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Wrong Milo Burcham?

Milo Burcham Garrett

Chief Engineering Test Pilot

Lockheed Martin Corporation

HQ Phone: (301) 897-6000

Lockheed Martin Corporation

6801 Rockledge Drive

Bethesda, Maryland 20817

United States

Company Description

Lockheed Martin Corporation is a global security company that is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems and products. The Company provides a range of management, en... more

Find other employees at this company (66,082)

Background Information

Employment History

University of Montana

Subsistence Wildlife Biologist
Forest Service Agency

Variety of Positions
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Variety of Positions
U.S. Forest Service

Variety of Positions
Montana Department of Fish


Whittier College

Whittier High School

B.S. degree

Web References (108 Total References)

Milo Burcham | ...

p38assn.org [cached]

Milo Burcham | burcham-milo.htm Milo Burcham P-38 Lightning Test Pilot

Milo Burcham
Burcham, flying a P38 with incredible ease and skill, put his ship through some of the most difficult maneuvers in flying in a flight over PAAB. Besides being tremendously exciting, his flight proved to be an invaluable source of inspiration to the pilot trainees of the 432nd Army Air Force Base Unit who would soon be flying P38's exclusively. Milo Burcham quote about the P-38 training
Milo Garrett Burcham
Milo Burcham joined Lockheed in either 1937 or 1941 (depending on which bio you believe) as a production test pilot.
Due to his vast experience as in engineering flight testing, Burcham did most of the test flying on the P38. In his short life he flew more P-38 test flights than any other pilot at the time.
Burcham became Chief Engineering Test Pilot for Lockheed, and performed a 55-degree dive from 35,000 feet in the P-38.
Milo Burcham on P-38 "Yippee"
Milo Burcham on the wing of "Yippee" - the
Sadly, this great test pilot died at the young age of 41 when a prototype plane (YP-80) he was testing flamed out on take-off.
Milo Burcham P-38 Test Pilot
Milo Burcham

The first flight was on January ...

www.fiddlersgreen.net [cached]

The first flight was on January 8, 1944, with Lockheed's chief test pilot, Milo Burcham, at the controls.

Lockheed 12A Electra Jr., Golden Age Aircraft

www.warbirdconnection.com [cached]

Piloted by Lockheed's own test pilot and world famous stunt pilot, Milo Burcham

T-33A Shooting Star - Air Mobility Command Museum

amcmuseum.org [cached]

Nicknamed "Lulu-Belle," it was first flown on Jan. 8, 1944, with Milo Burcham, Lockheed's chief test pilot, at the controls.

Milo Burcham

www.godickson.com [cached]

Milo Burcham Milo Burcham

Milo Burcham
I learned that the flight Milo was making that day was the first public flight of the P-80.
Thus they knew him well, these thousands who only watched, and this week when Milo Burcham was laid to rest in Forest Lawn Memorial Park they mourned their hero.
For all who knew him personally, Milo's death in the crash of an airplane he was testing brought a deep sense of grief, and wherever test pilots gathered the Lockheed Chief Pilot was eulogized. He had a host of friends, a legion of admirers, and no enemies.
The end came when Milo took off from the east-west runway at Lockheed Air Terminal and was forced into a low-altitude, down-wind turn, probably by power failure. This flying procedure meant only one thing to other pilots. It meant that the Chief pilot was thinking of the safety of others, as usual. It was his custom.
"To us who considered him the world's smartest pilot," said one flier, "this procedure meant that Milo wanted to avoid even the remotest possibility of a forced landing in areas thick with people, houses, and automobiles.
Milo always insisted on doing the most hazardous tests himself. It was his desire to help young Army Air Force flyers that prompted development of a special course of P-38 instruction he conducted this summer for the Fourth Air Force.
Despite the fact that stunting brought him early newspaper headlines, whenever the safety of others was involved, Burcham was painstaking as a pilot.
"But," said a fellow pilot, "when he was alone over the desert, I've seen him do some of the damndest things a man ever did with an airplane…stunts even a bird wouldn't try."
Riding Was Favored
Milo used to drive his old Ford to the stables, a mile from his home where he kept horses for himself, his wife Peggy, and two sons, Garry, 14, and Vance, 11. From there he would ride "Smokey" 2 ½ miles to a chicken ranch a block or two from the Pilot House where he would tether the horse and complete the journey on a bicycle. Returning, he'd ride the bike to the ranch, the horse to the stables and the Ford to his home.
One of the few injuries this pilot of the worlds fastest airplanes ever had was when "Smokey" slipped on some loose gravel one morning and fell on his master.
To most of the 85 pilots who test Lockheed planes, Burcham displayed the genial personality the public thinks is typical of most fliers. But his intimates knew him as a man of profound depths.
He often took long walks at midnight, pondering some strange problem of flight he had encountered during the day.
Leaned to Science
Burcham was one of the first human beings to peer over the scientific abyss of compressibility…to enter that area of high speed in the air where odd behavior of supposedly immutable laws of physics confounded aviation's ablest minds.
That was in the early days of testing P-38's…when, from 40,000-foot heights, he screamed earthward faster than any other man ever flew.
With the help of Burcham's observations, Lockheed research engineers have overcome flight barriers created by these strange phenomena of super-sonic speed.
Milo's nine years of pre-Lockheed flying experience included barnstorming, competition in national air races, upside-down flying and other stunts.
But, despite the gasps he drew from admiring crowds, Milo never took chances. Every stunt was carefully rehearsed…his plane minutely checked before take-offs.
Though born in Newcastle, Indiana, Burcham considered himself a Californian by adoption. He attended Whittier High School and Whittier College.
Burcham joined Lockheed in 1937 as a ferry pilot and two years later was sent to England in charge of flight testing at the company's Liverpool division.
Recalled to Burbank, his thoroughness and skill as a pilot brought about his assignment to engineering flight testing where he began testing of P-38 Lightnings.
A visit to the Mayo Clinic to study reactions to high-altitude flying convinced Burcham that decompression of pilots who fly above 30,000 feet was not only desirable, but absolutely necessary. As a result, Lockheed installed decompression equipment for its pilots.
Developed Course
Following his appointment as chief pilot early this year, Burcham developed the unique training course for the Fourth Air Force, flying to bases up and down the Pacific Coast. The same P-38 in which he made the trips was used to demonstrate special flying technique to young pilots of the AAF.
It was a work he loved even better than testing the characteristics of a Lockheed prototype-this teaching others to fly skillfully. His contributions to the science of aviation must be written finally in other chapters at other times, but every pilot knew at that quiet ceremony in Forest Lawn last Tuesday that one of the great fliers of the world had been taken away-too soon.
Cover: This week's cover, Lockheed's own Milo Burcham, is presented to Lockheed folk in honor of the memory of a great flier...a master test pilot whose loss is mourned by all.

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