Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Robert W. Fausel 1914-1998

Although Robert W. Fausel trained as a pursuit pilot, he never flew in combat -- at least not officially.Curtiss factory pilot, Bob Fausel, was able to shoot down a Japanese G4M Betty bomber in 1940 prior to the evacuation of Loi Wing when demonstrating the aircraft. Unfortunately, during that first pass his guns jammed and all of his ammunition was quickly spent. He was rewarded $1,000 by Chaing Kai Shek for his efforts.
But as a civilian test pilot, he paved the way for those who did in World War II by testing the hottest airplanes built by Curtiss-Wright.It was in C-W's P-40 Tomahawk that Mr. Fausel set a world dive record of 661 mph in April 1940 at Wright Field, Ohio, in a test to meet military contract requirements.