November is National Aviation History Month, celebrating America’s best achievements in flight. To celebrate, I’ve come up with a list of the greatest Eagle Scouts in aviation history. Check it out:
Before he became the first man to walk on the moon, Neil Armstrong was a test pilot. He tested the North American X-15 — a rocket-fueled plane with a top speed of 3,989 miles per hour — and more than 200 other types of aircraft, including helicopters, jets, rockets and gliders.
Explorer Steve Fossett knew no limits, a fact proven by the 100-plus records he set in five different sports. Among his most impressive: In 2005, he became the first person to fly around the world without stopping to refuel. He took off from Salina, Kansas, and landed back in Salina 67 hours later.
One of the original Tuskegee Airmen, Charles McGee paved the way for diversity in the Air Force. His legend only grew from there. During more than 30 years of active duty, he flew 409 fighter combat missions — more than anyone in Air Force history.
Colonel Leo Thorsness showed incredible bravery during the Vietnam War when, despite running low on fuel, he flew back to save two members of his crew. For this act he received the Medal of Honor, the country’s highest military honor. Two weeks after this heroic act, Thorsness’ plane was shot down, and he spent six years as a prisoner of war before being released.
After serving in the Air Force for 13 years, Guion Bluford set his sights on space. He was named an astronaut and, in 1983, became the first African American in space. In all, he logged four space flights totaling 688 hours.
By the way, if you’ve never seen the video of Boys’ Life Senior Writer Aaron Derr taking a flight with the legendary Blue Angels, check it out below.