Gone West: WWII Test Pilot John W. Myers | Aero-News Network
Aero-News Network
RSS icon RSS feed
podcast icon MP3 podcast
Subscribe Aero-News e-mail Newsletter Subscribe

Airborne Unlimited -- Recent Daily Episodes

Episode Date

AMA Drone Report

Airborne-Monday

Airborne-Tuesday

Airborne-Wednesday

Airborne-Thursday

Airborne-Friday

Airborne-Unmanned w/AUVSI

Airborne On ANN

AMA 08.17.17

Airborne 08.14.17

Airborne 08.15.17

Airborne 08.16.17

Airborne 08.17.17

Airborne 08.18.17

Airborne-Unmanned 08.15.17

Airborne-YouTube

AMA 08.17.17

Airborne 08.14.17

Airborne 08.15.17

Airborne 08.16.17

Airborne 08.17.17

Airborne 08.18.17

Airborne-Unmanned 08.15.17

NEW!!! 2017 AirVenture Innovation Preview -- YouTube Presentation / Vimeo Presentation

Sun, Feb 03, 2008

Gone West: WWII Test Pilot John W. Myers

Legendary "Maestro" Flew Northrop Wing, P-61

John W. Myers, businessman and renowned World War II test pilot of extraordinary skill, has died. He was 96. Myers passed away in his sleep Thursday at his home in Beverly Hills, reports the Los Angeles Times.

"For us, he was a legend of legends," said hotel magnate and pilot Baron Hilton. "He was truly a pioneer and inspired many test pilots, who looked up to him as their idol."

General Chuck Yeager, Bell X-1 test pilot who met Myers in 1945, agreed. "He was about ten years older and a role model for all of us pilots," Yeager said. "We always looked up to him."

John Westcott Myers was born June 13, 1911. His father, Louis W. Myers, became Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court and partner in the law firm O'Melveny & Myers.

His passion for airplanes began in 1930 while still an undergraduate at Stanford University. He was a quick study. After a ground school course, he taught himself to fly, making both his first flight and first solo flight in one hop.

Myers graduated from Stanford with a political science major in 1933 and from Harvard Law in 1936. He entered his father's law practice, but was drawn away to become assistant general counsel at Lockheed. He occasionally ferried airplanes to New Orleans and New York for overseas delivery.

In 1941, he became chief engineering test pilot at Northrop, testing the first flying wing prototypes. While testing the XP-56 (above) in September 1943, the airplane displayed reasonable handling characteristics, but when a tire blew, it did backflips 75 feet in the air and crashed. Myers, in a polo helmet, was thrown clear and only suffered minor injuries.

In 1944, Myers traveled to the South Pacific to demonstrate the new P-61 "Black Widow" night fighter (below) for US Army Air Corps pilots, who were apprehensive about flying a fighter the size of a medium bomber.

It was during that time that Myers' extraordinary skill as a pilot earned him the nickname "Maestro." Charles Lindbergh flew with Myers in the P-61, and later praised his quick actions in saving them from a landing collision.

After the war, Myers was senior vice president and director for Northrop.

In 1954, he became chairman and principal stockholder of Pacific Airmotive Corporation, and in 1970, formed Airlite, an FBO at Long Beach Airport which he later sold to Toyota.

In the course of his career, Myers flew an incredible number of aircraft, and later purchased his own surplus P-61.

"He was such a gifted pilot, and would rather fly than anything else," said his friend Bill Tilley. At 89, Myers took Tilley flying in his Citation jet... and treated him to a barrel roll.

He flew the jet until he was 90, and his jet helicopter until he was 93.

Maestro Myers, we salute you.

FMI: www.smithsonian.org 

Advertisement

More News

ONE Aviation 'Canada' Program Unveils First Developmental Airframe

One Of A Series Of Sequential Prototypes Will Help Develop The Forthcoming EA-700 The ONE Aviation 'Canada' program, which ANN exclusively detailed last year for the first time, is>[...]

Garmin Receives EASA Approval For New GTN 650/750 Features

Tailored Specifically For European Operators Garmin is pleased to announce an expanded feature set, an enhanced user interface and additional wireless connectivity solutions for it>[...]

Airborne-Unmanned 08.15.17: Reno Drone Races, DoD CrackDown, Blue Angels v UAV?

Also: Kansas DOT-AirMap, CIRRUAS Drone Program, Daytona Beach PD UAS, Virginia UAS SAR The Reno Air Racing Association has signed an agreement with the MultiGP Drone Racing League >[...]

RFP: ANN Seeking New Site/Facility For Major Studio Upgrade

It's Official: Aggressive Upgrades For New Airborne Programs WILL Require New Digs It's been in development for years, but we're getting to a point where we think we can pull off s>[...]

Airborne 08.17.17: GA Sales Report, Google Lunar XPRIZE, ATC Privatization

Also: Gustave Whitehead, AirVenture Innovation Preview, Learjet 75, HondaJet, ALEA, Honeywell, F-5N GAMA has published second quarter GA airplane shipment and billings data. The ge>[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2017 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC