James R.Gannett 1923-2006
Born Feb. 4, 1923, James Gannett first became interested in flying when his father gave him $1 to ride in a plane. He fell in love with aviation and earned a master's degree in aeronautical engineering from the University of Michigan.
James R. Gannett played an important role in the development of jet transports as an experimental test pilot with the Boeing Company on models from the 707 prototype up to and including the 767. He performed aircraft development testings, FAA Certification flights and developed training procedures, much of it at Edwards Air Force Base.
James Gannett was the project pilot on Boeing's Supersonic Transport program, performing flight deck and CRT instrument studies, as well as the project pilot on the E-3A AWACS program. He also represented Boeing on the Society of Automotive Engineers S-7 Committee, Flight Deck and Handling Qualities and was its Chairman from 1970-1981.
During Gannett's four years at Edwards Air Force Base, from 1950 to 1954, as a test pilot and flight test engineer, he flew the F-80, F-84, F-86, F-89, B-45, B-29, B-57 and B-36. He completed the USAF Test Pilot School after a nine month hiatus to fly the Douglas B-26 in 55 combat missions over Korea. He has logged more than 11,000 hours of flight time.
Gannett is a Fellow in the Society of Experimental Test Pilots and was honored by them with their Iven C. Kincheloe Award in 1958 for his work on the 707 jet transport certification. He also received the Richard H. Burroughs, Jr. Award for flight testing safety and efficiency in 1972, the Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Medal.