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Guest Speaker - Andrew Vano

"The X-15 Flight Test Program - Experiences of a (Then) Young NASA Aerospace Engineer"

The X-15 was a rocket powered research airplane designed to investigate the hypersonic flight regime at speeds to Mach 6 and altitudes to 250,000 ft. It exceeded these goals during its 1959 to 1968 flight test program at the NASA Flight Research Center, Edwards AFB, California. Andrew Vano will describe the X-15 and its achievements, and present some of his personal experiences working with the team of amazing people who made the X-15 the most successful research airplane ever flown.

Andrew Vano with the X15 at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

Family: Born 19 July 1939 in Chicago IL. Son of Mary and John Vano; two brothers. Married to Sally Miller in August 1966. Three children: John, Julie and Mary. Living near Alexandria, MN.

Professional Experience

  • 2002-Present: Chief Engineer Alexandria Aircraft LLC, Alexandria, MN.

  • 1990-2004: Akerman Professor of Design Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics, University of Minnesota.

  • 1986-1990: Adjunct Professor Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics, University of Minnesota.

  • 1986-2001: Chief Engineer Bellanca Inc, Alexandria, MN.

  • 1984-1986: Aerospace Engineer NASA Ames Dryden Flight Research Facility, Edwards AFB, CA.

  • 1983: Adjunct Professor Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics, University of Minnesota.

  • 1981-1983: Chief Engineer Eagle Aircraft Company, Alexandria, MN.

  • 1974-1981: Chief Engineer Bellanca Aircraft Corp., Alexandria, MN.

  • 1963-1973: Aerospace Engineer NASA Flight Research Center, Edwards AFB, CA.

Degrees: B.S., Aeronautical Engineering, University of Minnesota, 1962.

Patents: "Quick Attach Mechanism", Patent No. 3,378,892, NASA Aerial Recovery Operations.

Professional Registrations: FAA Designated Engineering Representative in following disciplines: Structures, Systems and Equipment, Powerplant Installations, Flight Analyst, Test Pilot (Commercial/Instrument Pilot 6000 + hours).

Scientific and Professional Societies

  • Associate Fellow, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

  • Technical Policy Committee, General Aviation Manufacturers Association, 1974-81.

  • Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.

  • Experimental Aircraft Association.

  • Planetary Society.

Honors and Awards

  • Nominated for Morse - Minnesota Alumni Association Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education, 1992.

  • NASA AFTI/F-111 Mission Adaptive Wing Flight Test Team Group Achievement Award, 1988.

  • NASA Quality Increase for Outstanding Performance, 1985.

  • NASA Special Achievement Award for AFTI/F-111 Mission Adaptive Wing Flight Loads Measurement Program, 1984.

  • AIAA Twin City Section Student Lecture Award, 1983-84.

  • NASA YF-12 Thermal Loads Calibration Team Group Achievement Award, 1973.

  • NASA Lifting Body Flight Research Team Group Achievement Award, 1970.

  • AIAA Antelope Valley Section Outstanding Technical Contribution Award for YF-12 Photographic Flight Deflection Measuring System, 1970.

  • NASA Special Achievement Award for Photographic Flight Deflection Measuring System, 1970.

  • NASA Apollo Group Achievement Award.

  • NASA X-15 Group Achievement Award.

  • NASA Tech-brief Award for "Quick Attach Mechanism", 1968.

Andrew Vano (in white hat) with students from the University of Minnesota looking at the X15 at the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, OH.

 

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