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William Francis Bos

William Francis Bos


William Francis Bos was born in Muskegon, Michigan on May 22, 1933. Bill received a bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan in Aerospace Engineering. After graduation in 1956, he went to work for Lear Inc., Aircraft Engineering Division, Santa Monica, California designing various systems for the Learstar, including a complete electrical flap actuating system.

He went on to Chrysler Corp., Missile Division in late 1956 as an analytical engineer where he established design criteria for ballistic missiles, analyzed stability of the suspension system for the Redstone missile transporter, and was responsible for the aerodynamics and aeroballistics analysis in the preliminary missile design department. While at Chrysler, he was assigned to the Army Ballistic Missile Agency in Huntsville, Alabama as part of Werner von Braun's rocket team, conducting design analysis of the aerodynamic heating of reentry bodies, including the first ablative nose cones to survive reentry.

In 1960 he joined Bendix Systems Division as a senior Engineer responsible for aeroballistics studies and systems analysis for several missile systems.
In 1962 he was appointed to the NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C. as the Technical Assistant to the Director of Launch Vehicle and Propulsion Programs, responsible for advancing the state of the art in launch vehicle program design for cost effectiveness. Bill served as Executive Secretary of NASA Launch Vehicle and Propulsion Advisory Committee from 1962 to 1964. In 1965, he became Launch Vehicle Program Manager at NASA Headquarters, Office of Manned Space Flight. Bill has also published four papers on launch vehicles. In 1968, he returned to Bendix Systems Division as a Senior Staff Engineer.

Returning to Muskegon in 1970, he established Bos Engineering, P.C., a consulting firm. His many clients included the British Aircraft Corporation, for whom he designed the flight path optimization program for the Concord supersonic aircraft.

William F. Bos was enshrined on October 19, 1996 into the Michigan Aviation Hall of Fame for his outstanding contributions to the United States aerospace program, to supersonic flight and for his dedication and love of space flight and aviation.

Smithsonian Institution Affiliations Program