Saturday, October 12, 2013

John P 'Jack' Reeder 1916-1999

John P. “Jack” Reeder was born May 27, 1916, in Houghton, Michigan. His aviation career started in the 1930s at the University of Michigan.  Upon graduation in 1938, he went to work for the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) at the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory, where he was assigned to the Full-Scale Wind Tunnel staff.  In 1939, he received his CAA Private Pilot License.  In August 1942 Jack was recommended for in-house flight training, and then transferred to the Flight Operations Branch where he flew and conducted tests on many of the latest Navy and Army fighters and bombers, and other NACA modified airplanes.  In 1944, Jack became NACA’s first helicopter test pilot.  Jack is best known for his pioneering work in establishing basic flying qualities requirements for helicopters and later V/STOL vehicles.  In 1962 he was invited to England to fly and evaluate the forerunner of the Harrier jet VTOL fighter under the NATO Mutual Weapons Development Program.  In 1964 he was selected to a joint German, U.K., and U.S. team to evaluate the P-1127 Kestrel.  During his 42 years of service, including 38 years on flight status, Jack flew 235 different types of aircraft including 38 jet planes, 40 fighters, 16 rotary-wing, and eight VTOL aircraft.  Jack authored or co-authored 78 NACA/NASA Technical Reports.  He received many honors and awards for his test piloting accomplishments and leadership.