Monday, November 17, 2008

Didier Ronceray/Lucien Bernard Beluga First Flight


The A300-600ST maiden flight took place on September 13, 1994. This lasted 4 hours 41with Gilbert Defer, Lucien Bernard and test engineers Jean-Pierre Flamant and Didier Ronceray.The fifth and last "Beluga" successfully completed its first flight in Toulouse on 12 December 2000. The crew consisted of Chief Test Pilot Lucien Bernard, Co-Pilot Didier Ronceray and Flight Engineer Bruno Bigand. The flight lasted 4 hours and 5 minutes.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Don A. Schultz


Don A. Schultz was an AAF test pilot before coming to Vought as a test pilot.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Daniel Darnell Jr 1920-1998



Daniel Darnell joined the Army Air Corps in 1942 and flew P-38’s in North Africa and Italy.
He was awarded the Silver Star, DFC and Croix de Guerre. After the war he attended Test pilots school at Wright-Patterson in 1948 and was assigned to the fighter test section. In 1950 he joined North American Aviation and was involved in testing the F-86, F-100, B-45, AJ-1 and AJ-2. He joined Northrop in the 1960’s, flying various models of the F-5 and also the T-38, retiring in 1986. He died in 1998.

Ray Tenhoff 1922-1960


Ray Tenhoff joined the Army Air Corps in WWII and Ferried fighters & cargo aircraft, he also flew cargo missions in India. Post war he gained a BS Aero Engineering degree in 1949, graduated from USAF Test pilot school in 1951 and from USN Test pilot school in 1953.

He joined Northrop Aircraft in 1949 as an experimental test pilot,flying the F-89 and C-125 and then the CAA in 1958, then joined Convair later the same year. He died in 1960 in a B-58 Hustler accident at the age of 38. He was also the first SETP President between 1956/57.

Joe W. Ozier 1924-1957





Joseph W. Ozier was born in Hollis, Okla., in 1924 and began his aviation career as a fighter pilot in the Pacific Theater of World War II. He graduated from Northrop Aero Institute in 1950 and joined Lockheed in 1951 as a production test pilot. In 1954 he became an engineering test pilot and was a test pilot for the F-104 Starfighter, the first operational supersonic fighter, manufactured by Lockheed.He flew more hours testing the Starfighter than any other pilot and was considered the fastest pilot in the world when he was tragically killed in 1957 during a landing accident of the YF-104 at Palmdale. He was aged 33

Friday, November 07, 2008

William 'Billy' Sunday 1922-1952



Vought test pilot William 'Billy' Sunday test pilot for Chance Vough Aircraft was killed on 9th December 1952, when on final approach to NAS Dallas in Vought F7U-3 Cutlass 128460 an aileron fitting became detached. The aircraft rolled left,contacted the ground and scattered along the north end of the main runway.

L. J. “Jack” Walton 1922-1973



'Jack' Walton joined US Marine Corps in 1944 and served in Pacific theater. He gained a BS Aero Engineering at Kansas University 1948 and therafter joined the Douglas Aircraft Company as a design engineer between 1948-1950. He g raduated from US Navy TPS at Patuxent River, Maryland in 1953. He joined Chance Vought as an experimental test pilot in 1952,flying the Cutlass and Crusader. He died of a heart attack in 1973 at the age of 51



Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Ernie Von der Heyden


F-111B made its first flight at Calverton on May 18, flown by Ralph "Dixie" Donnell and Ernie von der Heyden.



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Ernie von der Heyden joined the US Navy in 1941 and flew carrier-based fighters in the Pacific Theatre during WWII. After the war he gained a BS in Aero Eng in 1949. He joined Grumman Aircraft in the same year initially as an engineer and in 1951 became an engineering test pilot flying the F-9F, F-11F and A-2F Intruder. He made the maiden flights of the WF-2, Shuttle Training Aircraft and was co-pilot on the first flight of the F-111B.

Ralph 'Dixie' Donnell 1921-1967



Ralph H. Donnell was from Greensboro, NC (thus his nickname Dixie),. He earned a degree in Aeronautical Engineering from NC State, and was hired by Grumman as an engineer. During WW2 he flew P-51 Mustangs, crashing into debris from a Luftwaffe fighter that he had just shot down over Munich. His wing was severed and he bailed out, only to be captured and interned in Stalag Luft 3 for the remainder of the war. Following his discharge, Dixie was rehired by Grumman, but as a Test Pilot. He made the first flight of the Grumman YAO-1AF Mohawk on 14 April 1959 and the first flight of the F-111B flight on the 18th May 1965 alongside Ernie Von Der Heyden

Darrell E.Cornell 1932-1984





Darrell Cornell was Chief Test Pilot and Manager of Flight Operations at Northrop's Aircraft Division. A former Air Force pilot, Cornell joined Northrop in 1962 and moved to the Aircraft Division's flight test unit at Edwards Air Force Base in 1965. He was appointed Chief Test Pilot in 1980. He was killed on October 1-th 1984 at Suwon AB, while performing a demonstration flight for the ROKAF. The F-20 (N4416T) he was piloting stalled after a series of climbing rolls performed with flaps and gear extended. Cornell was not able to recover the aircraft from the uncontrolled stall. Cornell was also the lead test pilot for the RF-5E Tigereye, a reconnaissance version of the low cost F-5E fighter aircraft. He was an astronaut candidate with NASA in 1963, although he was not selected to join Group 3.


Hugh M.Kendall MBE 19xx-1999




Hugh McLennan Kendall flew with the Fleet Air Arm during WW2, and was involved in air-racing prior to and after the war. He was the Chief Test Pilot for Handley Page (Reading), and as such flight tested many types. He flew the maiden flight of the mamba powered H.P Marathon 2.
He was the designer and test pilot for the Somers-Kendall SK-1, Britain's first ever light jet. The maiden flight was made by Hugh Kendall on 8th October 1955.
After he ended his test flying career, he joined Shell-Mex and B.P Ltd as technical liasion with the aircraft industry and airlines.