Tom Macdonald, the Osprey V-22 chief test pilot, received the Iven C. Kincheloe Award from the Society of Experimental Test Pilots. The award, established in memory of Kincheloe, who died in 1958 in the course of flight-testing an F-104 Starfighter, is presented annually for outstanding flight-test accomplishments.
Based on the success of the SpaceShipOne (SS1) suborbital craft’s ascent on June 21 (AIN, July, page 2)–becoming the first privately funded manned spacecraft to reach 100 km (328,000 feet)–designer Burt Rutan is confident that he and his company, Mojave, Calif.-based Scaled Composites, will win the $10 million Ansari X Prize by year-end.
Mojave, Calif., is a unique place. As they drive north on State Highway 14, approaching the small burg of approximately 3,700 people, visitors first notice the hundreds of blades turning in windmill farms on hillsides to the west of town. Across the highway, dozens of jetliner tails sprout from the desert floor, idling in storage in the arid desert air at Mojave Airport.
The Airline Pilots Association awarded its 2004 Air Safety Award to Robert Sumwalt, a retired US Airways captain. The award is presented to a line pilot air safety volunteer who has made significant contributions to safety through volunteer service in the association’s air safety structure.
Two teams, one American and one Canadian, are poised to capture the Ansari X Prize by mid-October, having announced initial launch dates of their privately funded suborbital space vehicles within days of each other.