Elected in 1992
“For contributions to the development and design of commercial jet transport aircraft”
BY JOHN WARNER AND PHIL CONDIT
BEN COSGROVE, major contributor to airline safety and a longtime Boeing engineering leader, died September 8, 2006. His contributions to the knowledge of aging aircraft and the techniques to ensure their integrity were groundbreaking.
Born in 1926 in Detroit, Michigan, Cosgrove played with model airplanes as a child—thus began a lifelong fascination with airplanes. After a stint in the Navy, he entered Notre Dame University and earned a B.S. in aeronautical engineering. He received the College of Engineering’s Honor Award in 1985 in recognition of his distinguished achievements in engineering, management, and service to the field of aviation. He received an honorary doctoral degree in engineering from Notre Dame in 1993.
Cosgrove’s career began at the Boeing Corporation in 1949, when he helped design the tail assemblies for the B-47. During his career he was associated with almost all of Boeing’s jet aircraft programs. He served as a stress engineer and structural unit chief on the B-47, the B-52, and the KC-135 tanker. For the 707, he worked on the fuselage design; for the 727, he helped