H. Widmer was one of America’s most accomplished military aircraft designers. Over a 50-year career with the Convair-Lockheed Martin continuum of companies, Widmer often anticipated new aircraft requirements, and had ready designs for the B-58 Hustler and the F-16 Fighting Falcon when the Air Force came knocking. Other projects included the Kingfish spy plane and the Tomahawk cruise missile. Widmer pioneered many advanced aviation technologies including fly-by-wire control, stealth technology and unmanned aerial vehicles.
Convair B-58 Hustler
The extraordinarily sleek Convair B-58 Hustler was a high-speed, deep penetration bomber of Strategic Air Command (SAC) during the 1960s. Capable of an astounding Mach 2 top speed, the Hustler looked like it was doing that just standing still. An icon of power, muscle and SAC excess, the B-58 was an engineering marvel, but was considered a challenge to fly and suffered an appalling accident rate, high maintenance costs and ultimately an obsolete mission profile.