Turbofan Pioneer Dr. Sam Williams Dies

 - June 29, 2009, 8:37 AM

Dr. Sam Williams, founder and chairman of Williams International, died June 22 at
the age of 88, according to a statement issued by his company. Williams patented the small turbofan engine and built on his company’s successful development of tiny cruise missile engines to break into the rarefied world of civil turbine engine manufacturers with the introduction of the FJ44 line of turbofans. Winner of the Collier Trophy, the Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy and the National Medal of Technology, Williams strived mightily to build a new category of aircraft–lightweight small personal jets. Williams is survived by Barbara Gibson Williams, his wife of 54 years, two sons, a daughter and three grandchildren. His son, Gregg G. Williams, current president and CEO of Williams International, will assume the title of chairman.