Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Lt Col John Carlson 1928-2016

Between 1954 and 1967, John Carlson tested the flight capabilities and the limits of medium to heavy bombers. He began his career in bombers as aircraft commander of a B-29 based in Japan and made the move to flight test asa 1954 graduate from the USAF Test Pilot School at Edwards AFB.
For the next five years,Carlson flew bomber tests of the B-29,variants of the B-66 and the RB-47H,culminating in flight testing of the B-52B and his role as primary test pilot on the B-52G Phase IV tests at Edwards AFB.
In 1959,he was assigned as project officer on the XB-70 at Air Force Systems Command Headquarters. After that, the Air Force assigned him for studies in aerospace engineering at the University of Texas. Carlson then returned to flight test in 1964 at Wright-Patterson AFB and flew the KC-135 and other aircraft as Chief of the Cargo Branch. The war in Southeast Asia then took Carlson to Vietnam as a Sandy Pilot. Flying a single piston-engine Douglas A-1 Skyraider,he took part in the rescue of downed aircrew members during two Vietnam tours.
He was then assigned to Wright-Patterson AFB as Chief of Standardization and Evaluation. In 1970 he returned to Southeast Asia as Chief of Operations and Training in F-4 Phantoms. He retired from the Air Force in 1974.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Andy Jones

Sir Charles Masefield

In 1963 he flew a single engined Beagle Airedale from England to Australia and flew a 1936 DH90 Dragonfly biplane back from Australia to England. The next year he flew the DH90 from London to the US establishing a record time for biplanes between London and New York. He won the 1967 Kings Cup Air Race in his own own P-51D Mustang. And in 1968 became the British national Air Racing Champion.

He Joined joined Hawker Siddely Woodford as a Test Pilot flying HS748, Shackleton, Nimrod and Victor aircraft. Pilot in command on the first flights of both the Nimrod MK2 and Nimrod AEW Mk3. And was appointed Chief Test Pilot in 1978. He became General Manager of Woodford and Chadderton and the Managing Director of BAE Commercial Aircraft Division responsible Hatfield, Woodford, Chadderton and Prestwick. Marketing Director of Airbus Industrie at Toulouse responsible for all Airbus sales and in 1994 appointed to the MOD Whitehall as Head of all UK Defence Exports He was Knighted in 1997 for Services to UK exports and became became Vice Chairman of GEC the following year. From this he became Vice Chairman of and President BAE Systems. Currently Chairman of then Swiss Financial Services firm Helvetica. He is a former President and is Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and Fellow of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers In 2000 he became the only non American to receive the US James Doolittle Award for services to the world aerospace industry.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Colonel Harold G. Russell 1919-2009

Colonel Harold G. Russell began a 26-year military career in 1941 and served as a B-17 pilot in Europe. During this service, he and his crew were shot down – Colonel Russell spent two years as a prisoner of war. He attended the Air Force Test Pilot School in 1951 and served ten years as a test pilot and program manager, testing the fighter and bomber aircraft of the fifties, and managing the advanced research aircraft programs of that era. He commanded the 6555th Aerospace Test Wing and finished his Air Force career assigned to NASA in Washington, DC. Colonel Russell completed a bachelor degree in engineering science from the Air Force Institute of Technology and an MBA from the University of Chicago

Harold E. 'Bud' Ream 1926-2007

Harold Eugene 'Bud' Ream

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Aubrey G.Corbin 1914-1989

Aubrey Corbin (3rd from left) in front of the Cunliffe Owen Concordia

Lt. Col. Donald A. Cornell 1944-2008

Lt. Col. Donald A. Cornell (USAF, Retired)was born 20 December 1944 in Detroit, Michigan.He retired from the Air Force after serving 20 years, including two tours in Vietnam and work as a test pilot at Edwards Air Force Base, California, and Area 51, Nevada.

A graduate of USAF Test Pilot School Class 78B at Edwards in 1978, Cornell was one of the early test pilots for the Lockheed F-117A Nighthawk and Northrop TACIT BLUE technology demonstrator - both at the Air Force Flight Test Center's Detachment 3 at Area 51. He was also involved with the AGM-137 Tri-Service Standoff Attack Missile project, a spinoff of TACIT BLUE. After retiring from the Air Force, he was employed as a pilot and operations officer with EG&G, Special Projects, in Las Vegas. Cornell was a member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots.

John 'Chris' Christiansen 1923-1998

John "Chris" Christiansen was a test pilot for Lockheed Martin for three decades. Born in Oslo, Norway, Christiansen served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and the Korean conflict. He started working for Lockheed in 1953 and flew experimental aircraft until his retirement in 1983. His assignments included initial test flights of the P-3 Orion and S-3 Viking anti-submarine aircraft. Christiansen was a fellow in the Society of Experimental Test Pilots.

Joseph Samuel Algranti 1925-2009

Joe Algranti was born February 8, 1925 in New York. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a BS in Physics. He was a pilot in the U.S. Navy and retired as a Commander in the Naval Reserves. He began his career as a research test pilot in Cleaveland, OH at NACA. Next he moved to NASA at Langley, VA. From 1962, he assumed the role of Chief of Aircraft Operations and Chief Test Pilot at NASA in Houston, TX, where he was instrumental in the training of all aspects of the space program.He retired from NASA in 1992,

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

S/Ldr Ken Cook DFC 1911-2006

Ken Cook with Hedley Hazleden

Squadron Leader Ken Cook was awarded the DFC at the end of his first tour of 37 operations as a bomber pilot flying Hamdens with 83 Squadron. It was later, while working as a production test pilot at A.V. Roe & Co. Ltd at Woodford, Manchester, that, having started his take-off run, he encountered a double-decker bus used to convey workers from one side of the airfield to the other, which, having jumped the runway traffic lights, was crossing in front of him. As he was rolling too fast to abort the take off, he prematurely hauled the Lancaster into the air but was unable to miss the bus. One of the undercarriage legs hit the vehicle, neatly removing the upper deck which was luckily unoccupied. Cook managed to safely land the aeroplane on what was left of the runway beyond the rearranged bus.

Albert Kenneth Cook was born on October 7th 1911 in Bedford. He joined the Royal Air Force becoming a ‘Halton Brat’ as an apprentice aero-engine fitter in 1928. He became an air gunner in 1933 and saw service in Jordan. He learned to fly on Tiger Moths in 1936 at Philips & Powis at Reading, before arriving at Netheravon on Salisbury Plain as a newly qualified Sergeant Pilot to fly Harts and Audaxs. In 1937 he joined 83 Squadron at Scampton where, by the outbreak of war, he had converted to Hamdens – the bomber type which he flew mainly at night for the 37 operations of his first tour during which he was commissioned. The near seven hours of night flying on his first operation laying mines in the Baltic totalled more than all his previous night training flights put together. After a short instructional tour he returned to 83 Squadron and continued to fly Hamdens until the type was replaced by the Lancaster’s predecessor, the Manchester.

At the end of his second tour and now a Squadron Leader not relishing the idea of a ground tour, Cook volunteered to attend the first formal test pilot’s course at Boscombe Down in 1943. He graduated from No.1 Course, Empire Test Pilots School in 1944. He was then seconded to Avros as a production test pilot where he remained for the rest of the war. After the war he stayed with the company as a civilian test pilot and was later involved with the development of the Avro Tudor airliner. He finally retired from flying in 1949 having flown during his time the company, 415 different Lancasters, 29 Lancastrians, 52 Yorks, 104 Lincolns, 182 Ansons and 26 Tudors. He remained at Woodford for the next 21 years as Senior Air Traffic Control Officer before he finally retired in 1971

Monday, March 01, 2010

Airbus A400M Maiden Flight-Multi signed by crew

Edward 'Ed' Strongman (far left), is Chief Test Pilot Military with responsibility for the development of the A400M and Airbus military derivative aircraft. He captained the aircraft's maiden flight alongside his colleague Ignacio "Nacho" Lombo.
Having joined Airbus in 1995, he was initially Project Pilot for the A330/A340 family and was particularly closely involved with the development of the A340-600 which he piloted on its maiden flight in April 2001. Subsequently he worked on all Airbus aircraft and participated extensively in the A380 flight test development programme.
Mr Strongman is today a veteran test pilot who was selected to attend the United States Air Force Test Pilot School (USAFTPS) at Edwards AFB, California in 1979 after five years of operations flying the Lockheed C-130 Hercules for the UK's Royal Air Force.
After graduating from USAFTPS Mr Strongman served for six years at the Royal Aircraft Establishment, Bedford, UK flying a wide range of transports, fighters and helicopters. In 1986 he left Bedford as Commanding Officer of the Test Squadron to join the UK CAA as a certification test pilot involved in the regulatory approval of numerous jet and turboprop aircraft.
Mr Strongman has some 11,000 flight hours of which more than 7,000 have been in flight test.
Born in Cornwall, UK in 1949 Ed Strongman has an engineering degree from Bristol University/
In the right hand seat was Spaniard Ignacio "Nacho" Lombo (second from right). Airbus Experimental Test Pilot, has been with the A400M programme since March 2005 as a member of the design and test-team. He co-captained the A400M on its first flight with Chief Experimental Test Pilot Ed Strongman.
Mr Lombo has additionally flown the entire Airbus family – A300, A320, A330, A340 and A380. He has more than 250 hours on the A380, including high altitude testing in Ethiopia, high temperature testing in the UAE, noise tests in Seville, Spain and route-proving in Bogota, Colombia.
In June 2007 he was also part of the maiden flight crew of the A330 MRTT multi-role tanker/transport. Prior to that, Mr Lombo flew for EADS-CASA (now Airbus Military) on the Eurofighter Typhoon programme from 2003.
Nacho Lombo is an experimental test pilot graduate of the French school for flight test personnel EPNER (Ecole du Personnel Navigant d'Essais et de Réception). He was then assigned in 1998 to the Spanish Air Force test centre CLAEX (Centro Logístico de Armamento y Experimentacíon) where he worked on the Typhoon, Mirage F1 mid-life upgrade (MLU), and Northrop F-5 MLU programme for which he made the maiden flight.
Mr Lombo's flying career began in 1989 when he graduated from the Spanish Air Force Academy and went on to fly F-5 fighters. He became an F-5 instructor in the Spanish Fighter School and flew the Mirage F1 in the 141st Squadron at Albacete until 1997.
Among his 4,250 total flight hours he has amassed some 1,500 hours of flight-testing.
Born in Cartagena, Spain in 1966, Mr Lombo is married with three sons. In addition to flying he enjoys practising long-distance triathlon among other sports.

Eric Isorce (the gentleman in the back)  is Senior Flight Test Engineer (FTE), project leader for the A400M programme, and has been Head of the A400M Integrated Flight Test Operations Team since September 2004.Mr Isorce joined Airbus in April 2001, working until September 2004 in the performance area of the Flight Test Division where he participated in the certification of the A340-600, A340-500 and A318.
During his flying career, which began in 1988, Eric Isorce initially worked for the French Air Force, flying the N2501, C135F, Mirage IV and Mirage 2000N. After graduating as a flight test engineer from the French school for flight test personnel EPNER (l’Ecole du Personnel Navigant d’Essais et de Réception) in 1991, he worked at the Centre d’Essais en Vol, the French flight test centre in Istres, as a project flight test engineer leader and navigator weapon system officer for the Mirage 2000D, Rafale and FLA programmes. In 1995, he took part, amongst other things, in the preparation of Allied Forces in Kosovo, flying the Mirage 2000D. He left the French Air Force with the rank of Colonel.
During a career in the French Air Force, French airworthiness authorities and at Airbus, Mr Isorce has accumulated more than 5,600 flight hours including more than 4,000 hours of flight test on more than 45 different aircraft types.
Born in Avignon, France in 1957, he graduated from the Ecole Militaire de l’Air in Salon de Provence in 1981 and has a Master’s degree in mechanical and aeronautical engineering from the Conservatoire National des Arts et Metiers in Aix en Provence.

Jean-Philippe Cottet (far right) Flight test engineer  has been responsible for preparing the A400M flight test campaign since 2005, specialising more specifically in the Europrop International (EPI) TP- 400 turboprop engine which is to power the A400M. As such, he led the C-130 flying testbed programme, on which the all new TP-400 was tried in the air.
Prior to this, Mr. Cottet was flight test engineer for the Engine Alliance GP7200 turbofan on the A380 and, before that, for the Pratt & Whitney PW6000 engine on the A318. From 2001 to 2003, he was Airbus flight test engineer for acceptance test flights.
Jean Philippe Cottet began his career with Aerospatiale as an aerodynamic design engineer working on the development of supersonic wing shapes for future designs. He also trained as an accident investigator at the French institute for air safety (Institut Français de Sécurité Arienne - IFSA). From 1995 to 2001 he served as Aérospatiale Concorde support manager and then Concorde accident investigation team leader.
Jean Philippe Cottet graduated from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de l’Aéronautique et de l’Espace (ENSAE) in 1990. He also received flight -test training at French flight test training school EPNER (l’Ecole du Personnel Navigant d’Essais et de Réception) from which he graduated in 2004. Hes also trained at ECATA (European Consortium for Advanced Training in Aerospace).
Born in 1966 in Belfort, north-east France
Dider Ronceray (second from left) has been Airbus Senior Flight Test Engineer - Handling Qualities since 2002 with responsibility for handling qualities, flight controls, loads and flutter on all the company’s aircraft programmes. Prior to this, he was closely involved in the A340-600 flight test programme. He has been working on the A400M programme since 1998.
Mr Ronceray studied general engineering at the Ecole Polytechnique (graduating in 1978) and specialised in aeronautics at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de l'Aéronautique et de l'Espace, from which he graduated in 1980.
He joined the flight test data reduction department of Aérospatiale in 1980. In 1983-1984, he was sent for training and graduated as a flight test engineer at the French flight test school EPNER (l’Ecole du Personnel Navigant d’Essais et de Réception).Before joining Airbus in 1998, Mr Ronceray was a flight test engineer on the C-160 Transall and the Fokker F-27 ARAT (weather research aircraft) from 1984 to 1989, then on the ATR twinturboprop product line up to 1997. During this period, he also spent two years as a Beluga project flight test engineer, and took part in the TCAS collision-avoidance system on the
In 2001, he conducted the tests culminating in recovery of the Concorde Flight Airworthiness certificate.
Mr Ronceray also qualified as a private pilot in 1980 and as commercial pilot in 1987.He gained his instrument rating in 1991, and was subsequently type-rated on the ATR series, A300-600ST Beluga, Corvette, A330 and A340.Didier Ronceray has logged more than 7,000 flight hours including nearly 2,400 as a pilot.Born in Paris in 1955.

Rounding out the team is Gerard Leskerpit (second from right),he has been the Flight Test Engineer in charge of all Airbus military programmes since 2005. He was previously a flight test engineer in the Airbus Acceptance Department from 2001.
As a French Air Force pilot, Gérard Leskerpit joined France’s DGA (Direction générale pour l’armement) Flight Test Centre at Brétigny (near Paris) in 1992, and then underwent the test flight engineer training course at the French test pilot school EPNER (l’Ecole du Personnel Navigant d’Essais et de Réception), which he completed 1996.
Mr. Leskerpit became a flight test engineer at the DGA’s flight test centre in Istres in 1997 before moving to Airbus in 2001.Mr. Leskerpit’s aviation career began when he entered the French Air Force’s Technical School aged 17, to begin an engine and propeller training course, after which he became an engine maintenance specialist on the C-160 Transall. Following training as a flight engineer, he flew operationally on the Transall before becoming an instructor on the French Air Force’s Lockheed C-130 Hercules conversion unit in 1989.Gérard Leskerpit has clocked up around 8,000 flight hours, including 3,500 in flight testing, on more than 60 different types. He also holds private and glider pilot licences. Born in south-west France in 1959.

For its first flight the aircraft took off at a weight of 127 tonnes, carrying 15 tonnes of test equipment including two tonnes of water ballast, compared with its maximum take-off weight of 141 tonnes. As planned, the six-man crew extensively explored the aircraft's flight envelope in direct law, including a wide speed-range, and tested lowering and raising of the landing gear and high-lift devices at altitude. After checking the aircraft's performance in the landing configuration the crew landed back at Seville.

The first Airbus Military A400M military airlifter (MSN01)completed a successful maiden flight lasting 3h 47min at Seville on 11th December 2009.