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Hall Livingstone Hibbard

Born: July 25, 1903, Fredonia, Kansas. Died: June 6, 1996, Los Angeles, California.

Lockheed Electra owned by John L. BrinkleyHe was born in Fredonia, Kansas, July 25, 1903, to David S. and Laura C. Hibbard. His father was a missionary and he grew up in the Philippines.

He received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and physics from the College of Emporia in 1925. Two years later he received a degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

He began as a draftsman at Stearman Aircraft in Wichita, Kansas, and was later promoted to chief engineer. He worked for the Viking Flying Boat Company in New Haven, Connecticut, where he worked for Courtland and Robert Gross. In the early 1930s the Gross brothers headed to California where they formed what became the Lockheed Aircraft Company.

In 1932 Hibbard joined Lockheed’s design team as assistant chief engineer and fellow Kansan Lloyd Stearman was general manager.  Hibbard later served as chief engineer and administrator. He led the team on the design of the Model 10 Electra, a twin-engine transport. The new plane, tested in 1934, was the first to reach 200 miles per hour. The company sold 40 Electras during the first year of production. Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan flew the Electra Model 10E on their attempted around the world flight in 1937. They disappeared near Howland Island in the Pacific Ocean. The team designed the Hudson Bomber, first flown in 1938, which was used by the Royal Air Force during the early days of World War II. Hibbard later created the P-38 Lightning fighter, the P-80 Shooting Star fighter, the C-69 Constellation transport, and the XR-60 Constitution. He later developed military versions of the Constellation.

Hibbard died in Los Angeles, California on June 6, 1996.

Entry: Hibbard, Hall Livingstone

Author: Kansas Historical Society

Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.

Date Created: July 2013

Date Modified: July 2014

The author of this article is solely responsible for its content.