Modelers Flew at Mach 2

Johnny and Robin flew control line models in their younger days in Tuscaloosa, Alabama and Fort Worth, Texas. In 1955, they met while working for Convair in Fort Worth during their summer break. Convair was the manufacturer of the large B-36 bomber with 10 engines (six a turning and 4 a burning). There the two aeronautical engineering students worked with the flight test engineers. They began their hobby of model building and flying together for the summer. They went back to their universities for the next school year and they both returned to Convair the next summer. This time they worked on flight predictions for the Flight Manual for the B-58 supersonic bomber before returning to the last year in school and their respective ROTC units followed by both being activated by the USAF as 2nd Lts. In Oct 1956, Johnny arrived at Edwards AFB assigned to the Flight Test Engineering Group and worked as Flight Test Engineer for several jet and prop programs. In 1958 he was assigned as FTE on the first USAF test of the YB-58 in Fort Worth and flew with the famous test pilot, Fitz Fulton. A year later Rob arrived at Edwards and flew in later tests of the B-58. Both Johnny and Rob were awarded their Mach 2 card. Now that both were at Edwards they began their model flying as shown in the photo. They both built their version using delta wings like on the B-58. The photo was taken outside the Edwards BOQ. Johnny retired from Edwards after working 54 years that included the X-15, X-24, and Space Shuttle. Rob tested VTOL type aircraft and later was CEO of company assisting companies with Government contracts. Both now retired in their mid 80’s and still maintain their friendship.


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