This article first appeared in the November 1971 Flight Test News.

Los Angeles

Following some “sustenance” and prime rib at the Los Alamitos Naval Air Station, a report on the National Business Meeting and Symposium was presented by delegate Roger Jones and attendee H. Wasinger. Major probabilities, with obvious benefits, include extending the term of office to two years for next year’s National Officers and adjusting the membership to a common annual renewal date. The Symposium was a success and plans were laid for the North Texas Chapter to sponsor a double theme symposium next year (see page 1). Our outgoing president urged that the Los Angeles Chapter be represented.

The new officers were presented and incoming president, James Murray, expressed his feelings that our main goal should be to make this chapter truly the Los Angeles Chapter. He then introduced our guest speaker, Mr. Eniar Enevoldson, holder of the DIAMOND C. Award, and his wife who is also a qualified sailplane pilot.

Mr. Enevoldson, an Engineering Test Pilot (NASA-EAFB) and member of the Soaring Society of America, presented “Sailplanes and Soaring – A Test Pilot’s View,” utilizing general slides on soaring to create the mood, and data slides of flight testing results to describe sailplane performance. These data were accumulated by Mr. Paul Bikle, recently retired Director of NASA Flight Research Center at Edwards AFB, on his T-6 sailplane. This work was done, as part of a hobby, to check his craft’s performance against manufacturer’s data and to further evaluate the design utilizing tuft studies. Extensive airspeed calibration and static relocation was undertaken to qualify his T-6 as a pacer to evaluate other types of sailplanes.

To those of us unfamiliar with soaring, there was a noticeable lack of specific range, and thrust required and available curves! Such phrases as “wing waviness,” “minimum rate of sink,” and “tow plane method of airspeed calibrating,” pointed out some of the basic differences in testing sailplanes. The speaker explained that MAX L/D is not all there is to it. Optimum climb becomes a function of minimum rate of sink occurring an airspeed that results in a turn radius small enough to stay in a thermal. Lift is important if one only wants to circle over the field, but to traverse cross-country the optimum becomes a guess, similar to the judgment required in sailboat racing. It may be better to glide slower to get to a stronger thermal which is further away than to glide faster to a weaker, closer thermal. In consideration of the simplicity of the instrumentation utilized, and the tightness of the data presented, a compliment should be extended to Mr. Bikle for his achievement as a test pilot/flight test engineer; especially upon learning that all of his data selection was done prior to reduction.

Contributed by R. W. Piwarzyk.


The Seattle Chapter continues as one of the most active centers of SFTE activity. A dinner meeting was held on October 28, 1971, at Sand Point Naval Air Station. The evening included a no host cocktail hour, dinner, and a distinguished guest speaker.

Mr W.E. Bachand, Chief Test Engineer, DC-1 0 Flight Programs, discussed the DC-10 flight test program. Mr Bachand received a B.E. (Aeronautical) degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1952. He joined Douglas’ Testing Division immediately after graduation and has been associated with flight testing ever since.

His initial assignments were as a Flight Test Engineer on the F4D (SKYRAY), the F5D and the A3D.

He switched to commercial flight testing in 1957 when he was assigned as a Flight Test Engineer on the first DC-8. In 1959 he was promoted to Group Engineer, responsible for all propulsion and mechanical testing on the DC-8.

On the DC-9 program, he was Assistant Test Project Engineer in 1963 and promoted to DC-9 Test Program Manager in 1965.

In 1967 Douglas started their advanced planning on the DC-10 Airbus. At this time Mr. Bachand was made Chief Test Engineer, DC-10 Flight Programs, a position he now holds.

The Seattle Chapter president, Mr H.B. Klopfenstein, reports that the original number of members in the Seattle area was 122. The official paid-up membership of the Chapter is now 21! Of the original 122, thirteen have left Seattle but are still active in the industry while another 20 have left the aerospace field. This leaves a potential of almost 70 previous members in the Seattle area.

Contributed by H.B. Klopfenstein.

North Texas

The Chapter is sponsoring the Third National Symposium (see page 1), and all members have been working on plans to make this the most worthwhile in the Society’s history. Questions concerning the meeting should be directed to J.A. Mangum.

In an effort to unify the efforts of the Chapter and provide each member the best services possible, three SFTE representatives have been named – one from each major aerospace company in the area. They are: Steve Schmidt – Bell; Lou Garrett – GD; and Jim Barrett – LTV & LTVE.

The programs committee has set the schedule through February 1972. The October meeting featured Roger R. Reed, Jr. (LTV), who presented his paper on Photogrammetrics. Others include:
November 18 – Certification of Aircraft by FAA
December 16 – Joe Mashman, V. P., Bell
January – Tour FAA Traffic Control Center
February – Tour General Dynamics Flight Test Facility.

This article first appeared in the November 1971 Flight Test News.

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