Notes from the annual convention of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots at, of all places, Disneyland:
Most surprising news:
About a year ago, the US Air Force thought they had crashed an F-22 for roughly two minutes. The ground control room lost all contact while the aircraft dove toward the ocean at low altitude. Contact was lost because the F-22 experienced an extremely rare dual-engine flameout, which cut power to the telemetry systems. The F-22 test pilot had tried to make a hard manuever, but he was using the wrong trim setting and the engines didn't like it. The pilot regained control quickly enough to save the aircraft, but not probably nearly fast enough for the panicked souls in the control room, who were left staring at a blank screen.
Neil Armstrong showing rarely-seen NASA films from the mid-1960s on the lunar lander research vehicle and lunar lander test vehicle programs -- two of the most unsung and truly bizarre elements of the Apollo race. Think of flying a gantry crane with jet-engine-powered rocket thrusters. Despite several crashes, Armstrong said they were essential training tools for the Apollo pilots. Recognizing that NASA will seek to return to the moon after 2018, he added:"I hope the persons at the controls has a simulator that is at least as good as the LLRV and the LLTV."