Col Robert G.Ferry 1923-2009
First flight of the Hughes YAH-64 which became the Apache
Colonel Ferry distinguished himself in helicopters. Although he began his career as a fighter pilot, he became expert in helicopters, where he made his mark in 24 years of flight testing. He has flown 10,800 hours in 125 different aircraft, nearly 8,000 of those house in helicopters.
As the Air Force Project Pilot on the Bell XV-3, he proved the tilt rotor concept which led the way to development of the XV-15 and V-22 Osprey. He is the only pilot to fly three XV types: XV-1, XV-3 and XV-9.
He flew the first flight and most of the envelope expansion on the Apache AH-64. Ferry set world records which remain unchallenged for distance flying in helicopters by flying a Hughes OH-6A solo, non-stop and non-refueled from Los Angeles to Daytona Beach in 1966. Paving the way for high speed and heavy lift rotary wing development, Ferry flew all flights of the XV-9A "Hot Cycle" helicopter to investigate new propulsion concepts.
Ferry has been honored with the Society of Experimental Test Pilots Iven C. Kincheloe Award, the American Helicopter Society’s Frederick L. Feinberg Award and was the pilot selected for the Sikorsky International Trophy. He received specially designed awards from the Italian Air Force, the Hamburg Senate, S. Harry Robertson and the Aerospace Space Walk of Honor (1997).