Chris Rink
757-864-6786, 757-344-7711
From F-86 to F-22, NASA Presents One Test Pilot's Story
HAMPTON, Va. -- Tigers, spiders and raptors -- oh, my!

On Tuesday, June 7, at NASA's Langley Research Center here, Alfred "Paul" Metz will present "Tigers, Spiders and Raptors: One Test Pilot's Story," at 2 p.m. in the Reid Conference Center. Metz will discuss how three fighter jet aircraft revolutionized aviation in the last two decades of the Twentieth Century.

Metz will be available to answer questions from the media during a news briefing at 1:15 p.m. that day. Media who wish to do so should contact Chris Rink at 864-6786, or by e-mail at, by noon on the day of the talk for credentials and entry to the center.

That same evening at 7:30, Metz will present a similar talk for the general public at the Virginia Air & Space Center in downtown Hampton. The presentation is free and no reservations are required.

A retired military and civilian test pilot, Metz will focus on how the F-20 Tigershark, YF-23 Black Widow and F-22A Raptor represent a period where computers became dominant in aircraft design and stealth technology was introduced in a pure air-to-air fighter. He will discuss the design, development and flight test programs of each aircraft.

Metz is currently the vice president and chief test pilot for Rocketplane Global. He was part of Lockheed Martin's F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program and was vice president for the Integrated Test and Evaluation (flight test) area. Prior to joining Lockheed Martin, he was an engineering test pilot and chief test pilot for Northrop Aircraft for 12 years and served 12 years in the U.S. Air Force as a fighter pilot and test pilot.

Metz joined the United States Air Force in 1968 and flew 68 missions over North Vietnam and took part in the pivotal "12 Days of Christmas" raids in December 1972. He received two Distinguished Flying Crosses and six Air Medals for his combat missions against surface-to-air missiles and anti-aircraft gun sites in support of strike missions in North Vietnam.

He's a 1976 distinguished graduate from the USAF Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base and was an instructor pilot at the U.S. Navy Test Pilot School at Patuxent River, Md. Metz received a bachelor's degree in aeronautical and astronautical engineering from Ohio State University. His graduate studies have been in aeronautical engineering at Ohio State and California State University, Fresno, and aviation safety at the Naval Post Graduate School, Monterey, Ca.

In addition to numerous awards and honors, in 2008 he was inducted into the USAF Gathering of Eagles. He has over 7,000 hours and more than 37 years of experience flying 70 aircraft types including the F-86, F-105, F-4, F-5, F-15, F-20, YF-23 and F-22.

For more information about NASA Langley's Colloquium and Sigma Series Lectures, visit:

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