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Victor Horton

Postby JoeF » Fri May 17, 2013 3:09 pm

Victor Horton in 1962 as Project Manager of the kite-hang-glider Paresev program. He went to Purcell's area and flew the Flightsail also. Gary Layton would later become Project Manager.
VictorHorton1962ProjectManagerOfParesevKiteHangGliderProgram.JPG (23.53 KiB) Viewed 2348 times

Victor Horton (..., d. 1991)
He flew the Flightsail on the same day that Rogallo flew the Flightsail built by Thomas Purcell.
Milton O. Thompson flew the Flightsail or Purcell's make on same day also, as did Francis M. Rogallo.

More about Victor Horton is invited.

"The Paresev was designed by Charles Richard, of the Flight Research Center's Vehicle and System Dynamics Branch, with the rest of the team being: engineers Richard Klein, Gary Layton, John Orahood, and Joe Wilson; Frank Fedor and LeRoy Barto from the Maintenance and Manufacturing Branch; Project Manager Victor Horton, with Gary Layton becoming Project Manager later on in the Program. Mr. Paul Bikle, Director of the Center, gave instructions that were short and to the point: build a single-seat Paraglider and "do it quick and cheap."

So, Victor was Project Manager of the Paresev program. So, by deduction, the article in 1962 by Purcell that describes Horton arriving to test fly the Flightsail, we have Horton connected with two kite-hang-glider projects: Flightsail and Paresev. Neat. But Horton did not get to fly the control of the two down rods that dressed the very first Flightsail, but an altered stick version. The two down frontal rods were more directly akin to the ancient 1908 two down tubes used in Breslau hang glder (Breslau hang glider put into public domain what we use today mostly in our kite hang gliders). Purcell quickly morphed to other tweaked control arrangement, but never leaving the control wing principle of moving airframe relative to payload pilot center of mass.

In 1962 we find Victor Horton in a photograph with several others associated with the Paresev program:


With the the Paresev 1-A and the 450-hp Stearman sport Biplane as a backdrop the Pilot and crew pose for this picture in 1962.

Starting at left: On the motorcycle is Walter Whiteside, in the Paresev 1-A is test pilot Milton Thompson, Frank Fedor, Richard Klein, Victor Horton, Tom Kelly, Jr., Fred Harris, owner of the Stearman, John Orahood, and Gary Layton.

August 24, 1962
NASA Photo /
Last edited by JoeF on Fri May 17, 2013 3:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Victor Horton

Postby JoeF » Fri May 17, 2013 3:28 pm

We found this item, which we quote from the page and

+ VIC HORTON, FLIGHT TEST ENGINEER (Deceased), Early experimental research flight test engineer for various aircraft including the YF-12. (The tests of the YF-12 aircraft was for the development of commercial and military supersonic aircraft and the space shuttle).

Very little info. is available on Vic Horton on the internet, however his daughter, Kathleen Bennett (Horton) has graciously supplied the below information:
Victor Horton of NASA Dryden was my father. He began work at Edwards AFB at the Thiokol rocket site then moved down onto the base when NASA first began.
Dad was a flight test engineer. He flew launch panel for X-15, backseat in the hopped up Pontiac for the Parasev program, intimately involved in the entire lifting body program, flew RSO (Rear Seat Officer, this is the person who handles navigation, experiment packages [research] or weapons [military].), with Fitz Fulton in both the YF-12 and SR-71, he also flew as flight engineer on the 747-Shuttle flights and took the shuttle to the Paris airshow. His is the voice talking the pilot down on the NASA footage of the lifting body crash used in the opening scenes of the TV show "Six Million Dollar Man". The ban on sonic booms over national parks resulted from one of his blackbird flights that boomed me at church camp in Yosemite one summer. He once said the hairiest flight he ever had was backseat to Chuck Yeager above the treetops down the Kern River Canyon in a T-38.
Dad's mentor was Milt Thompson. Dad himself mentored many young people at Dryden, including Bob and Marta Meyer, married RSOs for the Strategic Reconnaisance.
Richard Hallion's book about NASA Dryden history "On the Frontier", Milt Thompson's "Flying Without Wings", and Dale Reed's "Wingless Flight" are excellent resources to read for information about the glory days at Edwards. (Edwards AFB, NASA Dryden RFC, and Muroc Dry Lake are all the same place, different names at different times.) Dad died in 1991.

Victor Horton is mentioned in the 407 page document linked as PDF document:
Flight Research at Dryden,
Ricahard P. Hallion
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Re: Victor Horton

Postby JoeF » Fri May 17, 2013 3:54 pm

RootsOfParawingProjectParesevInvolvingVicHorton.JPG (155.29 KiB) Viewed 2348 times

1. The author is keeping the "s" on Charles Richards.
2. The author has some counts about the kite-glider program that are either off or need discerning clarification. Others and I may face those counts, I suggest, in a topic thread dedicated to the Paresev program, as such.

The following clip text regards activity very near the end of 1961 with Paul Bikle, member of the Soaring Society of America, as well as NASA employee.
Victor Horton was part of the root team for the kite-hang-glider Parawing program to be called Paresev program:
Clip from page 138 of Hallion's book is at the top of this post.

Later, Horton would in Sept. 1962 be on a different sort of glider project the M2. Click through for image of M2 on deck with one of the versions of the Paresev.
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Re: Victor Horton

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Fri May 17, 2013 11:56 pm

Hey Joe,

That Paresev E-8713 photo is AWESOME!!!!

It looks like we could take it off its mounts and fly it today!!!

I probably don't say it often enough, but thanks for contributing so many really great glimpses into the history of gliding flight.

Bob Kuczewski
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Bob Kuczewski
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