2004 Honorees

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2004 MorgenfeldThomas Albert Morgenfeld
Thomas Morgenfeld, a pioneer in Lockheed Martin’s most secret projects, helped develop the F-117 from 1979 to 2001, flew the first flights of the Pratt & Whitney powered YF-22A and the Joint Strike Fighter X-35A.

For 15 years, Morgenfeld served as a US Navy fighter pilot and test pilot. He flew 120 combat missions in Southeast Asia and made 500 carrier landings. He retired as a Captain in the Naval Reserves and Commanding Officer of the reserve component of the Naval Weapons Center at China Lake.

For four years, Morgenfeld flew as a member of the Air Force Flight Test Center’s 6513th Test Squadron. He later became an engineering test pilot for Lockheed’s Skunk Works where he was involved with the Lockheed/Dassault Alpha-jet project and was a Project Pilot on the F-117 Program. In 1990, Morgenfeld joined the Advanced Tactical Fighter Program flying the YF-22A. He became the first pilot to fly the X-35A Joint Strike Fighter prototype in October 2000, taking it to an altitude of 25,000 feet and Mach 1.05 within one month. He flew all three versions of the X-35. He was Chief Test Pilot and Director of Flight Operations for the Skunk Works from 1991 to 2001.

Morgenfeld is a Fellow and Past President of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots and has received the McKenna Trophy, SETP’s Iven C. Kincheloe Award and has been part of two Collier Trophy winning teams. He has logged 7,000 hours flying more than 70 different aircraft.

Established in 1990 by the Lancaster City Council, the Aerospace Walk of Honor celebrates test pilots who were associated with Edwards AFB. Recognition is awarded for distinguished aviation careers marked by significant and obvious achievements beyond one specific accomplishment.

2004 RogersColonel Joseph W. Rogers, USAF
Colonel Joseph W. Rogers, USAF set a new official world absolute speed record at Edwards AFB in 1959 when he piloted a Convair F-106A Delta Dart to a speed of 1,525 mph. After 45 years, this was still the record for single engine airplanes.

Flying over Korea and Viet Nam, Rogers flew 300 combat missions in P-51 Mustangs, P-80 Shooting Stars and F-4 Phantoms. He attended the USAF Experimental Test Pilot School in 1956 and the Air War College in 1964.

He flew early development test flights of the F-86D Sabre and performed early testing on the F-102/F-106 weapons systems before joining the SR-71/YF-12 Test Force, where he flew the first Blackbird mission of the USAF/NASA YF-12/SR-71 USAF research program. He eventually became Test Director of the world’s highest and fastest airplane, the SR-71 at Edwards Air Force Base. In 1971, Rogers was already evaluating advanced fighter design concepts that wouldn’t appear until the 1990s.

Colonel Rogers was awarded the Silver Star, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Legion of Merit and the Air Medal with 16 Oak Leaf Clusters. A Fellow in the Society of Experimental Test Pilots, Rogers received the Thompson Trophy and the Federation Aeronautique Internationale De La Vaulx medal. During his career as a test pilot, Rogers logged 13,000 hours in more than 50 aircraft, including the F-86D, F-102, F-104, F-106, YF-12, SR-71 and F-4.

Established in 1990 by the Lancaster City Council, the Aerospace Walk of Honor celebrates test pilots who were associated with Edwards Air Force Base. Recognition is awarded for distinguished aviation careers marked by significant and obvious achievements beyond one specific accomplishment.

2004 SmithColonel Roger J. Smith, USAF
Colonel Roger J. Smith, as the first Air Force pilot assigned to the F-15 program, was responsible for much of the early development and testing of the F-15.

A tactical fighter pilot in F-100, F-105, A-37 and F-15 aircraft, Colonel Smith flew 203 combat missions over Southeast Asia. He graduated from the USAF Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base in 1965.

Returning to Edwards AFB in 1969 after his combat tour, Smith was the first USAF pilot assigned to the F-15 program. Serving as Deputy Test Director until 1975, he was the ninth overall pilot to fly the Eagle and attained several firsts as well.

Project Streak Eagle set all eight world time-to-climb records and was the result of a proposal instigated and directed by Smith and performed by him along with two other test pilots.

Colonel Smith took the F-15 to Bitburg Air Base in Germany, where he commanded the first F-15 squadron in Europe from 1977 to 1979. Retiring as Director of Flight Test at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, he completed his career with Sverdrup Technology at Eglin AFB in Florida as their Deputy Director of Test and Evaluation.

Colonel Smith is a Fellow of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots and recipient of the Mackay Trophy in 1975. He earned the Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star and Air Medal with 19 Oak Leaf Clusters. He has logged more than 6,000 hours in over 45 types of aircraft.

Established in 1990 by the Lancaster City Council, the Aerospace Walk of Honor celebrates test pilots who were associated with Edwards AFB. Recognition is awarded for distinguished aviation careers marked by significant and obvious achievements beyond one specific accomplishment.

2004 TrulyVice Admiral Richard H. Truly, USN
Richard Truly's astronaut career included the Air Force Manned Orbiting Laboratory program and NASA's Apollo through Space Shuttle programs. He piloted the 747/Enterprise approach and landing tests in 1977. He lifted off in November 1981 as pilot aboard Columbia, establishing a world circular orbit altitude record. He commanded Challenger in 1983, the first Shuttle night launch and landing mission.

He was NASA Administrator from 1989-1992 and his aviation and space career in the US Navy and NASA spanned 35 years. A naval aviator, test pilot and astronaut, he logged over 7,500 flight hours and made over 300 carrier landings. He graduated in 1964 and then instructed at the USAF Aerospace Research Pilot School at Edwards.

Truly returned to NASA in 1986 after serving as the first commander of Naval Space Command, and led the Challenger accident investigation. He spearheaded the return to space for NASA, rebuilding the Shuttle program.

A member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots, the Astronaut Hall of Fame and a Golden Eagle, Truly's awards include the Presidential Citizen's Medal, SETP's Iven C. Kincheloe and James H. Doolittle Awards, two NASA Distinguished Service Medals and two Space Flight Medals, Defense Distinguished and Superior Service Medals, two Legions of Merit, Navy Distinguished Flying Cross, two Robert J. Collier Trophies, two Robert H. Goddard Memorial Trophies, Federation Aeronautique Internationale Gold Space Medal, Harmon International Trophy, and the Thomas D. White Space Trophy.

Established in 1990 by the Lancaster City Council, the Aerospace Walk of Honor celebrates test pilots who were associated with Edwards AFB. Recognition is awarded for distinguished aviation careers marked by significant and obvious achievements beyond one specific accomplishment.

2004 TymczyszynJoseph John "Tym" Tymczyszyn
Joseph J. Tymczyszyn enjoyed one of the most diverse flight test careers in history. He tested airline transports, military fighters, general aviation airplanes, helicopters and navigation systems. He headed FAA’s West Coast Supersonic Transport Office, and later flew into the wake turbulence of various airplanes and helicopters to determine safe separation distances between aircraft. Best known as the FAA Project Pilot on America’s first two jet transports, the Boeing 707 and Douglas DC-8, he served as the 8th President of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots, and helped found its scholarship program for descendents of deceased test pilots.

He was an instructor pilot and later an engineering pilot in the Pacific during World War II. Finishing his aeronautical engineering degree at the University of Washington, Tymczyszyn joined the CAA, attended USAF Test Pilot School, and spent most of his career in FAA’s Western Region. The major milestones of his flight test achievements resulted from flights at Edwards Air Force Base. He flight tested the Boeing 707, 747, the Douglas DC-3 through 10, the Convair 340 through 990, all Lockheed Constellation models, and the Electra. He tested hundreds of general aviation aircraft, and certified the popular Robinson R-22 helicopter.

Tymczyszyn received the first SETP Iven C. Kincheloe Award with James Gannett for flight testing the Boeing 707. He also received the Octave Chanute Award, Richard Hansford Burroughs Flight Safety Award, Flight Safety Foundation Award, and Aviation Week and Space Technology Laurels.

Established in 1990 by the Lancaster City Council, the Aerospace Walk of Honor celebrates test pilots who were associated with Edwards AFB. Recognition is awarded for distinguished aviation careers marked by significant and obvious achievements beyond one specific accomplishment.