December Roundtable to Feature Presentation on “Experimental Flight for the Ages & the SR-71”
Presented By: Lt. Col. Ed Schneider
During his 18-year career at Dryden, Schneider was best known for his work as project pilot for the F-18 High Alpha Research Vehicle (HARV) over a nine-year span, becoming the first pilot in history to conduct multi-axis thrust vectored flight.
Schneider also served as project pilot for the F-18 Systems Research Aircraft, the F-8 Digital Fly-By-Wire research program, the Boeing 720 Controlled Impact Demonstration, the F-14 Automatic Rudder Interconnect and Laminar Flow research programs, the F-104 Aeronautical Research and Microgravity programs, the F-15 ACTIVE, the SR-71 High Speed research project, the NASA B-52B launch aircraft, and the F-15B aeronautical testbed aircraft.
Schneider took on additional management functions during the latter part of his tenure at Dryden. From July 1998 through March 2000, Schneider served as the acting chief of the Flight Crew Branch in the Flight Operations Directorate, heading a team of 13 research pilots. He then served as deputy director of Flight Operations at NASA Dryden from March through September 2000. In this position, Schneider helped to manage the Avionics, Operations Engineering, Flight Crew, Quality Inspection, Aircraft Maintenance and Modification, and the Shuttle and Flight Operations Support branches.
Schneider transferred from Dryden to NASA’s Johnson Space Center, Houston, in September 2000 where he was a staff pilot and T-38 instructor pilot. When he left Dryden, he had accumulated more than 6,700 flight hours in 84 different models of aircraft and had flown “first flights” on five unique aircraft configurations. Schneider retired from NASA in 2004.
Prior to joining NASA, Schneider served on active duty with the U.S. Navy from 1968 to 1983. Following squadron service, he graduated from the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School, Patuxent River, MD, in 1973, as the youngest graduate in the school’s history. He then served as an engineering test pilot and test pilot school instructor at the Naval Air Test Center. He also served as the F-4 program manager, and senior test pilot at the Naval Aviation Depot, North Island, CA.
Schneider received his bachelor’s degree from Thomas More College, Crestview Hills, KY. He is a distinguished graduate of the U.S. Naval War College Command and Staff course and earned a master’s degree from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA, in 1978.
An active member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots since 1974, Schneider became Fellow of the Society in 1993 and served as its president in 1993-94. He also served as a director of the Warbirds of America. In 1996 he received the NASA Exceptional Service Medal and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Chanute Flight Award for the conduct of hazardous F-18 high-angle-of-attack flight testing. In 1998 he was inducted into the James B. Taylor Jr. Memorial Room and Carrier Aviation Test Pilot Hall of Honor on board the USS Yorktown (CV-10). Schneider was honored with the NASA Distinguished Service Medal in 2004, and was inducted into the Aerospace Walk of Honor in Lancaster, CA, in September 2005.