Byron E. Batthauer '47

Engineer, Aeronautical Researcher and Test Pilot

A philosophy of "Whatever comes, face it, learn it, do it!" started Byron E. Batthauer on a dual career path as a U.S. Navy pilot and engineer with McDonnell-Douglas and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Following graduation from HHS, Batthauer worked for a time before entering the U.S. Navy. In 1954, he completed a Civil Engineering degree at Kansas State University. Having accepted an instructor's position in the Departments of Civil Engineering and Applied Mathematics at KSU, Batthauer continued his education and completed a Master's in Engineering while fulfilling his teaching obligations.

Batthauer became a Commander and then Captain in the U.S. Naval Reserve, operating and maintaining aircraft in support of Worldwide Fleet Activities and Special Projects.

In civilian life as a test pilot at NASA's Lewis Research Center, he worked on numerous projects in the advancement of flight test techniques, aeronautical development and pilot safety. In 1986, he was inducted into the Society of Experimental Test Pilots, an organization with 2,000 members worldwide. The following year he was awarded the Collier Trophy as NASA chief research test pilot and operational manager for the Advanced Turboprop Project Team.

Rising to the top of a challenging profession and mentoring young pilots assure Batthauer a special place on the Wall of Honor.