First flight of the Convair F-106B at Edwards AFB on 10th April 1958 by John Fitzpatrick
As an Air Force Pilot, John Fitzpatrick flew the XF-88B Evaluation flights at Lambert Field,MO June-July 1953. He is the only person to have flown supersonic in a propeller 'equipped' aircraft . John Fitzpatrick flew the first Mach 2 flight of the Convair F-106B.
John Fitzpatrick crash landed this F-84E on the Alcan Highway in the Yukon Territory after an engine failure enroute to Alaska for cold weather tests in January 1950. The temperature was 53 degrees below zero F.
“Fitz” Fitzpatrick was born on the 12th January 1924 in New York and passed away on 23 March 2013 at the age of 89.Fitz was a Charter Member of SETP and became
a Fellow in 1961.
Fitz attended Georgetown University
for two years and entered the U.S. Military Academy in 1942. Following
graduation in 1945, he received Air Force pilot training. He then went through fighter transition and
spent two and a half years as a fighter pilot in the 78th and 86th
Groups in Germany.
When he returned to the States in
1948, he requested and was assigned to the Flight Test Division at Wright Field
and entered Flight Test. For the next
five and a half years, he participated in the flight testing of all Air Force
fighter aircraft. He also graduated from
what was then the AMC
School at Patterson
Field. In the fall of 1953, he submitted
his resignation from the Air Force because “they were running out of bedrooms
in Wherry Housing.”
Fitz joined Convair as an Engineering
Test Pilot at the start of the F-102 program and participated in all phases of
the F-102 and F-106 development. At the
latter portion of the program, he was Chief Engineering Pilot and was Chairman
of the Operations Committee of the joint Air Force – Convair-Hughes armament
development program. When Convair-San
Diego ran out of fighters, he became Project Pilot on the 990 jet
transport. He made the first flights on three aircraft:- Convair F-106B, Convair F-106C and Convair 990 Coronado. In 1962 he transferred to the
General Dynamics Corporate office and shortly thereafter was assigned to Washington D.C. Three months later Fitz was appointed Manager
of the General Dynamics Houston office.
He packed up his wife, Pat, and six children and moved for the seventh
time in nine years. In 1967 he was
transferred to the General Dynamics Washington office as manager of Space
Systems and Ballistic Missiles. He was
then made Director, Aerospace Systems for General Dynamics.