Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Lt. Col. Fizhugh L. "Fitz" Fulton, Jr 1925-2015

Fitz Fulton flew more than 16,000 flight hours in 235 different aircraft types. He tested most of the military bombers and transports developed between 1950 and 1960.
Some of the significant flight testing in which he participated include: B-47, B-57, and B-52 tests; B-58 development; XB-70 research; NASA YF-12 supersonic research; and initial 747 shuttle carrier airplane tests. He flew the Boeing 747 for all give of the shuttle lunches.
Earlier, Fulton was the launch pilot who dropped the X-1, X-2, X-15, M-2, HL-10 and X-24 rocket airplanes from B-29, B-50 and B-52 bombers. Fulton made 225 trips to Berlin in C-54's during the Airlift. He also flew 55 combat mission in the Douglas B-26 over North Korea.
After 23 years of military service, Fulton retired from the USAF in 1966. He was Chief of Bomber Transport Test Operations Division at Edwards AFB when he retired. He then joined the NASA Armes-Dryden Flight Research Center and was Chief Test Pilot when he retired again in 1986. Also in 1986, he became the Flight Operations Director and Chief Research Pilot for Scaled Composites. He retired once more in 1989.
While at Scaled Composites, he made the first flights on the Advanced Technology Tactical Transport and the Model 143 twin engine executive jet.
Fulton holds a BA from Golden State University. He was selected as the USAF Experimental Test Pilot School's first "Distinguished Alumnus." Fulton's other honors include: Kincheloe Trophy, four Distinguished Flying Crosses, five Air Medals, two NASA Exceptional Service Medals and the Aerospace Walk of Honor (1991).