Fighter Pilot's Heaven: Flight Testing the Early Jets by Donald S. Lopez

By Donald S. Lopez

Fighter Pilot's Heaven offers the dramatic inside of tale of the yankee military's transition into the jet age, as informed via a flyer whose existence relied on its good fortune. With colourful anecdotes approximately fellow pilots in addition to specified technical info, Donald S. Lopez describes the way it used to be to be “behind the stick” as a attempt pilot from 1945 to 1950, whilst the U.S. army used to be transferring from conflict to peacetime operations and from propeller to jet aircraft.An ace pilot who had served with Gen. Claire Chennault's Flying Tiger Fighter staff, Lopez was once assigned on the shut of global struggle II to the elite evidence attempt staff of the Air Proving floor Command. positioned at Eglin box (later Eglin Air strength Base) in Florida, the crowd decided the operational suitability of Air strength guns platforms and plane and demonstrated the 1st operational jet, the P-80 capturing famous person. Jet opponents required new ideas, strategies, and weaponry. Lopez recounts ancient try flights within the P-59, P-80, and P-84, between different planes, describing complicated wrestle maneuvers, hair-raising landings in strange positions, and disastrous crashes and close to crashes. This memoir is peppered with full of life debts of many pilots and their colleagues, revealing how airmen coped with either exhilarating successes and occasionally tragic mess ups.

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Much to my surprise, he drove me to a vacant field, 150 feet square, in the middle of the barracks area. It was lighted and lined with bleachers for lectures and demonstrations. He blithely said, "I want you to drop the tanks in the middle of this lot when I finish my lecture. " "Lieutenant," I exclaimed, "you must be out of your mind. I don't know if your lecture will be done well, but I know your students will be well done if I drop the napalm here. " He insisted that I was wrong because he was an ordnance officer and by definition knew more about it than I.

Only the rudder, which was exceptionally large, was hydraulically boosted. One feature concerned me, though. It had folding wings to facilitate parking on the crowded decks of aircraft carriers. Although it was supposed to be impossible to fold them in flight, I wanted an extra safeguard, so I had the crew chief wire the control handle securely in the extended position. Because turbulence increases, especially at low altitude, as the air heats up during the day, performance speed runs and timed climbs were made at first light.

60-caliber gun system. The armament lab, however, after studying the data, decided to cancel the test. The extensive modifications and further testing that would have been required were deemed unlikely to produce a new operational weapon before the war ended. I had been so busy since arriving at Eglin that I hadn't given much thought to the war. Although the war in Europe had ended, it was still raging in the Pacific. The B-29s from Tinian and Saipan, under Gen. Curtis E. LeMay's innovative leadership, had burned out many Japanese cities with incendiary bombs while Army and Navy fighters were attacking the coastal cities.

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