Friday, November 25, 2005

Bgen Clyde E. Good 1919-2012



Clyde Good joined the Army Air Corps in 1941 and flew combat sorties in WW2,Korea and Vietnam. His flight test career began at Wright Patterson AFB in the Fighter Test Section in 1951,flying the F-86,F-94 and B-26. He performed over 150 flights in the F-84/B-36 Ficon hook-up project. He attended the US Test Pilot School in 1952. He was Chief of USAF Flight Test at North American Aviation where he flew the F-86D,F-100 and F-107.

Lt Col Gay E. Jones USAF (Ret) 1926-2010



Gay Edward Jones graduated from Test Pilot School at Edwards AFB in 1962. He has particpated in many programs, including C-130 performance,structures,stability and control. He was one of two Airforce pilots on the X-21 Laminar flow project. He became Chief of the V/STOL Branch and chief pilot of the XC-142A bit wing tests.

He has performed drops from B-52 on the X-15, and airdrop tests on the C-130,C-141,XC-142. He was a pilot on the B-57 in Southeast Asia on night dive bombing missions. He became Director of Flight Test Operations,ASD at Wright Paterson AFB, where he supervised approx 300 test projects.

After his military service he became a Boeing 707 pilot for Trans Mediterranean Airlines based in Beirut,Lebanon until the civil war there. He had lectured at the USC and resumed his test pilot activities and completed a 40hour test program on his 'home built' aircraft.

George E.Cooper 1916-





Educated as a mining engineer, trained as a pilot in WWII, and flew the P-47 "Jug" with the 412th Fighter Squadron in the European Theater. After the war, he pursued a successful career as chief research test pilot for NASA at AMES. He devised the Cooper Pilot Opinion Rating Scale which was initially published in 1957

After several [27] years of experience gained in its application to many flight and simulator experiments and through its use by the military services and aircraft industry, it was subsequently modified in collaboration with Robert (Bob) Harper of the Cornell Aeronautical Laboratory and became the Cooper-Harper Handling Qualities Rating Scale in 1969 . This rating scale has been one of the enduring contributions of flying qualities research at Ames over the past 40 years; the scale remains as the standard way of measuring flying qualities to this day. In recognition of his many contributions to aviation safety, Cooper received the Adm. Luis de Florez Flight Safety Award in 1966 and the Richard Hansford Burroughs, Jr., Test Pilot Award in 1971. After he retired, both he and Bob Harper were selected by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics to reprise the Cooper-Harper Rating Scale in the 1984 Wright Brothers Lectureship in Aeronautics.

Col Jesse P. Jacobs, Jr., USAF 1923-2016







Colonel Jacobs received the Legion of Merit for meritorious service as Director and test pilot on the C-5A Test Force. It was at the time, one of the world's largest aircraft. During his 46 years in aerospace, Jacobs logged more than 10,600 flight hours in over 100 types, models and series of aircraft. He flew 28 combat missions over Germany in B-17's in World War II. He added 121 combat missions in F-80's in Korea. He served as a test pilot for more than 19 years at Edwards, Wright Patterson and Holloman Air Force Bases.

Jacobs served as Test Director and pilot of the XC-142 Tri-Service V/STOL Test Force. Significant test flights included performance, handling qualities and operational evaluation. He also conducted a wide variety of tests on B-17, B-26, B-29, B-47, B-50, B-52 and B-57 aircraft, which included a six-engine XB-52, that had four inboard J-57's, and two J-75 afterburning engines.

Jacobs' awards include the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Airman's Medal Air Medal with 11 clusters and Air Force Commendation Medal with cluster. He is a fellow in, and received the Wings of Man Award from, the Society of Experimental Test Pilots and was named to the Aerospace Walk of Honor in 1996.

Joseph 'Joe' Sweeney 1952-





Joe Sweeney has been employed by Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company (formerly General Dynamics, Fort Worth Division) since February 1985. He presently serves as the Director of Flight Operations and as a senior experimental test pilot. He has accumulated over 4700 hours of flight time in jet, propeller and rotary wing type aircraft in 30 years of flying.
Joe received a BS degree in Aerospace Engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1974 and an MS degree in Aeronautics from the California Institute of Technology in 1975. He received his designation as a Naval Aviator in August 1976 and flew the A-7E operationally from 1976 to 1980 with Attack Squadron 37 (VA-37), accumulating more than 1000 hours and over 300 carrier landings in that airplane. He was then ordered to Air Test and Evaluation Squadron Five (VX-5) at China Lake, California where he was assigned as the Operational Test Director for the new F/A-18 Hornet aircraft. He directed the Navy's Operational Evaluation of the F/A-18 in 1982.
Upon leaving the Navy in July 1983, Joe was employed by Calspan's Flight Research Department in Buffalo, NY as an Engineering Test Pilot/Project Engineer. He participated in a wide variety of flight control system and handling qualities research and flight test programs, including the LAVI and X-29 inflight simulations, the space shuttle control law update, and the initial project engineering for the VISTA research airplane. He also served as an academic and flight instructor for stability and control, flying qualities and flight control systems at both the US Navy and US Air Force Test Pilot Schools.
Since coming to Lockheed Martin, Joe has test flown nearly every version of the F-16. He was the project pilot for incorporation of the Digital Flight Control System, for the F-16 Multi-Axis Thrust Vectoring demonstrator aircraft, for the F-16ES Conformal Fuel Tank demonstration, and for the F-16 Divertless Supersonic Inlet demonstration. He worked as the lead project pilot and was designated to be the first flight pilot for the A-12 program. Joe was assigned as the Manager of Flight Operations at Fort Worth in July 1991. He has been the project pilot for the X-35C Navy variant demonstrator for the JSF program since 1995. He flew the first flight on the X-35C on December 16, 2000. He was assigned as the Director of Flight Operations for LM Aero in January 2001. Also in 2001 he was elected a Fellow in The Society of Experimental Test Pilots.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Rogers E. Smith 1936-




Rogers E. Smith was one of the leaders in the development of integrated thrust vectoring as test pilot on the X-31 and F-15 projects. He was Chief Test Pilot at NASA Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base from 1993 to 2000. Smith served in the Royal Canadian Air Force from 1955 to 1963.
After he came to the United States, he instructed for Cornell Aero Lab at the Air Force and Naval Test Pilot Schools. He was a fighter pilot in the US Air National Guard from 1970 to 1994. Smith began his test pilot career by working for the National Research Council of Canada.
In 1967 he became a research pilot at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Virginia. He spent 14 years as an engineering test pilot for Calaspan Corporation in Buffalo, N.Y before coming to NASA at Edwards Air Force Base in 1982. He has logged more than 10,000 flight hours.

Fred Davy Knox Jr 1951-



Fred Davy Knox, Jr. served as lead pilot for the X-31 Post Stall Demonstrator Aircraft, the Ranger 2000 JPATS experimental jet trainer and the Boeing X-32 Joint Strike Fighter. He was a high angle-of-attack project pilot on the F-22, completed 120 flights in the X-31 and the first flight of the X-32A.

Knox graduated from the University of Houston in 1973 with a BS degree in Electrical Engineering. Toward the end of college, Knox’s studies in engineering and his interest in airplanes came together to form his desire to become a test pilot. He completed 22 hours of graduate study in control theory in 1974 and in 1975 was commissioned in the US Navy. During 14 years of active duty in the US Navy, Knox served two sea tours flying F-14s, making over 400 carrier landings.

Knox graduated from the USAF Test Pilot School – Class 80A with distinctions, realizing his dream of becoming a test pilot. He served as test pilot and operational director at VX-4 and as special project test pilot for the 6513th Test Squadron on several classified programs. He was also an instructor at the US Navy Test Pilot School. In 1989 Knox joined Rockwell, serving as chief pilot on the X-31 and later as chief pilot for the Ranger 2000. From 1997 to 2001, Knox was chief test pilot on the Boeing X-32 Experimental Concept Demonstrator Aircraft, completing the first flight of the X-32A on September 18, 2000. In 2001 he joined the F-22 Combined Test Force as a Project Pilot.

The first pilot to be selected as a Boeing Technical Fellow, Knox has received the Smithsonian Air and Space Award for Current Achievement as a member of the X-31 International Test Organization. A Fellow in the Society of Experimental Test Pilots, he has served several terms on their Board of Directors. In all he has flown over 5,000 hours in various aircraft.

Dennis O'Donoghue 1958-





Before joining Boeing in 1996, O'Donoghue was a NASA research pilot who worked on a variety of aeronautical research and space science programs. He initially resisted Boeing's interest in recruiting him to be a test pilot for the Joint Strike Fighter program. But less than a month later, he was the lead test pilot of the X-32B Short Take Off and Vertical Landing Concept Demonstrator Aircraft. Dennis left Boeing to become Chief of Flight Operations for Eclipse Aviation.

Philip F. Oestricher 1931 -2015





Phil Oestricher, was a Navy Test Pilot School graduate who participated in the first flight of the YF-16 program and other F-16 tests for General Dynamics. Oestricher also flew U.S. Navy flight tests for the F-111.

On Feb. 2, 1974, the General Dynamics YF-16 made its "official" first flight. That 90-minute flight was completely successful, and the prototype went on to be developed into one of the world’s most accomplished fighter planes. The plane’s actual first flight, however, had already taken place nearly two weeks earlier. On Jan. 20, General Dynamics test pilot Philip F. Oestricher was conducting a series of high-speed taxi runs on the main runway. Suddenly the red-white-and-blue fighter (s/n 72-01567) developed a series of roll oscillations that grew worse until its right horizontal stabilizer dragged along the runway. Oestricher quickly decided to take off and prevent further damage. The YF-16 quickly reached flying speed and wobbled into the air for an uneventful six-minute flight to a normal landing. Subsequent investigation revealed a high sensitivity in the roll channel of the fly-by-wire control system that was corrected by installing an automatic gain switch.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Sqn Ldr Neville Duke DSO, OBE, DFC, AFC 1922-2007





Neville Duke joined the Royal Air Force in 1940 at the age of 18 as an AC2 pilot-under-training. After learning to fly at No. 13 Elementary Flying Training School, White Waltham, he received his wings in February 1941. Newly commissioned, he converted to the Spitfire at No.58 OTU, Grangemouth, and joined No. 92 Fighter Squadron at Biggin Hill in 1941, his first "Kill" being a Messerschmitt Bfl09 over Dunkirk.

He was then sent to the Middle East for what was to be a six weeks' detachment, but which, in the end, lasted to near the end of the War. Flying Spitfires, Tomahawks and Kittyhawks on Nos. 112 and 92 Squadrons in the Western Desert and commanding No. 145 Squadron in Italy, he became the top scoring Allied pilot in the Theatre credited with the destruction of 28 enemy aircraft confirmed, 3 probably destroyed, plus 5 damaged. In these three years, he was awarded the DSO and the DFC with two bars.

At the end of the War, he was 23 years old. In 1945, he was posted to Hawkers as an RAF test pilot, graduated from No 4 ETPS course in 1946 and then joined the RAF High Speed Flight, which gained the world speed record in 1946 in a Meteor 4. He completed two years as a Squadron Leader at A&AEE Boscombe Down, being awarded an AFC in 1948, before being invited to become a civilian test pilot with Hawker Aircraft, then at Langley. There, he test flew production Furies and Tempests and also the first Hawker jet aircraft, the prototype P1040. During this period he established world records on Fury delivery flights to the Pakistan and Egyptian Air Forces - from London to Rome (1949), London to Karachi (1949), and London to Cairo (1950). He was the owner of a Hawker Tomtit, now in the Shuttleworth Collection, which he flew regularly at air displays. He also joined the Royal Auxiliary Air Force, becoming Commanding Officer of No 615 (County of Surrey) Squadron at Biggin Hill, equipped with Spitfire Mk 22s and later Meteor 4s and having Winston Churchill as its Honorary Air Commodore. He held the post of Chief Test Pilot at Hawkers from 1951 to 1956.

His name will always be linked with the test flying of Sydney Camm's P1067, which became the Hunter. He flew its first flight on 20 July 1951 from Boscombe Down in WB 188 (becoming, almost certainly, the first pilot to wear a Bonedome in a British aircraft) and led the test flying programme of the RAF's first aircraft capable of exceeding the speed of sound. In it, he planted the first sonic boom for all to hear across Southern England in a shallow dive from 30,000ft on 24 June 1952. The following year, again in WB 188, this time modified with addition of reheat, he set a low altitude world speed record of 727.6mph, averaged over three runs, flying a course off the South Coast near Tangmere on 7 September 1953. Neville Duke was awarded the OBE in 1953 and the next year was the recipient of the Gold Medal of the Royal Aero Club and the Segrave Trophy. Additionally, he was awarded the Gold Medal of the Royal Danish Aero Club in 1953, two De La Vaux FAI Medals in 1954,and a Queen's Commendation in 1955. In 2002, he was recipient of the Air League's Geoffrey Quill Medal.

Howard Hughes 1905-1976



This note is from Hughes to Jim Floyd. Jim designed the Avro Jetliner and it was built in Toronto. It was the first "Jet Powered" transport in North America (1950), loosing the world title to the DeHavilland Comet by only 13 days. The Jetliner was toured all over the US and Hughes wanted a fleet of them for his TWA airline. Many other airlines and the USAF tried to place orders.

Jim won the Wright Bros Gold Medal for Aviation design for the Jetliner design. It was the only time the award had been awarded to a non American, and was cast in solid gold.

Then Jim lead the design of the Avro Arrow, after cancellation, he assisted 33 of his engineers to obtain work with NASA, while Jim went back to UK, established JCFloyd and Associates, and worked on the Concorde design for 12 years, before returning to Canada. Incidentally Jim stated upon the retirement of the Concorde fleet, that the aircraft used the Avro Arrow flight control system and many other major systems designed by Avro Canada in the 1950's.
Courtesy of Arrow Recovery Canada, www.AvroArrow.Org

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Duncan Menzies Soutar Simpson OBE 1928-






 Duncan Simpson elected to go for a maiden flight late on 21 August and shortly after 1900hrs. XX154 lifted off from Dunsfold.





Duncan Simpson joined the De Havilland Aeronautical Technical School in 1945 and was there until 1948. The 3 year design course was extended by 6 months at the company's request.His practical experience was in Experimental Department at Hatfield 1946-1947 where he worked on DH106 DH108, Ghost-Vampire, Hornet, Mosquito and Dove aircraft. He joined the Aerodynamics department in 1947. He joined the RAF at 6 Flying Training School in 1949. He was awarded the Flying Trophy and Eustace Broke Loraine Trophy. He was with 222 Naval Squadron between 1950 and 1953 being Adjutant in 1951 and Deputy Flight Commander 1952-1953. He worked with the Day Fighter Development Unit at Central Fighter Establishment in 1953/4 and underwent trials on Meteor, Vampire, Venom, Sabre, Swift and Hunter. He joined Hawker Aircraft Limited in 1954 as a Test Pilot.Between 1954 and 1962 he worked on the production and development flying of Hunter aircraft and production testing of the Sea Fury.

On 12 August 1974, the first Hawk, XX154 was formally rolled out at Dunsfold, sporting the distinctive red and white gloss paint scheme that was characteristic of all RAF training aircraft at the time. The aircraft then passed to the Flight Test Department at Dunsfold, where it became the responsibility of Chief Test Pilot Duncan Simpson and Hawk Project Pilot Andy Jones to prepare the aircraft for its maiden flight.