In this update:  Steering and wheel fairings.  Meet Colonel Pete Knight.

Today’s Featured Sponsor


Idex Decal  IMS Software Decals  PCB Decal New

Today Lars Pedersen, Von Armstrong, Trish Wood, Cory Mitchell, Les Holm, Steve Rima, Jason Mitchell, Andrew Kirk, Keith Zanghi and Ed Shadle spent another work day getting closer to the world land speed record with the North American Eagle®.  Omar Chramosta dropped by to see what’s  up.  Paul Dries was working virtual this weekend.


George Leone and his daughter

A very big thank you to George Leone.  George is the senior attorney at CITADEL PATENT LAW in Lakewood WA.   George has been working to safeguard our intellectual property assets.   In addition to WLSRA®, North American Eagle® is now a registered trademark through the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Cory Mitchell, Les Holm, and Steve Rima

Cory Mitchell and Steve Rima

Today the team continued work on the steering system.  We found a problem with the steering control unit that we will have to diagnose during the week.  Trish and Andrew worked on the parachutes.  Ed and Lars were busy in the trailer playing with the controller for the crane carriage.

Trish Wood  Playing Where’s Waldo with Andrew


Keith Zanghi

Keith spent the day modifying the mid-wheel fairings.  In the past, they have been giant dirt collectors with lips that retained the dirt in all the corners.  Today they were welded shut so dirt would no longer collect.

New Feature:  Those Magnificent Men and Their Flying Machines – Former Pilots of 56-0763

Today’s Featured Pilot

Colonel Pete Knight

The pilots of 56-0763

He was a test pilot who earned his astronaut wings, set aviation records, became a California State Senator,  and once flew 56-0763 at Edwards AFB.

Then Major William “Pete” Knight with the X-15

In 1967, Knight set a world aircraft speed record for manned aircraft by piloting the X-15A-2 to 4520 mph (Mach 6.72.) During 16 flights in the aircraft, he became one of only five pilots to earn their Astronaut  Wings by flying an airplane in space, reaching an altitude of 280,500 feet.

After 10 years of test flights at Edwards AFB, he went to battle in Southeast Asia in 1968, where he completed 253 combat missions in the F-100.  Following his combat tour, he resumed test flights as Program Director for the F-5 atWright-Pattersonn AFB, and later returned to Edwards AFB, serving as test pilot for the F-16 Fighting Falcon.

Serving 32 years in the USAF, over 6000 hours of cockpit time in more than 100 different aircraft, (including  our F-104 tail number 0763) Pete retired as a Colonel in 1982. Among his many honors, Colonel Knight has been awarded the Legion of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross, and the Air Medal.  He has been inducted into the National Aviation  Hall  of Fame and the International Hall of Fame.

His later years saw him as a city Mayor, California State Assemblyman and Senator.  He passed away on May 7, 2004.

Joe Engle, Bill Dana, Pete Knight and Scott Crossfield

Pete Knight in 56-0763 (F-104A) and Joe Engle in 56-6622 (X-15)


The X-15 is carried aloft under the wing of a B-52

Engle flew 16 missions in the X-15:  Three of those were above the 50-mile threshold, where space begins.  Ed noticed in the flight logs that Joe made an aileron roll with the word (unauthorized) in parentheses.  Ed asked him about it.  He responded that he was just “checking out the flight characteristics!”  A photo above is on the NASA website and was confirmed by Tony Landis;  Pete Knight flying 56-0763 and Joe Engle flying the X-15.

The edge of space

The Flight Research Center attempted the 200th X-15 flight, but it was cancelled when a snowstorm enveloped Edwards AFB. The pilot was (then) Major William J. “Pete” Knight. The X-15 never flew again.

Interview with Colonel Pete Knight. Click on photo above.

Sponsor Feature: S&S Turbine Services

S&S Turbine Services provides 45,500 horses for the Eagle

Dassault Systèmes offers 3DEXPERIENCE


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Click on image above and learn all about it

Dassault Leadership Team

Bernard Charlès and Phillip Forestier at COE

Mr. Charlès is the Vice Chairman , CEO and Mr. Forestier is the EVP, Global Affairs and Communities.  Dassault Systèmes is a long time sponsor of the North American Eagle® providing CATIA design Software solutions, working closely with IDEX Solutions.  We have made numerous appearances at COE Conventions in Las Vegas and Orlando, along with The European CATIA Forum in Paris France.

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LeMay Family Collection is a long time sponsor of the North American Eagle®

God Bless and Protect our Troops