Tuesday, April 19, 2011

George Gordon

Pratt and Whitney B-52 Test Crew, Stan Hopperstead, George Gordon, Dan ? Drost and Dan Culhane

B-52 with Pratt and Whitney JT-9D test engine

George Gordon joined the AirForce during the Korean war, having never thought about a military career, however, he did like to fly and had taken lessons in an Aeroncia while in high school. He applied for Aviation Cadets after he enlisted ( had 2 years of college at the time). He flew the T-6 & B-25 graduated and went to SAC to fly B-50's, when he reached the 1000 hours needed to check out as Aircraft Commander (he had 1008), he then went to B-47 school, flew for part of a year, got out and back to college to finish his degree in Mechanical Engineering. Whilst in college (Stevens Institute of Engineering) he joined the NY ANG; and started to fly B-26's, changing to F-94B's (for a year), then changed to F-86H's, in which he had a couple of flights. He then flew C-119's, shortly after that he quit (that was the worst thing he ever flew!)

After college, he went to work at North American to work on the B-70, in a group called Flight Test Projects (where he met Scott Crossfield there; the X-15 was just starting to fly). When the B-70 (and F-108) were canceled, NA laid off 2000 engineers, including George. He joined PWA as a test engineer in mechanical components. After a year and a half he joined the Mass Air National Guard (F-86H's); two months later he was called up for the Berlin Wall build-up, spending a year in France, mostly flying the T-33, as he had not yet checked out in the F-86. He retired from the Guard (& AF) in 1978 as a Lt/Col. He also left PWA at that time to pursue other interests (going into business with his brother)