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Chapter 4 - Approach to Space
click on the links below for more of the story...
i. Test Pilots & Operations - ii. Experimental Testing - iii. F5-A Freedom Fighter - iv. Variable Dynamics - NF-101A -
v. Anchors Aweigh - vi. Two Strakes - One Strike! - vii. Whirlybirds, Spinning Wings? - viii. The Rest of the Story

The Rest of the Story


Every first flight in a new airplane was a special time, no matter how many I faced, but each experience made me more comfortable in the next.  My last tour of duty at the Air Force Flight Test Center had added to those opportunities a great deal.  Just a few days before I departed, Fitz Fulton was kind enough to allow me to fly an entire flight just for my pleasure in the exciting Mach 2 bomber, the B-58. 


It was a special feeling of wonder and accomplishment, to fly in a bomber with such excellent fell and response, and exceptional performance. I had flown a number of civil aircraft, and would, in my next assignment test/evaluate a few specially modified ones for limited war use. However, I would make only one more first-time flight in an Air Force airplane after leaving Edwards, but that one would be a gem, the F-105D Thunder Chief, which filled my card with all the Century Aircraft except the F-111.  At the end of my career, I had flown 55 distinct military aircraft, excluding similar models, to which I would later add a 56th, the Army Apache helicopter.  Of these 20 were fighters, 6 bombers, 10 cargo, 9 helicopters and 1 jet/rocket; and 10 trainers and utility.  All were jet powered except for 16 propeller-driven and two turbo-props and one jet/rocket.  Of these two were U.S. Navy and four were British, the rest U.S. Air Force.

Military Aircraft Flown - 58 Unique Types

P-51,  F-4, F-5, F-80, F-84, F-84F, F-86, F-86H, F-89, F-100, F-101, F-102, F-104,

F-105, F-106, A-4 (Navy), Meteor (British), Hunter (British), YAT-28, & YAT-37

Bombers B-25, B-26, B-47, B-50, B-58 and Canberra (British)
Cargo C-45, C-47, C-54, C-118, C-123, C-130, C-131, C-133, C-141, & KC-135.
Trainer T-6, T-28, T-29, T-33, T-37, T-38, T-39, T-2V (Navy), & Chipmunk (British)
Helicopter UH-1, H-13, -19, -21, CH-3, CH-47, XH-51, & APACHE (Army)
Utility U-3, L-20, U-6
Other NF-104A, Aerospace Trainer, Jet/Rocket


I found a great deal of pleasure over those years in flying the number of varied military aircraft listed below, each with its own special uniqueness.  And I was to save the excitement and pleasure of the F-105, still ahead of me, for my most exciting period of all.