Gathering of Eagles 2022

October 13, 2022  15:28  |  News

The Flight Test Museum Foundation, a nonprofit building the only museum in the world dedicated to test pilots and experimental air and spacecraft, invites the public to its annual “Gathering of Eagles” fundraiser recognizing exemplary aviators, including two NASA astronauts.

Gathering of Eagles 2022

Photo – courtesy of Gensler ©

The event and a silent auction of rare memorabilia will be held on Saturday, Nov. 12 at the Antelope Valley Fair and Event Center, H.W. Hunter Pavilion in Lancaster, California, at 6 p.m. Tickets are available for purchase here. All proceeds will support phase two construction of the museum.

Eugene “Rod” Roddenberry, CEO of Roddenberry Enterprises, and executive producer of the groundbreaking Star Trek franchise will serve as the event’s honorary chairman and participate in a fireside chat with Bill “Evil” Gray, the chief test pilot at the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School.



The Foundation’s Eagle Award recognizes significant achievement in flight tests and will be presented to:

Fred W. Haise, Jr. – NASA astronaut, Apollo 13; Commander, Space Shuttle Enterprise; Test pilot; Fighter pilot, Air Force and Marine Corps

Pamela A. Melroy – NASA astronaut, Space Shuttles Discovery & Atlantis; Commander, Discovery; Deputy Administrator, NASA; Test pilot, Air Force

Todd “Leif” Ericson – Mission Director, Polaris Dawn; Test pilot, Air Force and Virgin Galactic

“Our national mission is to honour technological advances made by test pilots, preserve rare aircraft and spacecraft developed in the Aerospace Valley, and inspire the next generation through the future museum’s STEM education programs,” said Art Thompson, chairman of the Foundation’s board of directors.

Along with tributes to trailblazers, such as Chuck Yeager, who broke the sound barrier 75 years ago in the Bell X-1, 35 notable air and spacecraft, including the Lockheed A-12 “Oxcart” and the last remaining NASA Lunar Landing Research Vehicle, will be exhibited at the museum,

A panel discussion will include Donald L. Mallick, Navy pilot, and research pilot for NASA Dryden (now Armstrong) Flight Research Center; Kelly Latimer, Air Force and Virgin Galactic test pilot, director of test flight at Virgin Galactic, and (first female) research pilot for NASA Armstrong; Jared “Rook” Isaacman, CEO, Draken International and Shift4, and commander of Inspiration4 and Polaris Dawn; and Wesley R. Persall, flight test engineer for the Air Force and Scaled Composites, and principal test engineer for Blue Origin and The Spaceship Company.