Encyclopedia Astronautica
McKay



mckay.jpg
McKay
McKay, John Barron (1922-1975) American NASA test pilot, 1952-1971. Flew into space on X-15 Flight 150, but seriously injured in an X-15 crash in 1962.

Born in Portsmouth, Virginia; married with eight children. US Navy pilot in World War II. Received a BS from Virginia Polytechnic Institute in 1950. He joined NACA in 1951 as a D-558 and X-1 test pilot. Project pilot on F-100, F-102, F-104, F-107 NACA test programs before being assigned as third NASA X-15 pilot on October 25, 1961. Made 29 X-15 flights, reaching an altitude of 90 km and obtaining astronaut wings, before being seriously injured in the 1962 X-15 crash near Lancaster, California. Died of liver damage stemming from his crash injuries at the age of 52.

NASA Official Biography

John B. McKay was one of the first pilots assigned to the X-15 flight research program at NASA's Flight Research Center, Edwards, Calif. As a civilian research pilot and aeronautical engineer, he made 30 flights in X-15s from October 28, 1960, until September 8, 1966. His peak altitude was 295,600 feet, and his highest speed was 3863 mph (Mach 5.64).

McKay was with the NACA and NASA from February 8,1951 until October 5, 1971 and specialized in high-speed flight research programs. He began as an NACA intern, but assumed pilot status on July 11, 1952. In addition to the X-l5, he flew such experimental aircraft as the D-558-1, D-558-2, X-lB, and the X-lE. He has also served as a research pilot on flight programs involving the F-100, F-102, F-104, and the F-107.

Born on December 8, 1922, in Portsmouth, Va., McKay graduated from Virginia Polytechnic Institute in 195O with a Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical Engineering. During World War II he served as a Navy pilot in the Pacific Theater, earning the Air Medal and Two Clusters, and a Presidential Unit Citation.

McKay wrote several technical papers, and was a member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, as well as the Society of Experimental Test Pilots.

He died on April 27, 1975.

Characteristics

Selected: 1960. Departed: 1962. Departed Date: 1962-01-01. Cause of Death: Liver failure stemming from X-15 crash injuries.. Marital Status: Married. Children: Eight children. Education: Virginia Poly.

Birth Place: Portsmouth, Virginia.
Status: Deceased.


Born: 1922.12.08.
Died: 1975.04.15.
Spaceflights: 1 .
Total time in space: 0.0083 days.

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • Man-In-Space-Soonest - 1958 To provide pilots for the USAF Project 7969 MISS "Man-In-Space-Soonest" manned spacecraft. On 25 June 1958 the Air Force completed a preliminary astronaut selection for the project. The list was prioritized according to the weight of the pilot due to the low payload available. The 150-175 pound group consisted of test pilots Bob or Robert Walker, Scott Crossfield, Neil Armstrong, and Robert Rushworth. In the 175 to 200 pound group were William Bridgeman, Alvin White, Iven Kincheloe, Robert White, and Jack McKay. It was the first astronaut selection in history. More...

Associated Flights
  • Man-In-Space-Soonest On 25 June 1958 preliminary astronaut selection for the Man-In-Space Soonest project was made. The project was cancelled when NASA was formed in and took responsibility for all manned space flight on 1 August 1958. More...
  • X-15 Flight 150 Crew: McKay. Maximum Speed - 6005 kph. Maximum Altitude - 90099 m. Astronaut wings flight (USAF definition). More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • USN American agency overseeing development of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. USN Joint Task Force 7, USA. More...

Bibliography
  • NASA Dryden Flight Research Center Web Site, Web Address when accessed: here.

McKay Chronology


1954 August 29 - .
  • X-1B Flight 1 - . Crew: McKay. Payload: X-1B flight 12. Nation: USA. Related Persons: McKay. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-1B. Summary: NACA flight 2. Cabin-pressure regulator malfunction causes inner canopy to crack; only low-speed, low-altitude maneuvers made..

1956 August 14 - .
  • X-1B Flight 12 - . Crew: McKay. Payload: X-1B flight 11. Nation: USA. Related Persons: McKay. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-1B. Summary: NACA flight 1. Pilot check; nose landing gear failed on landing, minor damage..

1956 September 7 - .
  • X-1B Flight 13 - . Crew: McKay. Payload: X-1B flight 13. Nation: USA. Related Persons: McKay. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-1B. Summary: NACA flight 3. Speed run to 17080 m and mach 1.8. Limited heating data gathered..

1956 September 18 - .
  • X-1B Flight 14 - . Crew: McKay. Payload: X-1B flight 14. Nation: USA. Related Persons: McKay. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-1B. Summary: NACA flight 4. Glide flight, due to erratic engine start..

1956 September 28 - .
  • X-1B Flight 15 - . Crew: McKay. Payload: X-1B flight 15. Nation: USA. Related Persons: McKay. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-1B. Summary: NACA flight 5. Three-chamber engine run to 18300 m to obtain heating data..

1957 January 3 - .
  • X-1B Flight 16 - . Crew: McKay. Payload: X-1B flight 16. Nation: USA. Related Persons: McKay. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-1B. Summary: NACA flight 6. Mach 1.94 aerodynamic heating investigation (end of heating program)..

1957 May 22 - .
  • X-1B Flight 17 - . Crew: McKay. Payload: X-1B flight 17. Nation: USA. Related Persons: McKay. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-1B. Summary: NACA flight 7. Control pulses at mach 1.45 at 18300 m. Flight for instrumentation check..

1957 June 7 - .
  • X-1B Flight 18 - . Crew: McKay. Payload: X-1B flight 18. Nation: USA. Related Persons: McKay. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-1B. Summary: NACA flight 8. Supersonic maneuvers to mach 1.5 at 18300 m to determine the dynamic and static stability and control characteristics..

1957 June 24 - .
  • X-1B Flight 19 - . Crew: McKay. Payload: X-1B flight 19. Nation: USA. Related Persons: McKay. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-1B. Summary: NACA flight 9. Supersonic maneuvers to mach 1.5 at 18300 m to determine the dynamic and static stability and control characteristics..

1957 July 11 - .
  • X-1B Flight 20 - . Crew: McKay. Payload: X-1B flight 20. Nation: USA. Related Persons: McKay. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-1B. Summary: NACA flight 10. Aborted after launch, indication of open landing-gear door. Propellants jettisoned, completed as a glide flight..

1957 July 19 - .
  • X-1B Flight 21 - . Crew: McKay. Payload: X-1B flight 21. Nation: USA. Related Persons: McKay. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-1B. Summary: NACA flight 11. Mach 1.65 at 18,300 m. Control pulses, sideslips, and 2 g wind-up turn..

1957 July 29 - .
  • X-1B Flight 22 - . Crew: McKay. Payload: X-1B flight 22. Nation: USA. Related Persons: McKay. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-1B. Summary: NACA flight 12. Enlarged wing tips installed to simulate wing tips to be used with reaction controls. Mach 1.55 at 18,300 m..

1957 August 8 - .
  • X-1B Flight 23 - . Crew: McKay. Payload: X-1B flight 23. Nation: USA. Related Persons: McKay. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-1B. Summary: NACA flight 13. Stability and control investigation. Mach 1.5 at 18300 m, accelerated maneuvers, control pulses, and pull-ups..

1958 June 25 - .
  • Man-In-Space-Soonest - . Crew: Walker, Joseph; Crossfield; Armstrong; Rushworth; Bridgeman; White, Alvin; Kincheloe; White, Robert; McKay. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Walker, Joseph; Crossfield; Armstrong; Rushworth; Bridgeman; White, Alvin; Kincheloe; White, Robert; McKay. Agency: USAF. Flight: Man-In-Space-Soonest. Spacecraft: Project 7969. In a US Air Force briefing a preliminary astronaut selection for the Man-In-Space Soonest project is made. The list consisted of USAF test pilots Robert Walker, Scott Crossfield, Neil Armstrong, Robert Rushworth, William Bridgeman, Alvin White, Iven Kincheloe, Robert White, and Jack McKay. This was the first preliminary astronaut selection in history. The project was cancelled when NASA was formed in and took responsibility for all manned space flight on 1 August 1958. Prospective contractors estimated it would take from 12 to 30 months to put the first American in orbit. In retrospect the orbital flight portion of NASA's Mercury program was paced by the availability of the Atlas booster. Therefore it is unlikely Man-in-Space-Soonest would have put an American in orbit any earlier than Mercury.

1958 September 19 - .
  • X-1E Flight 23 - . Crew: McKay. Payload: X-1E flight 23. Nation: USA. Related Persons: McKay. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-1E. Summary: NACA flight 22. Checkout flight for John McKay..

1958 September 30 - .
  • X-1E Flight 24 - . Crew: McKay. Payload: X-1E flight 24. Nation: USA. Related Persons: McKay. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-1E. Summary: NACA flight 23. Check of low-speed stability and control..

1958 October 16 - .
  • X-1E Flight 25 - . Crew: McKay. Payload: X-1E flight 25. Nation: USA. Related Persons: McKay. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-1E. Summary: NACA flight 24. First flight with elevated chamber pressure; cut short because overcast obscured pilot's view of lakebed..

1958 October 28 - .
  • X-1E Flight 26 - . Crew: McKay. Payload: X-1E flight 26. Nation: USA. Related Persons: McKay. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-1E. Summary: NACA flight 25. Elevated chamber pressure; good stability and control data gathered..

1958 November 6 - .
  • X-1E Flight 27 - . Crew: McKay. Payload: X-1E flight 27. Nation: USA. Related Persons: McKay. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-1E. Summary: NACA flight 26. Elevated chamber pressure; low-altitude and low-mach investigation of U-Deta fuel. Last NASA flight..

1975 April 15 - .
  • Death of John Barron McKay at Lancaster, California. Liver failure stemming from X-15 crash injuries. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: McKay. Summary: American NASA test pilot, 1952-1971. Flew into space on X-15 Flight 150, but seriously injured in an X-15 crash in 1962..

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