Thursday, August 23, 2007

John W.Myers 1911-2008

John W. Myers tested and flew aircraft that marked every stage of aviation development, from the Black Widow P-61 of World War II to the Flying Wing to civilian Cessna Citation jets in recent years. His aviation career began in 1930 when he was a student at Stanford University. He made his first flight and his first solo flight simultaneously in a two-cylinder, single-engine airplane. He earned a law degree from Harvard and worked in the Lockheed legal office until 1939 when he began ferrying Hudson Bombers. In 1941, Myers became Chief Engineering Test Pilot with Northrop, performing developmental testing on the P-61 "Black Widow," N-9M flying wing and the XP-56 Black Bullet. During World War II, he brought the P-61 to the South Pacific and taught pilots to fly the new aircraft alongside Charles Lindbergh. He flew nearly every American and English aircraft flown during World War II, including captured German and Japanese models. Returning to Northrop, he rose to Director. He left to eventually become CEO of Pacific Airmotive Corporation. He has continued flying his own Cessna Citation and helicopter. Myers is a Fellow of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots and serves on the Board of the National Air and Space Museum. He is an Honorary Member of the Order of Daedalians, a member of the Quiet Birdmen, Aviation Country Club and Night Fighter Association