Encyclopedia Astronautica
Walker, Joseph



iwalkerj.jpg
Walker Joseph
Credit: www.spacefacts.de - www.spacefacts.de
Walker, Joseph Albert (1921-1966) American NACA/NASA test pilot 1945-1966. Flew D-558, X-1, X-3, X-4, and X-5, and into space on X-15 Flights 77, 90, and 91. Killed in 1968 when the F-104 he was flying collided with the XB-70 during a photo opportunity.

Born in Washington Pennsylvania; married, four children. Received BA degree in physics in 1942 from Washington and Jefferson College. Joined Army Air Force and flew P-38's in World War II. Joined NACA in March 1945 and served as project pilot on D-558, X-1, X-3, X-4, and X-5 before being assigned chief X-15 pilot for NASA. Obtained both USAF and FAI astronaut wings on record 108 km flight. After X-15 tested LLRV lunar module trainer. Killed when F-104 he was flying in formation with XB-70 number 2 became caught in a vortex, went out of control, colliding with the XB-70 and resulting in the destruction of both aircraft.

Official NASA Biography

Joseph A. Walker was a Chief Research Pilot at the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center during the mid-1960s. He joined the NACA in March 1945, and served as project pilot at the Edwards flight research facility on such pioneering research projects as the D-558-1, D-558-2, X-1, X-3, X-4, X-5, and the X-15. He also flew programs involving the F-100, F-101, F-102, F-104, and the B-47.

Walker made the first NASA X-15 flight on March 25, 1960. He flew the research aircraft 24 times and achieved its fastest speed and highest altitude. He attained a speed of 4,104 mph (Mach 5.92) during a flight on June 27, 1962, and reached an altitude of 354,300 feet on August 22, 1963 (his last X-15 flight).

He was the first man to pilot the Lunar Landing Research Vehicle (LLRV) that was used to develop piloting and operational techniques for lunar landings.

Walker was born February 20, 1921, in Washington, Pa. He lived there until graduating from Washington and Jefferson College in 1942, with a B.A. degree in Physics. During World War II he flew P-38 fighters for the Air Force, earning the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with Seven Oak Clusters.

Walker was the recipient of many awards during his 21 years as a research pilot. These include the 1961 Robert J. Collier Trophy, 1961 Harmon International Trophy for Aviators, the 1961 Kincheloe Award and 1961 Octave Chanute Award. He received an honorary Doctor of Aeronautical Sciences degree from his alma mater in June of 1962. Walker was named Pilot of the Year in 1963 by the National Pilots Association.

He was a charter member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots, and one of the first to be designated a Fellow. He was fatally injured on June 8, 1966, in a mid-air collision between an F-104 he was piloting and the XB-70.

Characteristics

Selected: 1960. Departed Date: 1963-08-22. Cause of Death: Killed in collision of F-104 chase plane with XB-70 bomber.. Marital Status: Married. Children: Four children. Education: Washington and Jefferson.

Birth Place: Washington, Pennsylvania.
Status: Deceased.


Born: 1921.02.20.
Died: 1966.06.08.
Spaceflights: 3 .
Total time in space: 0.0223 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 77 Crew: Walker Joseph. First civilian flight above 80 km. Maximum Speed - 5917 kph. Maximum Altitude - 82810 m. Second astronaut wings flight (USAF definition). More...
  • X-15 Flight 90 Crew: Walker Joseph. First rocketplane to reach space (FAI defintion). Maximum Speed - 5969 kph. Maximum Altitude - 106010 m. Astronaut wings flight. 80 cm diameter balloon dragged on 30 m line to measure air density. Fourth astronaut wings flight (USAF definition). More...
  • X-15 Flight 91 Crew: Walker Joseph. Unofficial world altitude record. Maximum Speed - 6105 kph. Maximum Altitude - 107960 m. Second X-15 astronaut flight (FAI definition); fifth astronaut wings flight (USAF definition). More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • NASA American agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, USA, USA. More...

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

Walker, Joseph Chronology


1951 August 27 - .
  • XS-1 Flight 153 - . Crew: Walker, Joseph. Payload: XS-1 # 2 flight 72. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Walker, Joseph. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: XS-1. Summary: NACA flight 52. Pilot familiarization. Reached mach 1.16 at 13420 m during four-cylinder run..

1951 October 23 - .
  • XS-1 Flight 155 - . Crew: Walker, Joseph. Payload: XS-1 # 2 flight 74. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Walker, Joseph. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: XS-1. Summary: NACA flight 54. Engine cut out after two ignition attempts; propellants jettisoned and flight completed as glide flight. Plane subsequently grounded because of possibility of fatigue failure of nitrogen spheres..

1955 July 20 - .
  • X-1A Flight 25 - . Crew: Walker, Joseph. Payload: X-1A flight 25. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Walker, Joseph. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-1A. Summary: NACA flight 1. Familiarization. Walker attained mach 1.45 at 13725 m. Noted severe aileron buzz at mach 0.90 to 0.92..

1955 August 8 - .
  • X-1A Flight 26 - . Crew: Walker, Joseph. Payload: X-1A flight 26. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Walker, Joseph. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-1A. Summary: Planned at NACA flight 2. Shortly before launch from B-29, X-1A suffered low-order explosion, later traced to detonation of Ulmer leather gaskets. Walker exited into B-29 bomb bay..

1955 December 12 - .
  • X-1E Flight 2 - . Crew: Walker, Joseph. Payload: X-1E flight 2. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Walker, Joseph. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-1E. Summary: NACA flight 1. Glide flight for pilot check-out and low speed evaluation..

1955 December 15 - .
  • X-1E Flight 3 - . Crew: Walker, Joseph. Payload: X-1E flight 3. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Walker, Joseph. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-1E. Summary: NACA flight 2. First powered flight. Engine ran at excessive pressure, 4 overspeeds of turbopump and 2 automatic shutdowns. Power terminated by pilot..

1956 April 3 - .
  • X-1E Flight 4 - . Crew: Walker, Joseph. Payload: X-1E flight 4. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Walker, Joseph. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-1E. Summary: NACA flight 3. Mach 0.85 at 9150 m. Damping characteristics good; number 1 cylinder failed to fire..

1956 April 30 - .
  • X-1E Flight 5 - . Crew: Walker, Joseph. Payload: X-1E flight 5. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Walker, Joseph. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-1E. Summary: NACA flight 4. Turbopump did not start; no engine operation..

1956 May 11 - .
  • X-1E Flight 6 - . Crew: Walker, Joseph. Payload: X-1E flight 6. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Walker, Joseph. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-1E. Summary: NACA flight 5. Wind-up turns to Clmas from mach 0.69 to 0.84; also control pulses..

1956 June 7 - .
  • X-1E Flight 7 - . Crew: Walker, Joseph. Payload: X-1E flight 7. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Walker, Joseph. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-1E. Summary: NACA flight 6. Mach 1.55 at 13725 m. Longitudinal and lateral trim changes in transonic region found annoying to pilot..

1956 June 18 - .
  • X-1E Flight 8 - . Crew: Walker, Joseph. Payload: X-1E flight 8. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Walker, Joseph. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-1E. Summary: NACA flight 7. Mach 1.74 at 18300 m. Damaged on landing..

1956 July 26 - .
  • X-1E Flight 9 - . Crew: Walker, Joseph. Payload: X-1E flight 9. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Walker, Joseph. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-1E. Summary: NACA flight 8. Subsonic because cylinders 3 and 4 world not fire..

1956 August 31 - .
  • X-1E Flight 10 - . Crew: Walker, Joseph. Payload: X-1E flight 10. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Walker, Joseph. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-1E. Summary: NACA flight 9. Mach 2.0 at 18300 m. Sideslips, pulses, rolls..

1956 September 14 - .
  • X-1E Flight 11 - . Crew: Walker, Joseph. Payload: X-1E flight 11. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Walker, Joseph. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-1E. Summary: NACA flight 10. Mach 2.1 at 18910 m. Stabilizer, rudder, and aileron pulses..

1956 September 20 - .
  • X-1E Flight 12 - . Crew: Walker, Joseph. Payload: X-1E flight 12. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Walker, Joseph. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-1E. Summary: NACA flight 11. Brief engine power only; flight aborted, unspecified engine malfunction..

1956 October 3 - .
  • X-1E Flight 13 - . Crew: Walker, Joseph. Payload: X-1E flight 13. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Walker, Joseph. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-1E. Summary: NACA flight 12. Only 60-sec rocket operation; intermittent pump operation. Flight aborted, turbopump and engine replaced..

1956 November 20 - .
  • X-1E Flight 14 - . Crew: Walker, Joseph. Payload: X-1E flight 14. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Walker, Joseph. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-1E. Summary: NACA flight 13. No engine operation, ignition failure due to lack of manifold pressure..

1957 April 25 - .
  • X-1E Flight 15 - . Crew: Walker, Joseph. Payload: X-1E flight 15. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Walker, Joseph. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-1E. Summary: NACA flight 14. Mach 1.71 at 20435 m. Aileron and rudder pulses..

1957 May 15 - .
  • X-1E Flight 16 - . Crew: Walker, Joseph. Payload: X-1E flight 16. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Walker, Joseph. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-1E. Summary: NACA flight 15. Mach 2.0 at 22,265 m. Aileron pulses and rolls, sideslips, and wind-up turns. Plane severely damaged upon landing..

1957 September 19 - .
  • X-1E Flight 17 - . Crew: Walker, Joseph. Payload: X-1E flight 17. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Walker, Joseph. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-1E. Summary: NACA flight 16. Planned mach number not attained, loss of power during pushover from climb..

1957 October 8 - .
  • X-1E Flight 18 - . Crew: Walker, Joseph. Payload: X-1E flight 18. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Walker, Joseph. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-1E. Summary: NACA flight 17. Mach 2.24..

1958 May 14 - .
  • X-1E Flight 19 - . Crew: Walker, Joseph. Payload: X-1E flight 19. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Walker, Joseph. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-1E. Summary: NACA flight 18. First flight with ventral fins; longitudinal and lateral stability and control maneuvers. Engine airstart made at 21,350 m..

1958 June 10 - .
  • X-1E Flight 20 - . Crew: Walker, Joseph. Payload: X-1E flight 20. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Walker, Joseph. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-1E. Summary: NACA flight 19. Flight aborted after only 1 cylinder of engine fired. Plane damaged on landing..

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 10 - .
  • X-1E Flight 21 - . Crew: Walker, Joseph. Payload: X-1E flight 21. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Walker, Joseph. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-1E. Summary: NACA flight 20. Stability and control investigation with ventral fins..

1958 September 17 - .
  • X-1E Flight 22 - . Crew: Walker, Joseph. Payload: X-1E flight 22. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Walker, Joseph. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-1E. Summary: NACA flight 21. Stability and control with ventral fins and a new stabilizer bell crank permitting greater stabilizer travel..

1966 June 8 - .
  • Test Pilot Joseph Albert Walker dies at age of 45 -- Killed in collision of F-104 chase plane with XB-70 bomber. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Walker, Joseph. Summary: American NACA/NASA test pilot 1945-1966. Flew D-558, X-1, X-3, X-4, and X-5, and into space on X-15 Flights 77, 90, and 91. Killed in 1968 when the F-104 he was flying collided with the XB-70 during a photo opportunity..

Home - Browse - Contact
© / Conditions for Use