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Premier Test Pilot
Born Berkeley, California
October 2, 1921
Died Ranger, Georgia
April 19, 2006*
Entering the U.S. Navy 1942, A. Scott Crossfield first served as a fighter pilot. After the war, he returned to the University of Washington to receive a Degree in Aeronautical Science. In June 1950, after accumulating some 2500 hours of flight time, he joined the National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics (later NASA) as an engineering research pilot.
In the succeeding five years he played a major role in the testing of many experimental aircraft and became the first pilot to fly twice the speed of sound (1327 MPH) in the Douglas D-588 rocket powered aircraft. Crossfield capped his distinguished test pilot career as the NASA program manager and first project pilot on the X-15 rocket powered research aircraft, taking the aircraft to the fringes of outer space.
After service with NASA, he joined the aerospace industry becoming directly involved in manned space flight projects.
Photographs are from the Dryden Flight Research Center Photo Gallery, taken after Crossfield broke the Mach 2 barrier. Note the NACA logo on Crossfield's helmet
Invested 1965 in the International Aerospace Hall of Fame
From "These We Honor," The International Hall of Fame; The San Diego Aerospace Museum, San Diego, CA. 1984
*Mister Crossfield, 84, died while he was doing what he loved; he was flying from Alabama to Virginia when his plane disappeared from radar on Wednesday, April 19, 2006. The Civil Air Patrol's Georgia Wing located the wreckage of the plane, a Cessna 210A, about 50 miles northwest of Atlanta, authorities said Thursday. There were thunderstorms in the area when radar contact was lost. Mr. Crossfield, who lived in Herndon, VA, was thought to be the only person aboard the plane. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Alice Crossfield of Herndon; six children; and seven grandchildren.
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Updated: June 20, 2006