In this update: Steering programmed; Meet Colonel Jerauld Gentry, USAF

Today’s Featured Sponsors

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Today Cory Mitchell, Ed Shadle, Les Holm, Lars Pedersen, Steve Wallace and Keith Zanghi met on Saturday to prepare the Eagle for this summer’s test session.  Paul Dries and Von Armstrong are working virtual this weekend.

Phil Koski

Today’s guest was Phil Koski.  Phil is a longtime friend of Lars Pedersen from Longview WA.  Phil donates his time to the Sons of Norway, helping the community.  When Ed heard Phil drives trucks for a living he went into recruitment mode.  The BLM’s magazine “Northwest” features a story of the Eagle, written by Toshio Suzuki in the Spring 2017 issue.


Les Holm and Steve Wallace

Steve Wallace

Les and Steve were busy programming the new steering system.  With Paul Dries working virtual from Abbotsford BC, Steve and Les were communicating by phone in order to program the steering system.


Keith Zanghi

We thank Central Welding Supplies for their support

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

Today’s Featured Pilot

Colonel Jerauld Gentry, USAF (deceased)

The Pilots of 56-0763

Colonel  Jerauld Gentry USAF

The North American Eagle ™ as F-104 SN 56-0763 was very connected to the Space program.  In previous updates, we talked about how the F-104 had similar flight characteristics of the X-15 Rocket Plane.  General Joe Engle USAF (ret) flew 56-0763 and eventually the Space Shuttle.

This week we highlight Air Force Colonel Jerauld Gentry, who flew the plane that was the direct descendent to the space shuttle: The NASA Lifting Body.  Gentry made a total of 30 lifting body flights in 5 different vehicles; the M2-F1 (2 flights), M2-F2 (5 flights), M2-F3 (1 flight), HL-10 (9 flights), and X-24A (13 flights). While three other pilots had more flights (Milt Thompson with 51, John Manke with 42, and Bill Dana with 31), Gentry was the only lifting-body pilot to fly 5 different lifting body vehicles in the program.

After his NASA career, he was assigned to the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing in 1971.  He flew over 200 combat missions in the F-4 over Vietnam.  He was an extraordinary test pilot and combat veteran, achieving promotions to the rank of Colonel as he served his country; awarded the Silver Star, Legion of Merit, and the Distinguished Flying Cross, to name a few.  He also was a part of the North American Eagle story.  On November 29, 1966, he flew 56-0763 as CHASE 3.

Colonel Gentry was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery in 2003 at the age of 67 with full military honors.

M2-F1 and M2-F2 Lifting Body

X-24A, M2-F3, and HL-10 Lifting Body

M2-F2 with F-104

M2-F2 Carried Aloft by B-52 003 (Balls Three)

M2-F2 Lifting Body 


L-R Air Force pilot Major Jerauld Gentry and NASA pilots John Manke and William H. Dana. Kneeling is Air Force pilot Major Cecil Powell.  Gentry and Dana both flew 56-0763

Bill Dana on the left, and Jerauld Gentry in the cockpit horsing around!  HL-10

Click on the photo above for a short video on the NASA Lifting Body

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