Saturday, January 10, 2009

George A. Rodney 1921-1996

George Albert Rodney, a Carnegie Institute of Technology mechanical engineer with an Aero option won his Army Air Corps wings at Liberal, Kansas during WW2. He started his aerospace career in Baltimore with Glenn L. Martin Co. in 1945 as an aerodynamicist and was soon talked into becoming a Test Pilot. George became one of Martin`s most skilled and famous Test Pilots and in 41 years figured prominently in engineering, test and quality control on most of Martin`s major programs. His favorite was the P-6 Seamaster Jet seaplane. George put on a P-6 demonstration for Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Arleigh Burke and his guest First Sea Lord Earl Mountbatten at Middle River on the Chesapeke Bay in 1954. He was director of mission success at NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility in Louisianna for the space shuttle's external tank. He held a similiar position during the NASA Skylab program at the Martin Marietta Denver facility.From 1986 to 1992, Rodney was NASA's associate administrator for safety, reliability and quality assurance. The job was created after the 1986 Challenger explosion because an independent commission said NASA's safety program was too silent