This article first appeared in the January 1972 Flight Test News.

Los Angeles

Contributed by Robert Piwarzyk.

The Los Angeles Chapter sponsored its 14th program in 28 months on January 11, 1972. Guest speaker Malcom Smith, Project Director, Northrup Institute of Technology, spoke on “Man-Powered Aircraft.”

‘The challenge of man-powered flight is one of the most fascinating realms remaining in the world of aviation and one of the most exciting efforts to date is being made at Northrup Institute of Technology. Mr. Smith reported on his team’s efforts to launch the first man-powered flight in the history of the United States. Hopefully, they will also meet the rugged requirements of the Kremer Competition and fly off with the $24,000 prize offered to the first aircraft powered by man which takes off under its own power and flies a measured mile on a figure eight course. Mr. Smith also presented a history of previous projects so that SFTE members could better judge the chances for’ success of the “Flycycle.”

The new chapter officers for 1971-72 are James F. Murray, President; Henning Anderson, VP; Robert Piwarzyk, Secretary; and Leslie Spengler, Treasurer. Mr. Murphy is encouraging inter-chapter communication, and is already working on joint Los Angeles/Antelope Valley projects. Other membership and financial resource ideas set forth by Murphy:
a. Student and faculty membership
b. Production of a film (edited from company donated footage) “Summarizing the Sixties in Flight Test” which could have commercial value and aid in promoting the Society.
c. Sale of SFTE stationery to the Chapters.
d. Arrangements with various publishers of flight test oriented books for a percentage of SFTE promoted sales.

Patuxent River

Mr. Danny Weddle has been named the outstanding project engineer for 1971 at the Naval Air Test Center. He is the fourth recipient of the coveted John E. Burdette Memorial Award established by Patuxent’s Society of Engineers and Scientists. The Award was created in memory of Mr. Burdette, a flight test engineer who was fatally injured in a helicopter test flight accident at Grand Forks AFB in 1968.

Mr. Weddle is a member of SFTE and has served as Treasurer of the Patuxent River Chapter. He delivered a paper at the 1970 Long Island Symposium, and is presently Treasurer of the Society of Flight Test Engineers.

Two of the three previous Award winners are SFTE members – Joseph Dunn in 1968 and F. Carl Raley in 1970. Mr. Weddle will receive $200, a personal plaque, and his name inscribed on a permanent plaque in the NATC Headquarters building.

Newly elected chapter officers are:
Don House – President
Nick Vagianos – Vice President
Roger Detrick – Secretary
Tom Galloway – Treasurer

North Texas

The North Texas Chapter held its final activity of 1971 on December 7th. Mr. Joseph Mashman spoke on his past association with experimental aircraft flight testing. Joseph Mashman is a Vice President and member of the corporate Staff of Textron’s Bell Helicopter Company. Long recognized as a foremost helicopter expert, Mashman has demonstrated helicopters on flights throughout the world. He has approximately 17,000 flight hours, of which over 11,000 hours have been in helicopters, and he remains active as one of the corporation’s test pilots – a responsibility he has retained since joining the company in June 1943.

Mashman was a fixed wing flier before World War II. He joined Bell as a test pilot, and among the many prototype military aircraft he flew was the first U. S. experimental jet plane – the Bell P-59.

When the company pioneered helicopter development during the war, Mashman was in on the ground floor, flying the earliest models. Since then he has demonstrated helicopters on five continents and is still traveling throughout the world to demonstrate Bell Helicopter products.

In the course of his travels, he has had the opportunity to evaluate helicopters manufactured by other firms, both in this country and abroad. In recent years, this has included helicopters manufactured by the Soviet Union – among these are included the giant passenger and heavy lift crane types.

Tagged “Joe Helicopter” by a magazine writer, Mashman has flown high-ranking military officers, U. S. cabinet members, foreign presidents and President Lyndon B. Johnson.

Contributed by Stephen Schmidt

This article first appeared in the January 1972 Flight Test News.

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