Armand Sigalla, July 3, 2008

Armand Sigalla

Armand Sigalla passed away on July 3, 2008, at age 80. Born in Istanbul, Turkey, on December 22, 1927, Armand was graduated from the University of London Imperial College of Science and Technology in 1954 and the Royal Aeronautical Society in 1956.

Armand spent 35 years helping Boeing develop innovations in aviation before retiring in 1993. Starting his career as a high-speed aerodynamicist, he played a key role in the design of the Boeing Supersonic Transport (SST).

He possessed a unique blend of mathematical expertise and a deep understanding of aerodynamic fundamentals and flow physics. Armand was a pioneer in the development of applied supersonic aerodynamic analysis, design and optimization methods, including the phenomenon of sonic boom. Many of these methods developed under his inspiration, guidance and leadership are still used nearly 50 years after their inception.

Armand worked on many highly cooperative research and development studies with NASA. He was chief of Technology Development for the 757 program, worked in Customer Services and also worked in support of the F-22 by using a modified 757 (the first ever built) as a flying test bed for F-22 avionics.

Armand was a private and modest person. He lived with his family in Bellevue for 23 years, and then lived in a Seattle condominium where he served as president of the association board of directors. Surviving three bouts with cancer, he lived his life steadfastly independent and opinionated.

Armand is survived by his former wife, Diana Sigalla, of Bellevue, their four daughters, Magda Hitzroth, Linda Hedges (Dan), Sandra McClure (Andy), Fiona Sigalla (Bob Westgate) and five grandchildren, Ian Westgate, Kelly Westgate, Bronwyn Westgate, Trevor Hedges and Shannon McClure. He is also survived by his brother, Jacques Sigalla, of Paris, France, several nieces, nephews, other family members and friends.

A service will be held on Wednesday, July 16 at 2:30 p.m. at Washington Memorial Park, 16445 International Blvd., SeaTac, WA. 206-242-1787.

In lieu of flowers, donations are suggested to Aviation High School Scholarship Fund: 615 S 200th St., Des Moines, WA 98198. Phone: 206-716-0006.

13 Responses to “Armand Sigalla, July 3, 2008”

  • Ken Lasater says:

    Fiona and Family,

    I am saddened to hear of your loss. I know that you will miss your father and the sense of security that comes from being able to know there is a “previous generation” to lean upon. Know that we love you. We will be praying for your family.

    Your neighbors,
    Ken, Carla and Caleb

  • donna schoffler says:

    your loss is so very personal–and i am so sorry for you. if you need books. i got them, if you need a shoulder, i got it, or if at some point you need a kick in the ass! i got that too! grief counseling, check!
    hopefully when time passes you will understand what i mean by that—not now but later, and i’m down for that as well…believe me, trust me—
    -i know because my dad died in 1993. he died on july 4th and was only 62. leaving my mother a widow at 60. the survivors are the ones we have to think about now.
    while it never gets better because you will always miss your father—a girl thing i suppose—it does getter better with time..i know.
    just holler—i’m here.
    fiona, cherish all the memories of your dad—-it’s what a great dad/man like your father would want for you. he did the greatest job in the world. he raised great kiddos. remember him. love him and be there for your mother..
    that is ultimately what we all want for our children too. isn’t? we can’t live forever but the memories of those that we have loved are forever.
    aren’t we both so lucky to have had the fathers we had? and sooo very grateful too!
    hugs to you,

  • Jak Kornfilt says:

    Dear Fiona,
    We are very sorry to hear of your loss.
    I wish that I had had the opportunity to meet your father.
    I hope to meet you again in happy circumstances.

  • Niki Maas says:

    Dear Fiona,

    My heart goes out to you. Prayers to you and your family.



  • Dave Pahl says:

    I am saddened to hear of your loss. My thoughts and prayers will be with you and your family.


  • d'ann petersen says:


    No wonder you are so smart! What a fantastic soul your dad is. I see where you get a lot of your energy.

    I am so sad for you, and my thoughts and prayers are for you and your family.

    Just know you are missed very much.

    I’ve wanted to send flowers but see the donation suggestion so I will do that.

    Take care.

    With love,


  • Laila Assanie says:

    Dear Fiona,

    Sorry to hear of your loss. You and your family are in our prayers and thoughts at this time.

    Take care,

  • Tim says:

    I am so sorry about your loss. You did an amazing job for your dad during a tough time. I am proud of you.


  • Paul Hendershot says:


    I am sorry to hear about your loss. My prayers are with you and your family.

  • Doug Miller says:

    Armand was one of the brightest, most versatile engineers I ever worked with. His contribution to the development and refinement of the 757 can not be measured. His leadership resulted in benefits of safety, efficiency and maintainability for 757 operators and owners throughout the world.

  • Christina says:

    Dear Fiona, Linda, Sandra, Magda, Diana and others:

    Armand was a small piece of history. I believe he was a Bevan Scholarship student to Imperial College. He knew and worked with Burt Rutan, who was and is a visionary in space flight. I laughed at the sentence that said Armand was independent and opinionated. I am the only one of our generation who has lived in Turkey. Those brilliant blue eyes are so very Turkish – they’ve got a lot of fire in them. There’s a joke in Turkey, “If you have 10 Turks, how many opinions do you have?” The answer: “19 – there’s always some idiot who only has 1 opinion.” Armand came from a very prestigious Istanbul high school – but it must have been tough, when he was not on home turf. An expat myself, I respect him for making it in London, and at Boeing.

    Christina DeCoursey

  • Adnan Eroglu says:

    Dear Linda,

    I am terribly sorry to read about the passing of your dad. Although I never met him, he must have been a good man, extrapolating backwards from his children (I met only Linda, but I am sure about the rest, too).

    Hopefully, you will come to the terms with your big loss. It is always hard, but after a while we realize that they are not gone. We thank them for all good things and memories.

    Adnan Eroglu
    PS: I am still looking forward to the day when we get to visit your dad’s homeland together. I would be more than happy to be your guide in Istanbul and part of your crew during a blue voyage.

  • Shannon McClure says:

    Hi Grandpa

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