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  • Bruce Del Mar
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    Wall of Honor Level:
    Air and Space Leader

    Honored by:
    Paul and Nancy McLellan

    Bruce Eugene Del Mar (born July 19, 1913) began working at Douglas Aircraft Company in the summer of 1933 as an Apprentice Loftsman. He attended UCLA and graduated from University of California, Berkeley (B.S., Engineering, 1937) where he studied Aeronautical Engineering under Professor John E. Younger. Returning to Douglas Aircraft full time, Bruce worked on various projects during WWII becoming a Chief Project Engineer. He is the sole inventor of the patented cabin pressurization system for commercial aircraft (1946, 1951, 1952 and 1953), and shares inventor credits with Donald Douglas, Sr. on many other patents including the Cargo Loading Hoist for the DC-3 (1955).

    In January, 1952, Bruce Del Mar founded Del Mar Engineering Laboratories as a U.S. defense prime contractor. This company would later become Del Mar Avionics(r). Del Mar's most significant contribution, during this period, was the aerial tow targets (RADOP(r)) and ground strafing target systems used during the Korean Conflict, Vietnam Era and Cold War for pilot weapons training. In addition, DelMar designed and built helicopter trainers (Whirleymite(r)) that were later adapted for use as target drones in the development of helicopter gun ships (1962).

    Bruce Del Mar began flying in 1936 and later became an avid helicopter pilot. He flew his Bell Jet Ranger frequently until the age of 90 making him the oldest licensed pilot in the United States and most likely in the world. During his life, he worked closely with Donald Douglas, Bill Lear, Jack Northrop, and many other early aviation pioneers. He was close personal friends with Robert M. "Bob" Stanley whom he met while working at Douglas Aircraft.

    In the mid 1960's Del Mar turned his attention to the development of ambulatory monitoring devices used primarily in medicine. His Holter Monitor(r), Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitor, and other monitoring devices were on board several Space Shuttle flights used in research to minimize the effects of Space Sickness. Today he manufactures the Hydra Set(r) load lifting device that is used in all critical lifts at NASA and Nuclear Power Plants lifting up to 300 Tons.

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