Saturday, October 12, 2013

John Cashman 1944-

John Cashman grew up near a Naval air station in Illinois. His father flew planes in the 1930s before becoming a college physics professor. He was in the seventh grade when he took his first airplane ride, from Chicago to Atlanta, in an Eastern Airlines Constellation.

Later, Cashman wanted to become a military pilot, but his eyesight was not perfect so he went to the University of Michigan to study aerospace engineering. There, he joined the school's flying club, eventually becoming president. He received his private pilot's license in 1965.

When he graduated in 1966, the aerospace business was booming and Cashman had job offers from seven companies, including Boeing.  He took the Boeing job in Seattle in July that year. At Boeing, Cashman initially worked as a structural engineer but continued his flying with the Boeing Flying Club. His big break came in 1974, when he was hired as a flight engineer for Boeing's 747SP (special performance) program. "I never thought when I came to Boeing I would be a pilot," Cashman said. Typically, Boeing pilots had come out of the military.

In the years that followed, Cashman participated in a number of Boeing flight-test programs and in 1989 was named chief pilot for the 767 and 767X programs. The 767X became the 777. He made the first flight of the 777 on June 12th 1994. He and co-pilot Ken Higgins flew the 777 for three hours and 48 minutes -- Boeing's longest ever first flight for one of its new jetliners.

Jack Russell

Jack Russell (left) with Jack Woolams
Jack Russell (centre front)

John P 'Jack' Reeder 1916-1999

John P. “Jack” Reeder was born May 27, 1916, in Houghton, Michigan. His aviation career started in the 1930s at the University of Michigan.  Upon graduation in 1938, he went to work for the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) at the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory, where he was assigned to the Full-Scale Wind Tunnel staff.  In 1939, he received his CAA Private Pilot License.  In August 1942 Jack was recommended for in-house flight training, and then transferred to the Flight Operations Branch where he flew and conducted tests on many of the latest Navy and Army fighters and bombers, and other NACA modified airplanes.  In 1944, Jack became NACA’s first helicopter test pilot.  Jack is best known for his pioneering work in establishing basic flying qualities requirements for helicopters and later V/STOL vehicles.  In 1962 he was invited to England to fly and evaluate the forerunner of the Harrier jet VTOL fighter under the NATO Mutual Weapons Development Program.  In 1964 he was selected to a joint German, U.K., and U.S. team to evaluate the P-1127 Kestrel.  During his 42 years of service, including 38 years on flight status, Jack flew 235 different types of aircraft including 38 jet planes, 40 fighters, 16 rotary-wing, and eight VTOL aircraft.  Jack authored or co-authored 78 NACA/NASA Technical Reports.  He received many honors and awards for his test piloting accomplishments and leadership.