Pioneering test pilot’s biography published

9781438999739_cover.inddJust released is “Mentor Inbound: The Authorized Biography of Fred J. Ascani, Major General, USAF Retired: Holder of the 1951 World Speed Record.”

In the book, Sheryl Hutchison chronicles Ascani’s life from childhood, to West Point and through his many accomplishments within the field of aviation.

Born Alfredo Ascani in Beloit, Wis., in 1917, Ascani held an interest in flying from an early age, but when he saw the Charles Lindbergh fly over his house, his fate as a pilot was sealed. Over the course of a 32-year career in the U.S. Army Air Force and the U.S. Air Force, Ascani would fly 53 World War II missions, become a pioneer in the field of flight testing and break the world speed record in 1951.

Hutchison writes:

“He was a devoted flyer who wanted to experience the thrill of every new engine and airframe designed to free man from the bonds of Earth. He would contribute to the “Golden Age of Flight Test,” develop the process by which the fledging USAF would turn experiments into combat system and then go on to direct the XB-70 program, technology later used to build the world’s first reusable space craft: the space shuttle. By the time he retired from the USAF in 1973, he logged some 6288 hours of flying time in an incredibly unique variety of aircraft.”

Hutchison served on active duty with the United States Air Force before retiring in 2006. She earned her bachelor’s degree in speech communication from the University of Washington and her Master of Science in administration from Central Michigan University. Mentor Inbound is her first book.

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