Growing up in Manchester, England, Ric Abbott left high school at 15 to attend a technical school prior to engineering college. He later worked for Hawker-Siddley Aviation and British Aircraft Company on major projects including Jaguar, Tornado and Concorde. In 1969, Mr. Abbott came to Wichita to work at Cessna on the first Citation; later putting in time at Lockheed and LearFan, and finally joining Raytheon back in Wichita. There he worked on the all-composite Starship, the Premier I and the Hawker 4000.
Mr. Abbott started his scholarship fund with proceeds from a Raytheon Excellence in Technology Award. He graduated from the Royal College of Advanced Technology in Salford, England, but as he said, ‘This business and Wichita have both been good to me and I want to help young Kansans become aeronautical engineers.’
After retiring from Raytheon, he consulted with various organizations on composite structure certification, including the university’s National Institute for Aviation Research. He also pursued two passions: sailing and gardening.