Stephen D. Ishmael is NASA's X-33 Deputy Manager for Flight Test and Operation. He has also served as Special Assistant to the Director of the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center for X-33, and before assuming that position in 1996, he was manager of Dryden's Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) programs.
From 1977 until the spring of 1995, he was a research pilot at Dryden. He served as the chief project pilot on two major aeronautical research programs there, the SR-71 High Speed Research program and the F-16XL Laminar Flow Technology program.
Other Dryden flight programs he has been involved in include the X-29 Forward Swept Wing/Technology Demonstrator aircraft on which he actively participated in the development and planning phases, the Advanced Fighter Technology Integration F-16 (AFTI F-l6), the F-8 Digital Fly-By-Wire, and the F-l4 spin research programs.
Ishmael entered the U.S. Air Force in l971 as a pilot and flew F-l06s with the Air National Guard's 194th Fighter Interceptor Squadron at Fresno, Calif., and F-16s with the Air Force Reserve's 466th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Hill Force Base, Utah.
He has logged more than 6,000 hours of flying time in single-seat aircraft since becoming a pilot in l97l.
Ishmael was an undergraduate and a Regents Scholar at the University of California at San Diego, and received a Master of Science degree in Engineering (with emphasis on computer technology) from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1974.