Virgin Galactic has announced the engagement of Mark ‘Forger’ Stucky every bit a pilot. Stucky volition bring together Virgin Galactic’s commercial flying squad responsible for flying WhiteKnightTwo together with SpaceShipTwo: Chief Pilot Dave Mackay together with pilots Frederick ‘CJ’ Sturckow, Michael ‘Sooch’ Masucci, together with Todd ‘Leif’ Ericson, who is likewise Virgin Galactic’s Safety together with Testing Vice President. His outset 24-hour interval amongst Virgin Galactic is Feb 2. “It is an abide by for me to bring together the Virgin Galactic squad on the habitation stretch of the flying exam programme together with assist plough Sir Richard’s vision of the outset commercial spaceline into reality,” Mark Stucky said. “I firmly believe the success of this programme volition instruct beyond fulfilling the dreams of our astronaut customers but volition lay the foundation for follow-on technologies that volition create goodness mankind inwards ways nosotros may non nonetheless fathom.”
Stucky brings valued hands-on sense amongst Virgin Galactic’s fleet of vehicles having served inwards a publish of roles inwards Scaled Composites’ WhiteKnightTwo together with SpaceShipTwo evolution program, ranging from applied scientific discipline exam airplane pilot for both vehicles to technical adviser, pattern engineer, teacher pilot, projection airplane pilot together with mentor.
During his tenure at Scaled, Stucky flew the bulk of SpaceShipTwo’s envelope expansion flights together with initiated its powered rocket motor exam flying stage every bit airplane pilot inwards ascendance on the spaceship’s outset powered flight. He likewise served every bit projection airplane pilot together with teacher inwards the transition together with integration of WhiteKnightTwo from Scaled to Virgin Galactic’s commercial operations team, led past times Vice President of Operations Mike Moses.
An accomplished armed services together with authorities exam pilot, Stucky has flown flying tests for the the U.S. of A. Marine Corp, the U.S. of A. Navy, the U.S. of A. Air Force, NASA together with international partners. He has logged over 9,000 flying hours inwards over 170 dissimilar models of aircraft ranging from the lite together with wearisome (blimps together with paragliders) to the heavy (C-5M Super Galaxy) to the high together with fast (SR-71 Blackbird). He likewise brings commercial aviation sense every bit a quondam United Airlines pilot.
Stucky has received numerous flying exam awards including the Society of Experimental Pilot’s prestigious Iven C. Kincheloe award, awarded annually to the Society’s exam airplane pilot of the year, together with its Ray E. Tenhoff Award, which recognizes the close outstanding technical newspaper presented at its annual symposium. He was named the the U.S. of A. Air Force Test Pilot of the twelvemonth inwards 2006.
Stucky is currently the President of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots. Last twelvemonth he was inducted every bit a Fellow, an abide by bestowed annually to those who choose served amongst distinction inwards flying test.
Stucky began his aviation career at historic menses xv past times pedagogy himself to hang glide inwards the flintstone hills of Kansas. He holds a bachelor’s grade inwards physical scientific discipline from Kansas State University together with a master’s grade inwards aviation systems from the University of Tennessee. He is the co-author of the bulk “Paragliding — a Pilot’s Training Manual.”
Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides said, “We are pleased that Forger volition add together his extraordinary capabilities to the extraordinary individuals who brand upwardly Virgin Galactic’s distinguished airplane pilot corps. Through the years, Forger has demonstrated unwavering back upwardly for our program, together with nosotros expect forrad to his continued contributions every bit nosotros progress through flying exam together with into commercial service.”
Scaled Composites President Kevin Mickey said, “The aerospace together with exam airplane pilot community at large choose benefited greatly from Forger‘s outstanding contributions every bit projection together with teacher airplane pilot for SpaceShipTwo, WhiteKnightTwo, Proteus, together with Scaled Composite’s many other unique epitome aircraft. While he volition live on missed past times all of us at Scaled, nosotros applaud together with back upwardly Forger’s conclusion to encounter the Virgin Galactic programme through. It shows his commitment to the operate of the Scaled squad together with our companies’ shared vision of the hereafter of spaceflight.”