William D. Thompson Papers

Collection Summary

Title: William D. Thompson Papers
Call Number: MS 2002-14
Size: 2.0 linear feet
Acquisition: Donated by the Thompson family
Processed By: BP and JLY, 8-2002; MN, 9-2013
Restrictions: None

Literary Rights

Literary rights were not granted to Wichita State University. When permission is granted to examine the manuscripts, it is not an authorization to publish them. Manuscripts cannot be used for publication without regard for common law literary rights, copyright laws and the laws of libel. It is the responsibility of the researcher and his/her publisher to obtain permission to publish. Scholars and students who eventually plan to have their work published are urged to make inquiry regarding overall restrictions on publication before initial research.

Content Note

The William D. Thompson Papers consists primarily of correspondence. The letters discuss aspects of Thompson's books, including marketing options, acknowledgments by purchasers, and research requests. The collection also includes letters between Thompson and the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) discussing aviation design and research, letters from various test pilots, and letters discussing general topics. The majority of the collection is from the 1990s. Also included are reports regarding aviation design prepared by Thompson.

Biography

William D. Thompson was born January 26, 1920 in Chicago, Illinois. He learned to fly starting in 1940, first on gliders and then on powered airplanes. During World War II he trained Army Air Corps and French cadets for a Civilian Contract School in South Carolina. Afterwards he returned to Purdue University where he obtained an aeronautical engineering degree in 1947. He then began working for the Cessna Aircraft Company, first as an engineer and test pilot and later as Manager of Flight Test and Aerodynamics, where he participated in the design of many of the post-war Cessnas. After Cessna, Thompson served as a consultant for SIAI Marchetti Aircraft in Sesto Calende, Italy where he was responsible for a line of small aircraft. He then returned to Oregon and later to Bella Vista, Arkansas, where he completed writing Cessna Wings for the World The Single-Engine Development Story, the companion volume, Cessna Wings for the World II Development of the 300 Series Twins and Miscellaneous Prototypes, and his autobiography, A Test Pilot's Life. He was a Fellow in the Society of Experimental Test Pilots, a member of the SAE Cockpit Standardization Committee, and the only representative of the general aviation industry on NASA's Aerodynamics/Aeronautical committees. Thompson died March 17, 2001.

Detailed Description: Series Listing

Series 1 Box 1 Correspondence. This series includes correspondence sent and received by Bill Thompson. The letters discuss various topics, including marketing options for Thompson's books, acknowledgments of books received by customers, aviation research and design, aviation history and personal issues. The majority of the letters are from the 1990s.
Series 2 Box 2 FF 1-8 Research and Writings. The files in this series are comprised of correspondence sent and received by Thompson. The letters discuss single engine aircraft, Thompson's writings, and requests for information about aviation for Thompson's books.
Series 3 Box 2 FF 9-21 Reports. This series includes reports about aeronautic design. The majority of the reports were prepared by Thompson.

Detailed Description: Box and Folder Listing

Series 1 ‒ Correspondence

Box 1 FF 1 Book Correspondence, 1997-1998. The folder includes letters sent and received by Bill Thompson. The letters discuss marketing options for Thompson's books, acknowledgments of books received by purchasers, and other general topics.
Box 1 FF 2 Book Correspondence, 1999-2001. The folder includes letters sent and received by Bill Thompson. The letters discuss marketing options for Thompson's books, acknowledgments of books received by purchasers, and other general topics.
Box 1 FF 3 Desert Utility Airplane Correspondence. The folder includes letters both sent and received by Bill Thompson regarding the Desert Utility Airplane project and the O-2ST aircraft. The folder also includes photographs, drawings, and booklet discussing the O-2ST aircraft. The materials date between 1982 and 1983.
Box 1 FF 4 FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) Correspondence, 1989-1992. Correspondence between Bill Thompson and the FAA discussing aviation research, certification, and design.
Box 1 FF 5 FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) Correspondence, 1993-1994. Correspondence between Bill Thompson and the FAA discussing aviation research, certification, and design.
Box 1 FF 6 FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) Correspondence, 1995-1996. Correspondence between Bill Thompson and the FAA discussing aviation research, certification, and design.
Box 1 FF 7 JPATS (Joint Primary Aircraft Training System) Correspondence, 1992-1993. The folder includes correspondence, clippings, news releases, and other informational materials regarding the JPATS. The materials date between 1992 and 1994.
Box 1 FF 8 SIAI Correspondence. The folder includes both letters sent and received by Bill Thompson regarding the Siai Marchetti company. The materials date between 1977 and 1997.
Box 1 FF 9 Test Pilot Correspondence. The folder includes correspondence between Bill Thompson and various test pilots. The letters primarily date from 1992 and 1995.
Box 1 FF 10 TAC (Thompson Aero Consultants) Correspondence, 1989. Folder includes letters both sent and received by Thompson regarding aviation design as well as various personal issues.
Box 1 FF 11 TAC (Thompson Aero Consultants) Correspondence, 1990. Folder includes letters both sent and received by Thompson regarding aviation design as well as various personal issues.
Box 1 FF 12 TAC (Thompson Aero Consultants) Correspondence, 1991. Folder includes letters both sent and received by Thompson regarding aviation design as well as various personal issues.
Box 1 FF 13 TAC (Thompson Aero Consultants) Correspondence, 1992. Folder includes letters both sent and received by Thompson regarding aviation design as well as various personal issues.
Box 1 FF 14 TAC (Thompson Aero Consultants) Correspondence, 1993. Folder includes letters both sent and received by Thompson regarding aviation design as well as various personal issues.
Box 1 FF 15 TAC (Thompson Aero Consultants) Correspondence, 1994. Folder includes letters both sent and received by Thompson regarding aviation design as well as various personal issues.
Box 1 FF 16 TAC (Thompson Aero Consultants) Correspondence, 1995. Folder includes letters both sent and received by Thompson regarding aviation design as well as various personal issues.
Box 1 FF 17 TAC (Thompson Aero Consultants) Correspondence, 1996. Folder includes letters both sent and received by Thompson regarding aviation design as well as various personal issues.
Box 1 FF 18 TAC (Thompson Aero Consultants) Correspondence, 1997-1998. Folder includes letters both sent and received by Thompson regarding aviation design as well as various personal issues.
Box 1 FF 19 TAC (Thompson Aero Consultants) Correspondence, 1999-2000. Folder includes letters both sent and received by Thompson regarding aviation design as well as various personal issues.

Series 2 ‒ Research and Writings

Box 2 FF 1 Cessna Single Engine Stories, 1989. This folder includes letters both sent and received by Thompson. The letters discuss single engine aircraft, Thompson's writings, and requests for information.
Box 2 FF 2 Cessna Single Engine Stories, January - May, 1990. This folder includes letters both sent and received by Thompson. The letters discuss single engine aircraft, Thompson's writings, and requests for information.
Box 2 FF 3 Cessna Single Engine Stories, June - December, 1990. This folder includes letters both sent and received by Thompson. The letters discuss single engine aircraft, Thompson's writings, and requests for information.
Box 2 FF 4 Cessna Wings for the World, 1992-1993. The folder includes correspondence regarding Thompson's book Cessna Wings for the World and other aviation related projects.
Box 2 FF 5 Cessna Wings for the World, 1994. The folder includes correspondence regarding Thompson's book Cessna Wings for the World and other aviation related projects.
Box 2 FF 6 Cessna Wings for the World, 1995. The folder includes correspondence regarding Thompson's book Cessna Wings for the World and other aviation related projects.
Box 2 FF 7 Cessna Wings for the World, 1996. The folder includes correspondence regarding Thompson's book Cessna Wings for the World and other aviation related projects.
Box 2 FF 8 Development of the 400 Series. The folder includes correspondence regarding Thompson's book Cessna Wings for the World III The Development of the 400 Series.

Series 3 ‒ Reports

Box 2 FF 9 Aircraft Descent Rate Control System. Report by Bill Thompson.
Box 2 FF 10 Aircraft Modification Proposals. The folder includes clippings, drawings, articles, and manuscript notes about aircraft design.
Box 2 FF 11 Analysis and Flight Evaluation of a Small Fixed-Wing Aircraft Equipped with Hinged-Plate Spoiler. Prepared by John W. Olcott, Edward Seckel, and David R. Ellis.
Box 2 FF 12 Descent Rate Control Installation Manual. Prepared by M. A. McDaniel, Checked by Bill Thompson.
Box 2 FF 13 Descent Rate Control Modification to Cessna Models 177, 177A, and 177B. Prepared by Bill Thompson.
Box 2 FF 14 Descent Rate Control Modification to Cessna Models 210 & T/P 210 G Thru N. Prepared by Bill Thompson.
Box 2 FF 15 Design Analysis of External Hinged-Plate Spoilers & Dive Brakes. Prepared by Bill Thompson.
Box 2 FF 16 Effect of DRC on Landing Performance. Prepared by Bill Thompson.
Box 2 FF 17 Feasibility Study of AVTEK 400A. Prepared by Bill Thompson.
Box 2 FF 18 Feasibility Study of Various Higher Powered Engines for a 1979 Cessna 180K. Prepared by Bill Thompson.
Box 2 FF 19 Flight Test of Fabco-Air Solenoid Valve. Prepared by Bill Thompson.
Box 2 FF 20 Rational Analysis Certification of Descent Rate Control Addition to the Cessna Model 177RG. Prepared by Bill Thompson.
Box 2 FF 21 Rational Analysis for Certifying a Conversion From a TCM 0-470-U to a TCM I0-520-D Engine and a 2-Blade to a 3-Blade McCauley Propeller in a 1979 180 Skywagon. Prepared by Bill Thompson.