Status: Deceased; Active 1962-1963. Born: 1929-11-18. Died: 2004-05-07. Spaceflights: 1 . Total time in space: 0.0070 days. Birth Place: Noblesville, Indiana.
Joined the US Air Force in 1951; degrees from the USAF Institute of Technology. Ten years as a fighter pilot, then Test Pilot School at Edwards AFB. Selected as Dynasoar spaceplane astronaut in March 1962. After Dynasoar cancelled in 1963, assigned as an X-15 test pilot. Made sixteen X-15 flights, including an astronaut wings flight to 85.5 km and the fastest X-15 flight, Mach 6.7 (7270 km/hr). Served in Vietnam 1969-1970 (253 combat missions in the F-100). Headed flight test and development of the F-15 and F-16 at Edwards. Retired in 1982 with over 6,000 flight hours in over 100 aircraft types. He remained in the Palmdale area and pursued a career in local politics. Died of leukemia.
Pete Knight was born Noblesville, Indiana. He joined the US Air Force in 1951 and obtained degrees in mathematics and aeronautical engineering from the USAF Institute of Technology. He spent ten years as a fighter pilot before attending the Experimental Test Pilot School at Edwards AFB. He was selected as a pilot for the Dynasoar spaceplane project in March 1962. The Dynasoar was cancelled in 1963, and Knight was then assigned as an X-15 test pilot. He made sixteen X-15 flights, including an astronaut wings flight to 85.5 km and the fastest X-15 flight, Mach 6.7 (7270 km/hr). Knight served in Vietnam 1969-1970 (253 combat missions in the F-100). Following work in development and test flight of the F-15 fighter, he was made Vice Commander of the Air Force Test Center, Edwards AFB, in 1979. His work there included test of F-16 development aircraft. He retired in 1982 with over 6,000 flight hours in over 100 aircraft types.
He then pursued a career in local politics, being elected to the Palmdale City Council in 1984. After serving there and as Mayor of Palmdale, he became a California State Assemblymen in 1992. He was elected a State Senator in 1996 and continued in that position to the end of his life. Knight died of leukemia and was survived by his wife Gail, sons William, David and Stephen, four stepsons and 15 grandchildren.
The group was selected to provide pilots for X-20A Dyna-Soar spaceplane flights.. Qualifications: Assigned from pool of active USAF and NASA Test Pilots.. Ten test pilots (7 USAF, 3 NASA) underwent physical examinations in August 1959. Seven were secretly selected in April 1960.