Retired NASA Dryden Flight Research Center test pilot Edward T. Schneider has been inducted into the Kentucky Aviation Hall of Fame.
Schneider was honored at a black-tie dinner held at the Aviation Museum of Kentucky in Lexington Nov. 12.
Schneider graduated from the U.S. Navy Test Pilot School in 1973, at age 24 the school's youngest graduate. Schneider went on to a career testing naval aircraft and making aviation history with NASA. Most of his flight test work was at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., where he flew precision flight tests in a number of experimental aircraft and test programs.
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 over a nine-year span, becoming the first pilot in history to conduct multi-axis thrust vectored flight.
Known as "Fast Eddie" by his friends and associates at NASA Dryden, Schneider also served as project pilot for numerous other specialized research or mission support aircraft and flight research projects at NASA Dryden, including the triple-sonic SR-71 Blackbird.
He later served as acting chief of the flight crew branch and as deputy director of flight operations at the center. Schneider transferred from Dryden to NASA's Johnson Space Center in 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 also served as the president of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots, based in Lancaster, Calif., in 1993-94. He was honored with the NASA Distinguished Service Medal in 2004, and following his retirement from NASA that year, was inducted into the Aerospace Walk of Honor in Lancaster, Calif., in September 2005. Schneider currently resides in Kentucky.
The Kentucky Aviation Hall of Fame has honored natives of Kentucky and other outstanding individuals for their aviation or aerospace achievements since the first enshrinement in 1996.