Monday, May 21, 2007
Bell Aircraft Corporation Chief Test Pilot Jean 'Skip' Ziegler served with the Air Transport Command during World War II, and flew one of the ten transports which evacuated 10,000 persons from Burma in a single month.
He made pioneering flights on the X-1A, X-5 and X-2. Ziegler made the first flight of the X-5 and, in July 1951, the first flight when the small pot-bellied aircraft moved its wings and their sweep angle changed from a 24° position to 20°, making it the first aircraft to change its wing sweep in flight. Ziegler also made the first flight of the X-2 and died in its explosion, less than two years after the X-5's history-making flight in 1953.