Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Paul F. Bikle; Former NASA Dryden Director

January 23, 1991

Paul F. Bikle, who was director of the NASA Dryden Flight Research Facility at Edwards Air Force Base for nearly 12 years, has died in Salinas, Calif. He was 75.

A longtime resident of Lancaster, Bikle died Saturday of complications of a heart attack suffered last month, said Don Haley, a NASA spokesman.

Bikle was born June 5, 1916, in Wilkinsburg, Pa., and was a graduate of the University of Detroit, where he majored in aeronautical engineering. In 1940, he began working as an aeronautical engineer for the Army Air Corps at Wright Field, Ohio. He became technical director of the Air Force Flight Test Center at Edwards Air Force Base in 1955.

In September, 1959, Bikle was chosen to head the NASA facility at Edwards and in that position, oversaw several major aeronautical research projects including the rocket-powered X-15, the supersonic XB-70, the fleet of research vehicles that contributed to the development of the space shuttles and the Lunar Landing Research Vehicle, which led to moon landings. He retired in 1971.

A veteran sailplane pilot, Bikle flew 46,269 feet on a flight near Lancaster on Feb. 25, 1961, setting a world altitude record for sailplanes that stood for 20 years.

He is survived by his sons Hugh Bikle of Mountain View, Calif., John Bikle of Westminster and Alan Bikle of Salinas, and daughter Patricia Taylor of Cupertino, Calif. His wife, Anne Bikle, died in September.

No services are planned. Donations may be made in Bikle's name to the American Heart Assn.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|