design the wings; for the 737, he dealt with stress issues; and for the 747, he was unit stress chief. He also worked on the U.S. supersonic transport program. In 1973 he became chief project engineer for the 707 and in 1976 was appointed director of engineering for the 707/727/737 division. This experience, particularly involving structures, won him a worldwide reputation.
Cosgrove was later promoted to chief project engineer and director of engineering for the 767 program. In June 1983 he was appointed director of engineering for the Everett Division (747/767 programs). The 767 had many innovations, such as the glass cockpit, and he was instrumental in making that program a success.
The veteran engineer was appointed vice president and general manager of the Engineering Division of Boeing Commercial Airplane Group in 1985. During this time, Cosgrove provided engineering staffing and oversaw technological progress on the 777. He paid close attention to and supported the first widespread use of computer-aided design for a commercial airplane.
In May 1989, Cosgrove was promoted to senior vice president. He also assumed the government affairs post, responsible for all liaison with regulatory agencies in matters of design and technology, and he was the senior executive on safety matters. Cosgrove retired in 1993.
Cosgrove was a member of the Aging Fleet Task Force, formed in 1988 after a structural failure in the fuselage of an aging Aloha Airlines 737. His integrity, technical knowledge of structures, and reputation helped convince airline leaders to replace parts on airplanes once they reached a certain age. According to one member of the task force, Cosgrove was able to speak his mind without hesitation—and airline presidents listened.
Cosgrove was honored by the National Aeronautical Association in 1991 with its Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy for lifetime contributions to commercial aviation, safety, and technical achievement. In 1992 he was inducted as a member of the National Academy of Engineering for his contributions