Making Waves

By John O'Meara

February 2016

My dad, John D. O'Meara Sr., worked for Boeing for almost 61 years, retiring in 2014. I have worked for Boeing for over 30 years.

When I was in first grade, my dad was responsible for the height sensor on the Boeing-built Tucumcari military hydrofoil. The height sensor detected how high the boat was out of the water. My dad was on the boat on a test run on Lake Washington. While the boat was up out of the water running on its foils, the boat's cannon was fired. The boat suddenly dropped. The problem was the height sensor, which worked off of sound waves, pinging the water to detect the height; it was thrown off by the frequency of the cannon. My dad modified the sensor to filter out the cannon's sound frequency, but it made for a memorable ride and a story he has shared over the years.

Around the same time, my dad purchased a model of the Tucumcari. We put it together and I managed to damage it pretty heavily over the years while playing with it. I don't know what happened to the model, but I found one online a few years ago and purchased it. I am looking forward to building it with my dad and my son.

The Boeing-built Tucumcari Hydrofoil.

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