Sunday, December 15, 2013
Felix Baumgartner is an Austrian skydiver, daredevil and BASE jumper. He set the world record for skydiving an estimated 39 kilometres, reaching an estimated speed of 1357.64 km/h, or Mach 1.25, on 14 October 2012, and became the first person to break the sound barrier without vehicular power on his descent. He is also renowned for the particularly dangerous nature of the stunts he has performed during his career. Baumgartner spent time in the Austrian Military where he practiced parachute jumping, including training to land on small target zones.
William 'Bill' T. Quinlan
Wednesday, December 04, 2013
David W. Schwartz
He has lead the certification effort for several Piper models, in which he accomplished all stability and control, handling qualities, high angle of attack, flutter, spin testing and performance validation required for Federal Aviation Administration certification.
In the late 1980’s he worked closely with the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration on the investigation of in-flight breakups of the popular Piper Malibu aircraft. During this investigation he accomplished all flight-testing required by the NTSB and FAA to prove the structural integrity of the Piper Malibu / Mirage. Testing consisted of check and un-checked maneuvers, autopilot validation, and aircraft pitch controllability due to longitudinal trim run away. Due to this flight- testing, the Piper Malibu / Mirage was shown to meet and exceed all structural requirements required by the Federal Aviation Administration.
When Piper Aircraft was working closely with international airlines to provide primary multi-engine trainers, a requirement to establish accelerate-go / stop procedures and performance information was required. Mr. Schwartz led a team to determine the safety impact and accomplished all testing to providing this information for a multi-engine aircraft with limited single engine climb capability.
Tuesday, December 03, 2013
S/Ldr Richard Vivian Muspratt DFC 1917-2009
R.V.Muspratt - 2nd row from back, 2nd from right
He had just emerged with a first-class pass when the war broke out and he enlisted in the RAF, to be commissioned in 1940. After a first posting to 53 (Army Co-operation) Squadron, he was posted in 1941 to 140 Squadron, where he embarked on a series of reconnaissance sorties, mainly taking photographs of French harbours from an altitude of just under 30,000ft.
On one occasion, in May 1942, while photographing the docks at Cherbourg, he was intercepted by a Focke-Wulf Fw190, a fighter that had demonstrated its superiority over the Spitfire when it had first come into action the previous year.
Having obtained his photographs Muspratt put his Spitfire into a steep diving turn which prevented the Fw190 from getting on to his tail at close range. He then used the PR Spitfire’s just superior speed to draw steadily away during a chase that lasted for 30 miles, with the despairing German pilot firing bursts at him from 600 yards astern as he drew away. “Chalk one up to the hare!” he recorded in his log book on landing later that day.
Among Muspratt’s most important sorties were the two that he flew over Dieppe on August 5 and 6, 1942. His large-scale photographs were to be part of a valuable intelligence resource for what nevertheless turned out to be the disastrous Dieppe raid of August 19, which at least demonstrated conclusively that an assault on a heavily defended harbour town could be no blueprint for any serious Allied landings on the German-occupied littoral (and when they eventually came in June 1944 it was over open beaches).
On being rested from operations Muspratt was awarded the DFC for his skill and leadership as a flight commander. The citation noted: “He never hesitates to undertake a difficult operational task himself rather than detail a less experienced pilot.”
In 1943 Air Marshal Sir Ralph Sorley, the controller of research and development, became increasingly concerned by the rising number of fatalities in test flying and a lack of standardisation of flying techniques. The result was the founding of the Empire Test Pilot’s Training School at Boscombe Down for whose No 1 course Muspratt was selected. He was its last survivor.
On passing through the school and being promoted to squadron leader he was invited to join Hawker, then developing a new generation of powerful piston-engined fighters, the Tempest and the Fury (and Sea Fury). Muspratt flew intensive testing flights in these superlative aircraft — the ultimate expression of the piston-engined fighter — with various weapon loads. With its level-flight top speed of 450mph the Tempest was to become highly effective in the role of intercepting V1 rockets, while the Navy’s Sea Fury, flew right through the Korean War where it scored a number of combat victories over the Russian MiG15. It served with the Royal Navy until it was replaced by the turbojet Sea Hawk.
After leaving Hawker in 1948 Muspratt joined the Ferguson tractor company and spent 13 years in Australia, where he greatly boosted the firm’s sales. Back in the UK after 1960, he bought and ran a business at Leamington Spa, Witney Welding and Engineering, which he ran until his final retirement in 1985.
Monday, December 02, 2013
Doug Adkins Canadair Chief Test Pilot
Doug Adkins was experimental test pilot for both the CL-215 and CL-415CF-VTO-X, the CL-84 prototype first flew in hover on 7 May 1965, flown by Canadair Chief Pilot Bill Longhurst. On 12 September 1967, after 305 relatively uneventful flights, CF-VTO-X was at 3,000 ft when a bearing in the propeller control system failed. Both pilot and observer successfully ejected but the prototype was lost. Canadair redesigned its replacement, the CL-84-1 incorporating over 150 engineering changes including the addition of dual controls, upgraded avionics, an airframe stretch 1.60 m longer and more powerful engines.
The first newly designed CL-84-1 (CX8401) flew on 19 February 1970 with Bill Longhurst again at the controls. He continued with the CL-84 program until his retirement from active flying in January 1971. Doug Adkins then assumed the role of chief test pilot. At about the same time, at the height of the Vietnam War, the US Navy expressed interest in the concept. Atkins was dispatched on a cross-country tour that took a CL-84-1 to Washington D.C (landing on the White House lawn),Norfolk,VA and Edwards AFB,eventually full-blown trials on the USS Guam. The CL-84-1 performed flawlessly, demonstrating versatility in a wide range of onboard roles, including troop deployment, radar surveillance and anti-submarine warfare.
The Canadair Regional Jet prototype, RJ70001/C-FCRJ, was formally rolled out at the Canadair facility at Montreal/Dorval airport on 6 May, less than 17 months after first metal was cut, and only four days later, at 0945 hrs on 10 May the aircraft was airborne on its first flight.Piloted by Canadair chief test pilot and director of flight operations Doug Adkins,the inaugural flight lasted 1 hr 25 mins.