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NASA Dryden Flight Research Center

With Help From the Angel on the Christmas Tree

21 Oct 2011, 21:01 UTC
With Help From the Angel on the Christmas Tree
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

By Joseph LapierreFormer Dryden EngineerI worked at Dryden back in the sixties. For a while I was research project engineer on X-15-3. As I was looking through the Dryden Web pages the other day for a way to contact a test pilot, I got distracted by the research aircraft photo gallery. I searched through it to find aircraft I remembered and found a T-33 in the list. When I looked at the cockpit view I noticed a small white ball in the upper right corner of the instrument panel. I was shocked! I remember why that ball was there – because I’m the one who put it there.Back in 1962, [Dryden engineer] Roger Winblade was touring the country on a hiring tour. He stopped at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, where I was about to graduate. I first found out he was there when a classmate told me Roger wanted to see me in the cafeteria. Roger explained to me he had found out from the dean of the physics department that I had been a pilot and wanted to hire me. He was head of the display section in the research division. He had a problem convincing test ...

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