BELLEVUE, Wash. — Edward C. Wells, who for nearly half a century helped design every Boeing airplane from the B-17 to the 747, has died at age 75.
Wells, who died Tuesday at his home here of cancer, was recognized for contributions to developing complex aerospace systems and for his accomplishments in aircraft design engineering. He received 15 patents for inventions, mostly for mechanical and flight systems.
Born in 1910 in Boise, Ida., Wells went to work for Boeing in 1931 after earning an engineering degree from Stanford University. He retired as a senior vice president in 1972 but continued as a consultant and board member until 1978.
Wells led engineering advances in wing flap systems, pressurized bodies, centralized fire control, power turrets, and increases in bomb load capacity and effective range.