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Contrails Over the Mojave: The Golden Age of Jet Flight Testing at Edwards Air Force Base

George J. Marrett September 19, 2018

In Contrails over the Mojave, Marrett takes off where author Tom Wolfe s The Right Stuff ended in 1963 Marrett started the Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards AFB only two weeks after the school s commander, Col Chuck Yeager, ejected from a Lockheed NF 104 trying to set a world altitude record He describes life as a space cadet experiencing 15 Gs in a human centrifIn Contrails over the Mojave, Marrett takes off where author Tom Wolfe s The Right Stuff ended in 1963 Marrett started the Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards AFB only two weeks after the school s commander, Col Chuck Yeager, ejected from a Lockheed NF 104 trying to set a world altitude record He describes life as a space cadet experiencing 15 Gs in a human centrifuge, zero G maneuvers in a KC 135 Vomit Comet, and a flight to 80,000 feet in a Lockheed F 104A Starfighter After graduating from Yeager s Charm School, he was assigned to the Fighter Branch of Flight Test Operations for three years There he flew the Air Force s latest fighter aircraft and chased other test aircraft like the X 15 rocket ship and the XB 70A Valkyrie as they set world speed and altitude records Marrett takes you into the cockpit with him going vertical in a T 38 Talon, high G maneuvering in an F 4C Phantom and wet runway landing tests in the accident prone F 111A Aardvark Marrett relives stories of crashes when his test pilot friends were killed He writes about Air Force test pilot Col Silver Fox Stephens setting a world speed record in the YF 12 Blackbird and Lockheed test pilot Bob Gilliland flying a single engine, minimum control speed stall in the SR 71 spy plane He recounts dead sticking a T 38 to a landing on Rogers Dry Lake after a twin engine failure and conducting dangerous tail hook barrier testing in a fighter jet without a canopy Marrett also writes about a UFO sighting in the night sky above the Mojave Desert, a mysterious sighting now referred to as The Edwards Encounter.


  • Title: Contrails Over the Mojave: The Golden Age of Jet Flight Testing at Edwards Air Force Base
  • Author: George J. Marrett
  • ISBN: 9781591145110
  • Page: 409
  • Format: Hardcover
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      Posted by:George J. Marrett
      Published :2018-09-19T22:24:56+00:00