The time period from the end of World War II to the mid-1970s is considered the golden age of flight. With wars end, America found itself with a large supply of young, experienced pilots, a bustling manufacturing capability, a robust economy, and a talented cadre of flight engineers who were eager to push down the limits of flight. The sound barrier was broken in the fall of 1947, and after that the momentum of aviation progress was unstoppable. Year after year, model after model, the industry made huge technological leaps forward, often on the dry lakebeds of Edwards Air Force Base. The hustle and bustle and occasional tragedy of those go-go years wrought a comraderie among the flight test engineers at Edwards that has lasted nearly half a century.

EAFB Gate and Shack

Now, for the first time, those flight test engineers have compiled the touching, funny, poignant, and personal stories behind the age of flight. These stories explore the human side of technology, where real people laugh, cry, admire each other ís remarkable achievements, and mourn each others losses. It is a fascinating insiders look into aviation’s secret world–that of the flight test engineer.

All proceeds from the sale of this book go to the Flight Test Historical Foundation which is dedicated to building a museum at Edwards Air Force Base for the preservation of aviation history. The authors and editors have donated their time, effort, and stories to make this book possible.

Edited by: Fred Stoliker, Bob Hoey, and Johnny Armstrong.



A Book of Flight Test Engineers’ Stories 1946 – 1975

1. The Ruptured Duck

2. YB-58 Phase 2 Tests

3. Convair 880 Out of Control

4. F-104 World’s Altitude Record

5. X-15A-2 Expanding the Envelope to Mach 6.7

6. X-24B Concrete Runway Landing