Frank Batteas 1955-
Frank Batteas is a research test pilot in the Flight Crew Branch of NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, Calif. He is currently a project pilot for the F/A-18 and C-17 flight research projects. In addition, his flying duties include operation of the DC-8 Flying Laboratory in the Airborne Science program, and piloting the B-52B launch aircraft, the King Air, and the T-34C support aircraft. Batteas has accumulated more than 4,700 hours of military and civilian flight experience in more than 40 different aircraft types.
Batteas came to NASA Dryden in April 1998, following a career in the U.S. Air Force. His last assignment was at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, Ohio, where Lieutenant Colonel Batteas led the B-2 Systems Test and Evaluation efforts for a two-year period
Batteas graduated from Class 88A of the Air Force Test Pilot School, Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., in December 1988. He served more than five years as a test pilot for the Air Force's newest airlifter, the C-17, involved in nearly every phase of testing from flutter and high angle-of-attack tests to airdrop and air refueling envelope expansion. In the process, he achieved several C-17 firsts including the first day and night aerial refuelings, the first flight over the North Pole, and a payload-to-altitude world aviation record. As a KC-135 test pilot, he also was involved in aerial refueling certification tests on a number of other Air Force aircraft.
Batteas received his commission as a second lieutenant in the U. S. Air Force through the Reserve Officer Training Corps and served initially as an engineer working on the Peacekeeper and Minuteman missile programs at the Ballistic Missile Office, Norton Air Force Base, Calif. After attending pilot training at Williams Air Force Base, Phoenix, Ariz., he flew operational flights in the KC-135 tanker aircraft and then was assigned to research flying at the 4950th Test Wing, Wright-Patterson. He flew extensively modified C-135 and C-18 aircraft. In addition, he was project manager and research pilot for aurora borealis studies on the Airborne Ionospheric Observatory.
Batteas earned a bachelor of science degree in nuclear engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, N.Y., in 1977 and was awarded master of science degrees in systems management from the University of Southern California in 1980 and in mechanical engineering from California State University Fresno in 1991.