William F. 'Bill' Chana 1921-2012
Bill Chana was the flight test engineer for Consolidated’s XB-24 Liberator and XB-32 Dominator bombers, and after the war lead the flight test engineering effort for the XC-99, the largest landplane. After the war, he was involved with the XF-92A, the world’ first delta-wing airplane, the XFY-1 Pogo, the world’s first vertical take-off and landing airplane, and Convair’s XF2Y-1 Sea Dart, the world’s only supersonic seaplane. Bill also conducted flight tests on a number of Convair’s commercial airliners. Later, he was Convair’s base manager for the Atlas Missile program at Fairchild AFB, near Spokane, Washington.
As an aircraft designer and test pilot, Bill was involved in the “Wee Bee,” the smallest piloted plane. Bill served as president of the San Diego Aerospace Museum, and is a fellow in the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and the Society of Automotive Engineers. In 1998, he was awarded the National Air and Space Museum’s A. Verville Fellowship.