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astronautix.com Manke


John A Manke Status: Inactive. Trained as: Test Pilot. Profession: Pilot. Sex: Male. Birth Date: 13 November 1931. Birth City: Selby. Birth State: South Dakota. Birth Country: USA. Nationality: American. Group: Test Pilot (NASA). Number of Flights: 0.


NASA Official Biography

John Manke was a Director of Flight Operations for the NASA Ames Research Center, which at the time included the Ames facility at Moffett Field, Calif., and Dryden Flight Research Facility at Edwards, Calif. He was Chief of Flight Operations at Dryden prior to its integration with Ames Research Center in October 1981, and continued in that capacity until his retirement on April 27, 1984.

Dryden resumed full Center status separate from Ames on October 1, 1994.

Manke was hired by NASA on May 25, 1962, as a flight research engineer. He was later assigned to the pilots office and flew various support aircraft including the F-104, F5D, F-111 and C-47. On May 28, 1968 he flew the HL-10. It was his first of a record 42 flights in Lifting Bodies.

The wingless Lifting Bodies demonstrated the ability to maneuver and safely land a vehicle with a shape that was designed for space flight. This research provided data and flight techniques used for the Space Shuttle. Manke's first flight in the HL-10 was a glide flight; but most of subsequent Lifting Body flights were rocket-powered. He flew the HL-10 ten times (including the first supersonic flight in a Lifting Body, on May 9, 1969), the M2-F3 four times, the X-24A twelve times, and the X-24B sixteen times. His last flight of one of these aircraft was on August 5, 1975, in the X-24B.

Manke was born in Selby, S. Dak., November 13, 1931. He attended the University of South Dakota before joining the US Navy in 1951. He was selected for the NROTC program and graduated from Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wis. in 1956 with a Bachelor's Degree in Electrical Engineering.

Following graduation Manke entered flight training and served as a fighter pilot with the US Marine Corps. He left the service in 1960 and worked for Honeywell Corporation as a test engineer for two years before coming to NASA.

Manke is a member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots. In his spare time he has built and flown his own light airplane and glider, and flown radio-controlled model aircraft.


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Last update 3 May 2001.
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