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Crossfield To Speak At Annual EAA Wright Memorial Banquet

October 6, 2005 – Aviation legend Scott Crossfield will be the featured guest speaker at EAA’s 3rd Annual Wright Brothers Memorial Banquet, slated for Saturday, December 17, at the EAA AirVenture Museum’s Eagle Hangar in Oshkosh. The dinner commemorates the 102nd anniversary of man’s first successful powered flight.

Crossfield made aeronautical history on November 20, 1953, when he became the first person to reach the speed of Mach 2, piloting the Douglas D-558-II Skyrocket research aircraft to more than 1,320 mph.

EAA President Tom Poberezny with Scott Crossfield at December 17, 2003’s Countdown to Kitty Hawk celebration in North Carolina. – Photo by Jim Koepnick

He was a test pilot for the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (precursor to NASA) for five years at Edwards Air Force Base, California. Crossfield then left to work for North American Aviation, contractor for the X-15 rocket plane. As a design consultant and test pilot, he helped guide the X-15’s development and flew its maiden flight in 1959. Crossfield flew the X-15 a total of 14 times, to a maximum altitude of more than 88,000 feet and a maximum speed of Mach 2.97 (1,960 mph).

Later in his career, Crossfield worked as an executive at Eastern Airlines and Hawker Siddley Aviation, and served as technical consultant to the U.S. Congress’ House Committee on Science and Technology on matters relating to civil aviation. His aviation awards include the Clifford B. Harmon Trophy (1960), the Collier Trophy (1961), and the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal (1993) for half a century of service to aviation and aeronautics.

During EAA’s Countdown to Kitty Hawk celebration in 2003, Crossfield led the pilot training for the 1903 Wright Flyer reproduction, which attempted to fly at Kill Devil Hills on December 17 that year.

Crossfield was inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame in 1983, the International Space Hall of Fame in 1988, and the Aerospace Walk of Honor in 1990. Crossfield’s autobiography, Always Another Dawn: The Story of a Rocket Test Pilot, was published in 1960.

Cost to attend this special event is $30 for EAA members, $35 for nonmembers. Reservations can be made by calling 920/426-6880. Cocktails and a cash bar will be open at 6:30 p.m. with dinner served at 7:00 p.m. and the keynote address to follow.

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