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JAMES D. "JIM" EASTHAM

Dutch 52

June 18, 1924 - January 4, 2016

Eastham after flying first public flight of the YF-12 at Edwards AFB

Lockheed Test Pilot

First pilot to fly the YF-12A

Second pilot to fly the SR-71

Third pilot to fly the A-12

Chief test pilot during testing of Convair YB-58A

Author of YF-12 flight Manual

Blackbird Laurels Award    Blackbird Laurels Award

EASTHAM AWARDED BLACKBIRD LAURELS MEDALLIONS AFTER BEING INDUCTED INTO THE BLACKBIRD LAURELS FRATERNITY, AN ELITE HONOR SOCIETY FOUNDED BY THE FLIGHT TEST HISTORICAL FOUNDATION

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40TH ANNIVERSARY OF JIM EASTHAM'S PILOTING THE FIRST FLIGHT OF THE YF-12A

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On August 12, 2003, several members of Roadrunners Internationale attended this special occasion honoring Jim Eastham's piloting the first YF-12A flight.

Jim Eastham signing poster commemorating his piloting the first flight of the YF-12.

Jim Eastham autographing posters at the Blackbird Air Park

The D-21 Drone at the Blackbird Air Park

Click on the images below to view enlarged images documenting some of
Jim Eastham's record-breaking aviation feats.

November 1, 2002

Jim Eastham's Induction into Kansas Aviation Hall of Fame

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YF-12
Groom Lake, Nevada and Edwards AFB

Three-view of YF-12A

Cutaway of FY-12A

YF-12 Cockpit

YF-12A taking off at Edwards AFB - September 1964

First flight of YF-12A - Pilot: Jim Eastham - 7 August 1963 at Area 51

Lockheed YF-12A First Flight - James D. Eastham, August 7, 1963

First public showing of YF-12. Edwards AFB, September 1964: Pilot: Jim Eastham

YF-12A approaching to refuel over Death Valley1964-1965

YF-12A & AIM-47A missile near the lakebed at Edwards AFB

GAR-9 (AIM-47A) missile beneath open missile bay door of YF-12A

Preparing FY-12A #1001 for hot-mission

Flyby of TY-12A Edwards AFB September 1964, Pilot: Mim Eastham, lst public showing

Second kill of YF-12A at Elgin AFB - 1966

1st kill of GAR-9 missile against BQM-34 (Q2C) Pacific Missile Range - San Nicolas Island


A-12

Groom Lake, Nevada

Eastham  conducting his first refueling in A-12


First Official Flight of A-12 at Groom Lake, April 1962, Pilot Lou Schalk

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A-12 #5 - 1963

A-12

Cockpit

Edwards AFB

Eastham flying F104 chase at Edwards AFB


SR-71 three-view

SR-71exhaust secondary shocks

SR-71 over the Sierrias

SR-71 positioning to refuel

A-12 Cockpit

Edwards AFB and White Sands Missile Range

Eastham At Edwards AFB after successful mission against QFBD target at White Sands, NM


First Team. George Parsons, James Eastham, John Archer

Class #61-4 SAC B-58 Combat Crew Training School, Carlswell AFB, TX 1961

Eastham - YB-58 Pilot

We made a dog out of that dog!

B58 Front View

B-58

YB-58 Test Vehicle getting airborne at Edwards AFB, CA for round-trip to White Sands Range in New Mexico. 1964

YB -58 Test Vehicle with GAR-9 missile on launcher

Eastham starting turn at White Sands for hot-run

Launch of GAR-9 missile from Eastham's YB-58 Test Vehicle against augmented QF-80 target - Range- 23 n.m.

Missile approaching augmentation pod under left winf of QF-8D target - 1964

GAR-9 missile impacting augmentation pod target

Following GAR 9 missile impact on augmentation pod and debris field

Debris field a millisecond or so after GAR-9 impact

Augmentation pod target after live mission. Missile impacted on pod's antenna.

YB-58 enroute to White Sands Missile Range 1963-1964

F-100 chase plane's view - White Sands Missile Range

Eastham refueling F84G from KB-29 during Korean War 31st Fighter Wing out of Turner AFB, Ga.

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HAPPY MOMENTS WITH MY ROADRUNNER FRIENDS

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The staff of the Roadrunners Internationale association regrets having to inform the aviation community of the final flight of Dutch 52, James D. "Jim" Eastham.

Jim Eastham, known in aviation circles under the Codename Dutch 52, was a legendary Lockheed test pilot known for flight-testing the world's first three Mach 3+ articles at Area 51, White Sands, NM, and Edwards AFB. He was the first pilot to fly the YF-12A (Project KEYLOCK), second pilot to fly the SR-71 (Project SENIOR CROWN), third pilot to fly the CIA's A-12 Blackbird (Project OXCART). Jim was the chief test pilot during the testing of the Convair YB-58A, and the author of the YF-12 flight manual.

James D. Eastham entered civilian pilot training in 1942. Following World War II, he served in Europe for four years and was one of the original Berlin Airlift pilots. He was also a fighter pilot during the Korean War. In 1956, Eastham joined Hughes Aircraft Company as Project Engineering Test Pilot for the Falcon Missile project, flying 800 missions and firing 350 missiles, a record for any one person. He was Hughes' B-58 Project Test pilot for the development of the ASG-18 radar system and AIM47A missile. In 1962 he joined the Lockheed California Company A-12 and YF-12A Blackbird program. On August 7, 1963, he was the first man to fly the YF-12A. Later, he moved to Edwards Air Force Base and was the second man to fly the SR-71. He flew the YF-12A through speed courses to perfect the techniques for setting the official world records in 1965. He logged 10,000 hours.

The Kansas Aviation Hall of Fame inducted Jim into that state's Hall of Fame, the Lancaster, CA Walk of Fame, and the Flight Test Historical Foundation, an elite honor society awarded Eastham the Blackbird Laurel Medallion and inducted him into the Blackbird Laurels Fraternity.

Memorial services for James D. "Jim" Eastham will be Saturday at 1 p.m. at Robert Barham Family Funeral



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