Sunday, May 20, 2007
Douglas Test Pilots L-R, George Jansen, Bob Rahn,William Bridgeman and James Verdin
George R. Jansen made flight test history during his career as a Douglas test pilot, from 1945 to 1982, rising from Chief Test Pilot to Director of Flight Operations. Jansen flew the DC-9 twin-engine jetliner on its premier flight from Long Beach to Edwards Air Force Base in 1965.
Jansen served in the Army Air Corps from 1942 to 1945 as a B-24 bomber pilot with the 44th Bomb Group, the "Eight Balls," in England and North Africa. He graduated from the Air Research & Development Command Experimental Test Pilot School at Edwards in 1952.
Jansen made the first flights on the XA2D Skyshark, the XA3D Skywarrior, the A3D with J57 engines, the RB66 and the first DC-9, all at Edwards. He piloted the first flight in the stretched DC-9-30 and the DC-10-40. He flew many research and operational aircraft, including the AD-1 Skyraider, F3D Skynight, D-558-I Skystreak, B-29, DC-8, Cloudster II, XB-42A Mixmaster, XB-43, Caravelle, C-54, C-74, C-133, YC-15 and EC-135N, DC-6, DC-8, F3D and F4D. A founder and past president of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots, Jansen won the Octave Chanute Award in 1986 for his contributions to the science of flight testing and the development of flight safety. He also received the Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters and the Distinguished Flying Cross with two oak leaf clusters.