Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Jack Woodman 1925-1987

He was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada on May 14, 1925 and joined the Royal Canadian Air Force after gradating high school. Trained as an aerial gunner, he shipped to England in June 1944 in the RCAF Bomber Command. He completed 23 combat missions in British built Halifax and Lancaster bombers. He was enroute to the Pacific theater, as a volunteer on VJ day.

He left the RCAF shortly thereafter for the University of Saskatchewan's for associate general-engineering training, but rejoined the RCAF in 1948 for pilot training.
Woodman eventually became Canada's representative to the Empire Test Pilot's School in England where he tested numerous types of aircraft, including the Vampire, Lancaster, Otter and Chipmunk. He was instrumental in testing the first Canadian designed jet fighter, CF-100 and flew demonstrations at the 1955 Paris Air Show with it. He became project pilot of the Mach 2 Avro CF-105, interceptor, and he was the only military pilot to fly the Arrow aircraft.The Arrow was cancelled after only 60 flights by its 3 pilots and RCAF selected the F-104 as its fighter-bomber in Europe and Jack transferred to Palmdale CA as their Project Pilot, to work with Lockheed on the CF-104 version, which flew August 1961. As a result, he was hired by Lockheed a year later as an engineering test pilot, testing the various models for foreign sales. He was named project pilot for the AST.