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Manke |

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.

**HL-10 Flight 7**-**- 1968 May 28 -***Assignment*: Prime Crew.Maximum Speed - 698 kph. Maximum Altitude - 13720 m. Flight Time - 245 sec.

**HL-10 Flight 8**-**- 1968 Jun 11 -***Assignment*: Prime Crew.Maximum Speed - 697 kph. Maximum Altitude - 13720 m. Flight Time - 246 sec.

**HL-10 Flight 11**-**- 1968 Oct 3 -***Assignment*: Prime Crew.Maximum Speed - 758 kph. Maximum Altitude - 13720 m. Flight Time - 243 sec.

**HL-10 Flight 13**-**- 1968 Nov 13 -***Assignment*: Prime Crew.2 chambers, 186-sec powered flight. Maximum Speed - 843 kph. Maximum Altitude - 13000 m. Flight Time - 385 sec.

**HL-10 Flight 15**-**- 1969 Apr 17 -***Assignment*: Prime Crew.3 chambers. Maximum Speed - 973 kph. Maximum Altitude - 16070 m. Flight Time - 400 sec.

**HL-10 Flight 17**-**- 1969 May 9 -***Assignment*: Prime Crew.3 chambers, first supersonic. Maximum Speed - 1197 kph. Maximum Altitude - 16250 m. Flight Time - 410 sec.

**HL-10 Flight 19**-**- 1969 May 28 -***Assignment*: Prime Crew.2 chambers. Maximum Speed - 1311 kph. Maximum Altitude - 18960 m. Flight Time - 398 sec.

**HL-10 Flight 21**-**- 1969 Jun 19 -***Assignment*: Prime Crew.2 chambers. Maximum Speed - 1483 kph. Maximum Altitude - 19540 m. Flight Time - 378 sec.

**HL-10 Flight 23**-**- 1969 Aug 6 -***Assignment*: Prime Crew.First 4-chambered flight. Maximum Speed - 1641 kph. Maximum Altitude - 23190 m. Flight Time - 372 sec.

**HL-10 Flight 25**-**- 1969 Sep 18 -***Assignment*: Prime Crew.4 chambers. Maximum Speed - 1340 kph. Maximum Altitude - 24140 m. Flight Time - 426 sec.

**X-24 Flight 6**-**- 1969 Oct 22 -***Assignment*: Prime Crew.Glide. Maximum Speed - 623 kph. Maximum Altitude - 12190 m. Flight Time - 238 sec.

**X-24 Flight 11**-**- 1970 Apr 2 -***Assignment*: Prime Crew.Maximum Speed - 919 kph. Maximum Altitude - 17892 m. Flight Time - 435 sec.

**X-24 Flight 13**-**- 1970 May 14 -***Assignment*: Prime Crew.2 chambers. Maximum Speed - 795 kph. Maximum Altitude - 13594 m. Flight Time - 513 sec.

**X-24 Flight 14**-**- 1970 Jun 17 -***Assignment*: Prime Crew.Maximum Speed - 1051 kph. Maximum Altitude - 18593 m. Flight Time - 432 sec.

**X-24 Flight 16**-**- 1970 Aug 11 -***Assignment*: Prime Crew.Maximum Speed - 1047 kph. Maximum Altitude - 19477 m. Flight Time - 413 sec.

**X-24 Flight 18**-**- 1970 Oct 14 -***Assignment*: Prime Crew.First supersonic flight. Maximum Speed - 1261 kph. Maximum Altitude - 20696 m. Flight Time - 411 sec.

**X-24 Flight 19**-**- 1970 Oct 27 -***Assignment*: Prime Crew.Maximum Speed - 1446 kph. Maximum Altitude - 21763 m. Flight Time - 417 sec.

**X-24 Flight 21**-**- 1971 Jan 21 -***Assignment*: Prime Crew.Maximum Speed - 1093 kph. Maximum Altitude - 15819 m. Flight Time - 462 sec.

**X-24 Flight 23**-**- 1971 Feb 18 -***Assignment*: Prime Crew.Maximum Speed - 1606 kph. Maximum Altitude - 20544 m. Flight Time - 447 sec.

**X-24 Flight 25**-**- 1971 Mar 29 -***Assignment*: Prime Crew.Fastest X-24 flight. Maximum Speed - 1667 kph. Maximum Altitude - 21488 m. Flight Time - 446 sec.

**X-24 Flight 27**-**- 1971 May 25 -***Assignment*: Prime Crew.3 chambers. Maximum Speed - 1265 kph. Maximum Altitude - 19903 m. Flight Time - 548 sec.

**X-24 Flight 28**-**- 1971 Jun 4 -***Assignment*: Prime Crew.Final X-24A flight. Maximum Speed - 867 kph. Maximum Altitude - 16581 m. Flight Time - 517 sec.

**M2 Flight 36**-**- 1972 Oct 19 -***Assignment*: Prime Crew.Maximum Speed - 961 kph. Maximum Altitude - 14360 m. Flight Time - 359 sec.

**M2 Flight 37**-**- 1972 Nov 1 -***Assignment*: Prime Crew.Maximum Speed - 1292 kph. Maximum Altitude - 21730 m. Flight Time - 378 sec.

**M2 Flight 39**-**- 1972 Nov 21 -***Assignment*: Prime Crew.Maximum Speed - 1524 kph. Maximum Altitude - 20330 m. Flight Time - 377 sec.

**M2 Flight 43**-**- 1972 Dec 21 -***Assignment*: Prime Crew.Last M2-F3 flight, also highest. Maximum Speed - 1377 kph. Maximum Altitude - 21790 m. Flight Time - 390 sec.

**X-24 Flight 29**-**- 1973 Aug 1 -***Assignment*: Prime Crew.First glide flight. Maximum Speed - 740 kph. Maximum Altitude - 12190 m. Flight Time - 252 sec.

**X-24 Flight 30**-**- 1973 Aug 17 -***Assignment*: Prime Crew.Maximum Speed - 722 kph. Maximum Altitude - 13720 m. Flight Time - 267 sec.

**X-24 Flight 31**-**- 1973 Aug 31 -***Assignment*: Prime Crew.Maximum Speed - 771 kph. Maximum Altitude - 13720 m. Flight Time - 277 sec.

**X-24 Flight 32**-**- 1973 Sep 18 -***Assignment*: Prime Crew.Maximum Speed - 724 kph. Maximum Altitude - 13720 m. Flight Time - 271 sec.

**X-24 Flight 34**-**- 1973 Nov 15 -***Assignment*: Prime Crew.First power flight. Maximum Speed - 961 kph. Maximum Altitude - 16080 m. Flight Time - 404 sec.

**X-24 Flight 35**-**- 1973 Dec 12 -***Assignment*: Prime Crew.Maximum Speed - 1038 kph. Maximum Altitude - 19080 m. Flight Time - 434 sec.

**X-24 Flight 37**-**- 1974 Mar 5 -***Assignment*: Prime Crew.First supersonic flight. Maximum Speed - 1139 kph. Maximum Altitude - 18390 m. Flight Time - 437 sec.

**X-24 Flight 39**-**- 1974 May 24 -***Assignment*: Prime Crew.Maximum Speed - 1212 kph. Maximum Altitude - 17060 m. Flight Time - 448 sec.

**X-24 Flight 41**-**- 1974 Jun 28 -***Assignment*: Prime Crew.Maximum Speed - 1480 kph. Maximum Altitude - 20770 m. Flight Time - 427 sec.

**X-24 Flight 43**-**- 1974 Aug 29 -***Assignment*: Prime Crew.Maximum Speed - 1170 kph. Maximum Altitude - 22080 m. Flight Time - 467 sec.

**X-24 Flight 45**-**- 1974 Nov 15 -***Assignment*: Prime Crew.Maximum Speed - 1722 kph. Maximum Altitude - 21960 m. Flight Time - 481 sec.

**X-24 Flight 47**-**- 1975 Jan 14 -***Assignment*: Prime Crew.Maximum Speed - 1862 kph. Maximum Altitude - 22180 m. Flight Time - 477 sec.

**X-24 Flight 49**-**- 1975 Apr 18 -***Assignment*: Prime Crew.Maximum Speed - 1279 kph. Maximum Altitude - 17650 m. Flight Time - 450 sec.

**X-24 Flight 51**-**- 1975 May 22 -***Assignment*: Prime Crew.Max. altitude. Maximum Speed - 1744 kph. Maximum Altitude - 22370 m. Flight Time - 461 sec.

**X-24 Flight 53**-**- 1975 Jun 25 -***Assignment*: Prime Crew.Maximum Speed - 1427 kph. Maximum Altitude - 17680 m. Flight Time - 426 sec.

**X-24 Flight 55**-**- 1975 Aug 5 -***Assignment*: Prime Crew.Maximum Speed - 1381 kph. Maximum Altitude - 18290 m. Flight Time - 420 sec.

Last update 3 May 2001.

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Contact Mark Wade with any corrections or comments. Cosmonaut data by Alexander B. Zheleznyakov.

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© Mark Wade, 2001 .