Learning Center Our Enshrinees

Alvin “Tex” Johnston

  • Earned his aircraft, Engine Mechanic’s, and Limited Commercial Pilot’s license all by the age of twenty. He would later earn his Transport Pilot’s license and Flight Instructor rating
  • Purchased a biplane to establish his own successful barnstorming operation.
  • Served as a Civilian Pilot Training flight instructor.
  • Joined the Army Air Corps Ferry Command following Pearl Harbor and began ferrying new military aircraft from the factory to their destinations.
  • Began his career at Bell Aircraft in 1942 as a production and experimental test pilot where he flew the P-39 Airacobra, the V-tailed YP-63, the P-47, the P-51 Mustang, and the captured  German Focke-Wulf FW-1 90.
  • Selected for the top-secret XP-59A Airacomet project testing America’s first jet aircraft.
  • Worked on the developmental problems of the L-39, the first experimental 35 degree swept-wing airplane to fly in the U.S..
  • Won the prestigious Thompson Trophy as well as the Allegheny Luddlum Cup in 1946 for establishing a new world speed record for closed course air racing, 373.908 MPH.
  • Became the second pilot to fly the Bell X-1, and grounded it for relocation of the longitudinal trim control switch and a 20% reduction in the longitudinal trim rate and increased windshield defogging before it went supersonic under the reigns of Captain Chuck Yeager.
  • Began working for Boeing in 1949 and was the project test pilot for the XB-47, the world’s first swept-wing jet bomber and for the XB-52.

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