Wednesday, September 07, 2005

A. Scott Crossfield 1921-2006

Scott Crossfield was the first person to reach Mach 2.005 (1,291 mph). This feat was accomplished at Edwards AFB in the Douglas D-558II Skyrocket in November 1953.
Crossfield flew every aircraft in the nation's inventory--from rocket engine aircraft to jet fighters and helicopters. In 1962, he had more rocket time than any man in the world.
He joined North American Aviation as a design specialist and engineering test pilot. In this position he helped design the X-15, especially its cockpit. Crossfield was the first to fly the X-15 in a glide flight and a powered flight. He flew the X-15 fifteen times. He also successfully demonstrated the XLR-99 engine. Other X Series flown include the X-5 (10 times), X-4 (29 times) and the X-3 (3 times).
Crossfield authored Always Another Dawn and numerous technical papers including "Space Flight Operations" as a chapter in the Handbook of Astronautical Engineering. He served as Director of Quality Assurance at North American's Space and Information Systems Development where he worked on the Saturn SII booster and the Apollo spacecraft.
Crossfield received his MA in Aeronautical Engineering at the University of Washington. He has been honored by the Lawrence Sperry Award (1954), Octave Chanute (1958), American Astronautical Society Flight Achievement Award (1959), Air Force Association Man of the Year (1959), American Rocket Society Astronautical Award (1960), Harmon International Trophy (1960), Kincheloe Trophy (1961) and the Aerospace Walk of Honor (1990).