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

1927 - 2017

Anthony J. Rita, Jr. was born on December 28, 1927, in Hartford.  Rita had lived in Glastonbury, Connecticut, since 1973. Prior to his retirement in 2000, he was a Kaman Aerospace executive, having worked there for 43 years. Due to his longevity at the company, he was a major resource for information on Kaman helicopters, and freely supported the research of others.

When he was promoted to assistant vice president of engineering for test and development in 1999, Kaman Aerospace Corp. President Walter R. Kozlow noted that “Tony Rita has been one of Kaman's key employees since joining the company over 40 years ago. During that time he has worked on virtually every Kaman program, including our latest aircraft, the SH-2G Super Seasprite maritime helicopter and K-MAX, our external lift helicopter. He has a well-deserved reputation for managing complex development programs and bringing them in on target.” In this position, Rita also continued as director of test operations, managing all of the activities of the test engineering and experimental shop departments.

Rita joined Kaman in 1957 as an instrumentation technician in engineering test and development. During his career, he worked on and/or led the experimental ground and flight test efforts of several major Kaman programs including: K-MAX helicopter development and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification; the SH-2G helicopter upgrade program; SH-2G configurations for Egypt and New Zealand; SH-2 Composite Main Rotor Blade (CMRB); K747 Composite Main Rotor Blade for the Bell AH-1S Cobra; the HH-43 (Husky) helicopter development program; and the UH-2 Army Tomahawk helicopter program. He also worked on numerous experimental programs including the Office of Naval Research (ONR) Circulation Controlled Rotor (CCR) helicopter program, the Mod-1 and the 40 kW Wind Turbine programs, and the “Magic Lantern” underwater mine detection programs.

Rita was an American veteran, having served in the US Army during World War II. He was an Emeritus Member of AHS, having joined in 1958.

Anthony J. Rita, Jr., 89, passed away on March 1, 2017.

AHS Update: Vertiflite May/June 2017