These photographs are of Test Pilots,Engineers,and various research and production aircraft flown on test flights mostly from the late 1940's through to the present day.
Most of these have been kindly signed by those depicted
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Ralph 'Dixie' Donnell 1921-1967
Ralph H. Donnell was from Greensboro, NC (thus his nickname Dixie),. He earned a degree in Aeronautical Engineering from NC State, and was hired by Grumman as an engineer. During WW2 he flew P-51 Mustangs, crashing into debris from a Luftwaffe fighter that he had just shot down over Munich. His wing was severed and he bailed out, only to be captured and interned in Stalag Luft 3 for the remainder of the war. Following his discharge, Dixie was rehired by Grumman, but as a Test Pilot. He made the first flight of the Grumman YAO-1AF Mohawk on 14 April 1959 and the first flight of the F-111B flight on the 18th May 1965 alongside Ernie Von Der Heyden