The Tiptoeing Valkyrie By Bill Shepard, Jr.

Van Shepard rose from a humble upbringing in the Great Depression to pursue his lifelong passion for aviation. After receiving his Army Air Forces pilot's wings in World War II, he became a test pilot for the US Air Force, launching a career in which he flew virtually every category of aircraft. As an industry test pilot, his accomplishments included piloting the largest supersonic aircraft in America's history, the XB-70 Valkyrie, at three times the speed of sound. Along the way, he survived a typhoon's direct hit in Okinawa, a low altitude ejection from a flaming fighter in Ohio, and an emergency landing on malfunctioning gear in California. He met his demise doing what he loved, testing a new aircraft design at Edwards Air Force Base.

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