View Full Version : Oral History - 100 years of Test Flying

Genghis the Engineer
8th Oct 2004, 22:31
This is posted by kind permission of Camelpilot, and I have no commercial interest whatsoever.

Last year, I was enormously privileged to attend the "100 years of test flying" oral history session run by the Society of Experimental Test pilots at their annual Los Angeles binge (sorry, symposium). The oral history ran over about 2 days in total, and the line up was, well, mindblowing. Hearing about breaking the sound barrier from Chuck Yeager, landing on the moon from Buzz Aldrin, and the history of experimental flying from Burt Rutan was as good as aviation nostalgia gets.

Anyhow, why am I going on about this, apart from gloating because I was there and most of you weren't. Well, SETP videod the whole thing, and have just announced that it's available on DVD (well six of them in fact). If anybody's interested, details are at http://www.setp.org/HTML/NewsRoom/news.html?nid=21

And that's it really - I just wanted to share the fact, and mention that despite having been there, I'm spending my own money on a set. I've posted the line up below.


Historical Flying Machine Gustave Whitehead No 21

Horst Philipp

In-Flight Simulation:AIAA 2003 Wright Flyer

Maj. Michael Jansen / Capt. Timothy Jorris

Panel Discussion

A. Scott Crossfield-Wright Flyer Replica
Vern Jobst / Edward P. Kolano:Spirit of St. Louis Replica

Replica of the Clement Aders Eole Aircraft

Claudius La Burthe

Sound Barrier

Robert L. Cardenas, Robert A. Hoover, Charles E. Yeager

X-15/Lifting Bodies

A. Scott Crossfield, William H. Dana, Joe H. Engle, W. J. “Pete” Knight, Cecil W. Powell, R. Dale Reed, Robert M. White

General / Commercial Aviation

John E. Cashman:Boeing 777, James R. Gannett - Boeing 707, Paul B. MacCready, Jr.:Gossamer Condor/Albatross, Peter T. Reynolds:Learjet Model 28, Burt Rutan, Scaled Composites

Vertical Flight

Robert G. Ferry:XV-3, Jack C. Jackson - Harrier, Jesse P. Jacobs:XC-142, Stanley J. Kakol: X-22A, Donald R. Segner:Vertol 76, Drury W. Wood: DO31

Modern Fighters

Patrick M. Experton – Mirage, Stig Holmström – Gripen, John E. Krings:F-15/F-18, Philip F. Oestricher:F-16, Robert K. Smyth:F-14

Carrier Aviation

William C. Bowes, Eric Brown, , Kurt C. Schroeder

Fast and Heavy Iron

Stanley P. Butchart:B-29, Fitzhugh L. Fulton:B-58, Robert A. Rivers – Concorde/TU-44, Guy M. Townsend:B-52, Alvin S. White:XB-70

Black World

Richard S. Couch - B-2, Ken Dyson – Have Blue/Tacit Blue, James D. Eastham:YF-12A, Robert J. Gilliland:SR-71, Thomas A. Morgenfeld:F-117, Kenneth W. Weir:U-2

Mercury / Gemini / Apollo Astronauts

Buzz Aldrin, Ph.D., Vance D. Brand , M. Scott Carpenter, Michael Collins, Eugene A. Cernan, James A. Lovell

Space Shuttle

Robert L. Crippen, C. Gordon Fullerton, Fitzhugh L. Fulton, Jr., Richard H. Truly

Chimbu chuckles
9th Oct 2004, 03:20
I always find it interesting that whenever there is anthing on TV, or any other forum, about Apollo 11 it's always Buzz Aldrin we hear from and never Neil Armstrong. Not that Aldrin is not interesting but is Armstrong really so reclusive?

I just love listening to people like Crossfield and Dana...if anything on the test flying era post WW2 to about 1970 comes on discovery channel thats me sorted unto its conclusion. Crossfield to me epitimises a real pilot's pilot. My favorite quote from him is "Aviation is a human endeavour, if humans aren't involved I'm not interested/it's not worth doing" when talking about unmanned vehicles.

Yeager I can take or leave these days.