CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 17, 1993 |
Col. Vladimir Kondratenko, commander of the Russian Test Pilot School, got to do something Thursday that would once have made him a hero of the Soviet Union--he climbed into a training version of the cockpit of an SR-71 Blackbird, for many years the U.S. Air Force's most secret spy plane.
April 19, 1987 |
A family-run school is undercutting its only competitor, the U.S. military, to train test pilots, that elite cadre who fly new aircraft to their limits of safety and performance. The National Test Pilot School, believed to be the only civilian-run test-pilot school in the world, was opened in 1982 at the urging of aircraft manufacturers disturbed by the price Navy and Air Force schools were charging.
July 10, 1992 |
McDonnell Douglas is moving some final assembly work on its MD-11 jetliner program--along with perhaps several hundred jobs--from Long Beach to a small Mojave subcontractor, government and industry sources said Thursday. The move was prompted by problems at McDonnell's troubled Douglas Aircraft Co. in Long Beach, which has fallen behind schedule on deliveries of MD-11s, McDonnell's vice president for MD-11 production said in an internal memo.
July 15, 1986 |
Two elated but exhausted pilots suffering from fatigue and dehydration landed their record-setting experimental airplane Voyager--little more than a flying fuel tank--in the Mojave Desert today after flying nearly 12,000 miles and five days without refueling.
February 27, 1990 |
Aircraft designer Burt Rutan rolled out and demonstrated his latest creation Monday--an experimental jet fighter with such potential missions as shooting down enemy helicopters or drug-laden cargo planes. The aircraft was not paid for by the Pentagon and its design was not dictated by the military, explaining why it defies many of the government's most important conventions such as complexity, high cost and big bureaucracy.
July 1, 1993 |
Acclaimed aircraft designer Burt Rutan said Wednesday that he is sick of "the lousy schools, crime, drugs, graffiti and proliferation of lawyers" in California and has decided to move his small Mojave firm, Scaled Composites Inc., to another state.
October 8, 1999 |
Despite safety concerns, a TV production company is negotiating with federal officials for permission to stage a jet crash in which an airliner rigged with explosives would slam into the Mojave Desert floor moments after the pilot and crew bail out. The stunt, to be televised on the Fox network during a ratings sweeps period, was initially dismissed by federal regulators.
May 14, 2004 |
A piloted rocket released from a spider-like mother plane shot straight up into the desert sky here Thursday, climbing to 211,400 feet and becoming the first privately funded vehicle to reach the edge of space. The SpaceShipOne rocket carried 62-year-old test pilot Mike Melvill to heights usually reached only by astronauts and military pilots.
April 1, 2011 |
Fame in the aerospace industry has been typically reserved for the people who pilot flying machines — Charles Lindbergh, Amelia Earhart, Chuck Yeager, Neil Armstrong. Not so much for the people who design the technology. Maverick aeronautical engineer Burt Rutan may be an exception. Five of his planes now hang in the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, including the Voyager, which in 1986 became the first airplane to fly around the world without refueling, and SpaceShipOne, which in 2004 became the first private rocket plane ever to put a man into space.