October 21, 2017

Gathering of Eagles marks F-22 first flight anniversary

The Flight Test Historical Foundation will be hosting the Gathering of Eagles event Oct. 21.

The event will commemorate the 20th anniversary of the F-22 aircraft’s first flight which took place Oct. 7, 1997.

This year’s Eagles are:
• Paul Metz — first Fight, Lockheed Martin chief test pilot
• Chuck Killberg — first Boeing test pilot
• Bret Luedke – Second Lockheed Martin chief test pilot
• Randy Neville — Second Boeing test pilot
• James “JB” Brown – Third Lockheed Martin chief test pilot
• Steve “Hooter” Rainey – First U.S. Air Force F-22 pilot/Boeing F-22 pilot/Current Lockheed Martin chief test pilot

Each panelist will discuss their experiences as Lockheed, Boeing and Air Force F-22 pilots, to be followed by a Q&A session with the audience.
Honorary chairman of the event is retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Doug Pearson.

All proceeds from this event will be used to support the Air Force Flight Test Museum at Edwards AFB and the Blackbird Airpark in Palmdale. Money will be used for repair and restoration of the aircraft in the museum’s inventory, as well as constructing a new state-of-the-art museum and aerospace STEM education center outside the west gate of Edwards AFB, to make it accessible to the general public.

“It is the mission of Flight Test Historical Foundation to preserve the rich local history of flight test through the support of the museum at Edwards AFB and Blackbird Airpark in Palmdale” said Lisa Gray, chairwoman of the Flight Test Historical Foundation board of directors.

Attendees will also have the opportunity to buy one-of-a-kind aviation memorabilia at the live and silent auctions, signed by aviation legends and F-22 crewmembers and personnel.

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