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Nebraska Department of Aeronautics
Mr. Ronnie Mitchell, Director

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William Gasper was born in Omaha, Nebraska on March 28, 1928. Graduating from South High School, Omaha in 1945, he received an Associate Engineering Degree in 1949 from the University of Omaha and then earned a B S Degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Nebraska,Lincoln in 1951. He joined Allis-Chambers in Milwaukee, WI from 1951 to 1952 with graduate training courses for electrical engineers. He entered the U.S. Air Force in 1953, receiving a direct commission as a 2nd Lt. where he was a Communications Officer. After the Air Force, Gasper worked for E.A. Pedersen Co. doing  electrical switch gear design. He accepted a position with Westinghouse in 1954 as a Test Engineer for the J40/J46 jet engines used in Navy fighter aircraft. Gasper worked for Trans World Airlines (TWA) from 1955 to 1983 where his focus was developing electrical specifications for new commercial aircraft. Some of his major accomplishments include: developed the installation design for an engine dual fire detection system on commercial aircraft; authored the “SWAMP” Report now recognized as MIL-W-5088 Military Wiring Manual and Commercial Aircraft Specification; consulted with NASA bidders who were developing the space shuttle and consulted with Admiral Eaton in Washington D.C. on Naval aircraft catastrophic wire failures. The Navy subsequently banned a type of wire from future use on naval aircraft. Gasper left TWA in 1983 for Hughes Helicopters where he developed the wiring system hardware and installation design for the Longbow Apache helicopter, with emphasis on shielding for 200 volt/meter environments. During Gasper’s career, he became recognized as a national and international authority in the avionics area of aircraft wiring construction and connector interfaces. Mr. Gasper has enhanced both commercial and military aircraft safety by influencing the development and selection of wire constructions that are not vulnerable to catastrophic failure.

 

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