Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Boeing Bird of Prey - Multi Signed

McDonnell Douglas test pilot Rudy Haug piloted the maiden flight of the "Bird of Prey" (also known as the BoP). The classified technology demonstrator showcased low-observables ("stealth") and lean manufacturing capabilities. The Boeing Company purchased McDonnell Douglas in 1997 and continued funding for the BoP. Besides Haug, the BoP was flown by Air Force test pilot Doug Benjamin and Boeing test pilot Joe Felock.The Bird of Prey had 38 flights since being secretly launched in 1996. First flight in Autumn of 1996, last flight in 1999 and was declassified October 18, 2002, and was revealed because the technologies and capabilities developed have become industry standards, and it is no longer necessary to conceal the aircraft's existence.One prototype built by McDonnell Douglas/Boeing’s Phantom Works in St. Louis, MO. It was among the first aircraft to incorporate large, single-piece composite structures.

Powered by a Pratt & Whitney JT15D-5C turbofan engine
Length 47’
Wingspan 23’
Height 9’ 3”
Weight 7,400 lbs
Top speed 300 mph



Doug Benjamin grew up in La Crosse WI. He graduated from the Air Force Academy in 1978. He completed pilot training and became a T-38 Instructor Pilot. He then flew the F-106 and F-16 operationally. He attended EPNER ( French Test Pilot School), and then was assigned to the USAF Test Pilot School as an instructor. He then moved to the F-16 Combined Test Force, testing all F-16 models. After staff and acquisition schools, he served in the Flight Test Division of the F-16 Systems Program Office. He then moved to the black world where he flew on and commanded a variety of classified programs. He was the second of only three pilots to fly the Boeing Bird of Prey technology demonstrator and flew 21 of its 38 flights, including envelope expansion, mission utility and tactical applications. Doug retired from the Air Force in 2000 and became an Engineering Test Pilot with Boeing Commercial Airplanes in Seattle, where he has flown on multiple 737, 747, 757, 767 and 777 development and certification programs. He is currently the Boeing Commercial Airplanes Chief Pilot for Military Derivatives. He was project pilot for the Airborne Early Warning and Control version of the 737 and is project pilot for the 747-based Airborne Laser. He has nearly 8000 hours flying time in 90 aircraft, FAA type ratings in nine aircraft, and is current on all Boeing models, as well as the T-33 and T-38.
Joe Felock had 14 years' active duty with the USAF as a fighter and test pilot before joining Boeing in 1997 and he still holds the rank of major in the Reserves. He holds a master's degree in mechanical engineering from New Mexico State University. Joe has more than 3,000hours in more than 50 different aircraft types including the F-4, F-16, F-18, A-7, A-37, and T-38. His F-15 hours amount to more than 1,700. He was one of the three test pilots to fly the Boeing Bird of Prey. He made the maiden flight of the F-15K.
Rudy Haug made the maiden flight of the RAAF’s first F/A18 (A21-103) from Avalon on 26 February 1985. He made the maiden flight of the Boeing "Bird of Prey" technology demonstrator in 1996.