Born: United States of America
Primarily active in: United States of America

1936 - 2017

William Elmer Rumberger, Jr. passed away on September 24, 2017 at the age of 81. Rumberger engineered many inventions at Boeing, including the wing pivot ring for the Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey.

Rumberger was born on January 1, 1936 and raised in Essington, Pennsylvania. He was studying civil engineering at Drexel when he interned at Vertol (which became Boeing Vertol in 1960). After graduating in 1959, he spent his entire career at Boeing, in transmission and aircraft design and testing.

Beginning with the first application in 1982, Rumberger was granted 15 patents for inventions, including “The Zapper”, a system for hydraulic lubrication oil systems used in helicopter transmissions worldwide to detect and collect debris; and the stainless steel “Flex Ring” that enabled the V-22 Osprey wings to be stowed for storage.


He volunteered as an engineer through the Water of Life program to help design and install reverse-osmosis clean water systems for rural medical clinics in Vietnam, Romania and Nigeria. He volunteered for decades at Frederick Douglass Christian School.


Rumberger was a longtime member of AHS and authored several technical papers over the years, including on the V-22 wing stow design at Forum 47 (1991) and Forum 48 (1992).

AHS Update:  Vertiflite November/December 2017