Frank Batteas is Associate Director for Flight Operations at NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center, Edwards, CA, responsible for assisting the director in managing all aspects of flight operations, operations engineering, and maintenance of all NASA aircraft at Armstrong. He also assists the Director for Flight Operations to other Armstrong and external organizations on technical, operational, resource, and policy issues affecting flight operations.
A NASA research pilot since 1998, he has flown a variety of NASA research and mission support aircraft over the years, including F/A-18, F-15, King Air, B-747, DC-8, and C-17 aircraft. He also has served as chief of the directorate's Flight Crew Branch, commonly known as the Chief Pilot.
Batteas has accumulated more than 8,000 hours of military and civilian flight experience in more than 50 different aircraft types. His past NASA projects include the B-747 Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) flight and telescope testing, Mars Science Laboratory Radar development testing, X-48 high angle of attack limiter assaults, Autonomous Air Refueling Demonstration, C-17 and B-757 Throttle Only Control, F-18 Low Boom/No Boom supersonic project, and F-15 Intelligent Flight Control System.
Batteas previously served as project pilot on the NASA B-52B launch aircraft, including airborne launches of the X-38 Crew Recovery Vehicle demonstrator and launches of the hypersonic X-43A Hyper-X vehicle. Batteas deployed worldwide to support a variety of research studies, including atmospheric physics, ground mapping, and meteorology with NASA's DC-8 airborne science laboratory and G-III research aircraft.
Batteas came to NASA Armstrong after a 21-year career in the U.S. Air Force, serving initially as an engineer working on the Peacekeeper and Minuteman missile programs at the Ballistic Missile Office, Norton Air Force Base, CA. After attending pilot training at Williams Air Force Base, Phoenix, AZ, he flew operational flights in the KC-135 tanker aircraft and then was assigned to research flying at the 4950th Test Wing, Wright-Patterson AFB, OH. Batteas graduated from the Air Force Test Pilot School, Edwards Air Force Base, CA, in December 1988. He served more than five years as a test pilot for the initial C-17 development. As a KC-135 test pilot, he also was involved in aerial refueling certification tests on a number of other Air Force aircraft. His last assignment was at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, OH, where Batteas led the B-2 Systems Test and Evaluation efforts for a two-year period.
Batteas earned a Bachelor of Science in nuclear engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY, in 1977. He was awarded a Master of Science in systems management from the University of Southern California in 1980 and in mechanical engineering from California State University Fresno in 1991.