August 29, 2007 (by Lieven Dewitte) - F-16 test pilot Robert Ettinger will be inducted into the Walk of Honor in Lancaster, California, USA during a ceremony on September 15th.
Retired Col. Robert Ettinger, 71, will be inducted together with the pilot of the first space shuttle mission, a recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross, a research plane pilot and one who was the first to shoot down a Japanese airplane at Pearl Harbor.
Robert was the first pilot to fly the full-scale development F-16 and was the F-16 combined test force director from 1978-1980. He served as vice commander of the Air Force Flight Test Center, and from 1997 to 2006, was the flight test manager for the Global Hawk program.
Retired Col. Robert Ettinger, retired Capt. Robert "Crip" Crippen, Lewis Nelson and Charles Tucker will be inducted into the Walk of Honor during a ceremony on September 15th. George Schwartz "Wheaties" Welch, who died in a 1954 plane crash, will be represented at the ceremony.
The Aerospace Walk of Honor, in its 18th year, is a venue for honoring test pilots who have significantly contributed to aviation and space research and development. Lancaster is located in the Antelope Valley, in close proximity to four flight test facilities, US Air Force
Plant 42, Edwards AFB
, Mojave Spaceport and Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, and is thus a center of the flight test community. The Aerospace Walk of Honor awards were established in 1990 by the City of Lancaster "to recognize the important contributions of unique and talented aviators who soared above the rest."
The Walk of Honor monuments and activities are financially sponsored by several aerospace companies, inluding Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman, all who maintain flight test operations in the Antelope Valley.