Scott Crossfield: 1921-2006
Legendary test pilot Scott Crossfield died on April 20, 2006, when his single-engine plane crashed in Georgia. He was 84.Crossfield made aviation history on November 20, 1953, becoming the first person to fly at more than twice the speed of sound, or Mach 2. The photos above of Crossfield and his D-558-II Skyrocket were taken immediately after that flight.Born in California in 1921, Crossfield went to the University of Washington and served in the Navy during World War II before joining NASA's predecessor, the National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics -- NACA, in 1950.As part of the elite test pilot cadre at the NACA High-Speed Flight Research Station -- now NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center in Mojave, California -- Crossfield flew a series of test planes from the X-1 to the Skyrocket, logging 87 rocket flights and 12 jet flights in the early 1950s.After five years with NACA, Crossfield left to work for North American Aviation on the design and building of the revolutionary X-15 rocket plane.Crossfield guided the X-15 on its first free flight in 1959. He went on to fly the first two X-15s a total of 14 times, eventually flying higher than 88,000 feet and reaching 1,960 miles an hour -- nearly three times the speed of sound.In 1993, NASA awarded him the Distinguished Public Service Medal for his contributions to aeronautics and aviation over a period spanning half a century.
Source:NASA - Life on Earth - Improving Flight
Edited by Waspie_Dwarf, 25 August 2012 - 08:02 PM.