RIP Orion (Bill Husa)

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rtfm

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Orion died of Melanoma today. He is still fondly remembered and sorely missed by all with whom I am in contact here on HBA. I particularly valued his level headed and knowledgeable comments. He always took the time to write comprehensive and insightful comments, and never gave up trying to encourage young designers.

My wife always said: If Orion says it's OK, then its OK.

RIP mate.

Duncan
 

Rockiedog2

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I went back and read some of his postings and can see why he was so respected here. I googled and found some sketchy info but not much.
Would it be appropriate for those who know to give us a short biography?
 

tspear

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I went back and read some of his postings and can see why he was so respected here. I googled and found some sketchy info but not much.
Would it be appropriate for those who know to give us a short biography?

I am also curious. I have read a fair number of his posts when doing some research. He always seemed to have something positive to say, even when describing a flying brick.

Tim
 

StarJar

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Man, I'm the least qualified to give his biography, but I know he was born in some country around Russia, and immigrated to the US.
He earned an engineering degree somewhere along the way, and ended up having his own company that designed, built and developed custom experimental planes for customers.
He had a vast knowledge of every aspect of aircraft design; aerodynamics, structures, design processes, and much more.
He also had a vast knowledge of reports and studies that he often cited that applied to questions being asked.
He pretty much could give useful information to solve any problem or any argument we had here.
I'm sure there is more info that can be added, and it would be appreciated. For example I can't recall his earlier career history and his country of origin.
 
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karoliina.t.salminen

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It is sad that he passed away. The forum has not been the same since his passing. The best and most informative answers tended to come from his direction and unlike many others, he not only knew things, but he had understanding that book-knowledge can not replace. So he did not only know what he was talking about, he understood the topics he was talking about, and he was able then to also deliver the knowledge to others in easily understandable format. I am missing his intellect and extra long patience with newbies like myself back the time. He spent a lot of effort to answer my stupid questions with well formulated answers.
 

TFF

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I am betting very few knew how sick he was. He kept posting till the last week if I remember right. He defiantly helped this site stay going in more than one way. I hope he got a little therapy contributing as much as we learned from him. His company must be closed but this is still around http://www.privateerindustries.com/aboutus.php Duncan has this on his site https://rtfmaero.files.wordpress.com/2010/05/airfoil-selection-by-bill-husa.pdf and https://www.homebuiltairplanes.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=13438&d=1311789143. as examples of what he gave us.
 

Topaz

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I recall that Bill worked for Boeing for a number of years, on such projects as cruise missiles and the Trans-Atmospheric Vehicle. You can see a little of the latter in his "Rasperry" design posted here.

Very much miss his knowledge, patience, and generosity here on HBA.
 

autoreply

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Typing from memory here, so parts might be off.

Bill was originally Czech, but lived in the US since at least his teens or early twenties. Went to study on mechanical engineering after working as a machinist for a few years, not sure where either took place. (North-West uni?)

Some loose bits and pieces. He was principal configurational engineer on the YF23 (the plane that lost out to the Raptor). Great design, in many ways superior.

He worked for a major composite multinational, I forgot which. With his own company, he worked for Glasair (responsible for the design of the IIS, so basically the evolution towards the modern Glasairs), a carbon top wing of a Pitts, Gumbo, an unlimited Reno racer with two IO720's, the amazing Privateer, at least two WiG projects I recall, the Samson Switchblade, at least one jet design, similar to the Javelin that quickly went down due to the weight/fuel spiral. Putting a bit more though on it, I could probably add another dozen designs to that.

I've also greatly entertained the many private mails, PM's and calls we had, notably his insight into many high-profile programs. That concerns both the "big company/government" programs that were doomed to fail from the start and many loud new aircraft developments that predictably ended up nowhere.

His encouragement to pursue engineering were to a significant extent a driver for where I ended up. His enduring emphasis on production knowledge was most reaffirming.
 
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