Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Ernie Von der Heyden

F-111B made its first flight at Calverton on May 18, flown by Ralph "Dixie" Donnell and Ernie von der Heyden.

Ernie von der Heyden joined the US Navy in 1941 and flew carrier-based fighters in the Pacific Theatre during WWII. After the war he gained a BS in Aero Eng in 1949. He joined Grumman Aircraft in the same year initially as an engineer and in 1951 became an engineering test pilot flying the F-9F, F-11F and A-2F Intruder. He made the maiden flights of the WF-2, Shuttle Training Aircraft and was co-pilot on the first flight of the F-111B.