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The Smell of Kerosene: A Test Pilot's…
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The Smell of Kerosene: A Test Pilot's Odyssey (edition 2005)

by Donald L. Mallick, Peter W. Merlin

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The Smell of Kerosene tells the dramatic story of a NASA research pilot who logged over 11,000 flight hours in more than 125 types of aircraft. Donald Mallick gives the reader fascinating first- hand descriptions of his early naval flight training, carrier operations, and his research flying career with NASA and its predecessor agency, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). Mallick joined the NACA as a research pilot at the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory at Hampton, Virginia, where he flew modified helicopters and jets, and witnessed the NACA's evolution into the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. After transferring to the NASA Flight Research Center (now NASA Dryden Flight Research Center) at Edwards, California, he became involved with projects that further pushed the boundaries of aerospace technology. These included the giant delta-winged XB-70 supersonic research airplane, the wingless M2-F1 lifting body vehicle, and the triple-sonic YF-12 Blackbird. Mallick also test flew the Lunar Landing Research Vehicle (LLRV) and helped develop techniques used in training astronauts to land on the Moon. This book puts the reader in the pilot's seat for a "day at the office" unlike any other. Donald L. Mallick joined the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics as a research pilot in 1957. He retired in 1987 as Deputy Chief of the Aircraft Operations Division at NASA Dryden Flight Research Center. During his distinguished career, Mallick logged over 11,000 flight hours in more than 125 different types of aircraft. He is a Fellow of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots. Peter W. Merlin has worked as an archivist in the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center History Office since June 1997. He has published Mach 3]: NASA/USAF YF-12 Flight Research, 1969-1979 (NASA SP-2001-4525) as well as many articles on aerospace history.… (more)
Member:Falcon124
Title:The Smell of Kerosene: A Test Pilot's Odyssey
Authors:Donald L. Mallick
Other authors:Peter W. Merlin
Info:University Press of the Pacific (2005), Paperback, 268 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
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The Smell of Kerosene: A Test Pilot's Odyssey by Donald L. Mallick

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Interesting bio of a NACA/NASA test pilot who was blessed with being in the right place at the right time. With a flight career that covered the SNJ to the XB-70, Mr. Mallick flew everything from the exotic to the mundane. There is a fair amount of "between the lines" commentary in the book as well. The chapters covering the NACA to NASA transition are worth paying extra attention to and could be perceived as a harbinger of what NASA has become today.
I would have enjoyed reading a bit more about the General Aviation flight testing he was involved in,especially because he flew some aircraft that had less than safe reputations along with the Wing Derringer but I am probably in the minority.
Other than a few oblique comments such as "the Seventies were turbulent times." Discussion about politics and the general take over by and orientation towards space flight is generally minimal. In my opinion Mr. Mallick has been very generous towards NASA in what he has not discussed, instead remaining focused for the most part on his career and the aircraft he flew.
Highly recommended for those with an interest in Test Flight, Aviation History, and the history of the NASA Lifting Body Program. ( )
  jetcal1 | Mar 9, 2019 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Donald L. Mallickprimary authorall editionscalculated
Merlin, Peter W.secondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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