HollomanF102_1962
 

First Tour

Holloman AFB, New Mexico

Assigned to the Fighter Missile Test Branch: Jul 1958 to Jun 1962

Aircraft Flown: F-100, F-101, F-102, F-104, F-106, B-57, T-33, U3A

I was assigned to the fighter missile test branch at Holloman AFB as a test pilot with the additional duty as an armament and electronics officer. I was primarily involved with testing radar and missile systems used by the F-102, F-101B, and F-106 aircraft. This involved some airframe testing for compatibility and determining the envelope for launching weapons. We worked with the major aircraft companies, Lockheed, McDonnell, Hughes, etc. who had test units stationed there. I occasionally went to Culver City (Los Angeles) to fly the Hughes F-102 on missions over the Mojave desert (it was equipped with an infrared search system for use primarily at night).

  50pxspacerHolloman1960F102
 

 

Twice the Speed of Sound

  75pxspacerMach2 Clu
 

Mach-2 in a F106

 

Ejection at 800 Feet

In October 1961, I was doing a maintenance test hop on a 102 that had just been equipped with about a $1M worth of special test equipment for a program which I was scheduled to fly. I had completed the flight and was on my way back to the field when the engine quit. Everything I tried failed to start the engine so I was trying to dead stick it. Unfortunately the field was about a mile too far away.


I ejected at about 800 ft, I didn’t have a zero/zero seat, but I was level when I went out. I was about 50 knots below best glide speed (trying to stretch the glide) but I rotated and I think probably stopped the descent. I wouldn't have wanted to have been lower. I had hooked up my D ring to the seat belt. When I pulled the handles the seat belt blew immediately after clearing the cockpit and it pulled the D ring. I was reaching for the belt and it blew before I reached it, then I went for the D ring and the chute was already opening. I swung a couple of times and hit the ground without injury. The cause of the engine failure was an in-flight shearing of the accessory drive shaft which provided power to the hydraulic and fuel pumps and the generator.

   

F102 Interceptor

Ejected from F102 at a very low altitude during testing in October 1961.

I wasn't injured and flew another F102 the next day.

 

 

Century Series Jet Aircraft

  F100   F101
 
F100 Super Saber
 
F101 Voodo
       
  F102   F106_1
 
F102 Delta
 
F106 Delta
       
  F104   F_Series_4
 
F104 Starfighter
 
F104 - F100 - F101 - F102
       

 

Additional Aircraft Flown at Holloman during First Tour

  t33   b57
 
T33
 
B57
  cessna   c123
 
U3A Cessna
 
C-123

 

 

German Fighter Ace of World War II

 

German fighter Ace from World War II - General Steinhoff, came to Holloman around 1960 and I met him. He came to the US to fly the F-104 to determine whether the German AF would buy some (which they did). He was amazing. Here was a man horribly burned yet never seemed to notice it.

He was considered to be the most handsome pilot in the German AF until April 18, 1945 when he crashed on takeoff in a ME-262 and was burned. He was a top ace with 276 victories. General Adolf Galland was his superior. The whole squadron was made up of senior officers all of which were aces many times over.

Ed Moore flew with Steinhoff in a two seater F-104. Ed put Steinhoff in the front seat expecting to let him fly a little. Once Ed briefed Steinhoff and talked him through the start procedure, Ed never touched the controls for the rest of the flight. Ed said Steinhoff was an excellent pilot. Steinhoff then went to Edwards AFB and flew the single seater F-104.

75steinhoff_before25steinhoff_1960

100Steinhoff before Crash75xGeneral Steinhoff

 

spacerme262

The ME-262 and the P-51