ROBERT A. RUSHWORTH, USAF
Bob Rushworth flew the X-15 for 68 months from 4 November 1960 until 1 July 1966, making 34 flights. These included two flights with the XLR11 and 32 flights with the XLR99. Rushworth reached Mach 6.06, a maximum speed of 4,018 mph, and an altitude of 285,000 feet. His accomplishments include the first ventral-off flight, the maximum dynamic-pressure flight, the maximum temperature flight, the maximum Mach number (6.06) in the basic X-15, the first flight of X-15A-2, and the first flight with external tanks.
Robert Aitken Rushworth was born on 9 October 1924 in Madison, Maine. He joined the Army Air Forces, flying C-46 and C-47 transports in World War II and later combat missions in Korea. In 1943 he graduated from Hebron Academy, Maine. He received bachelor of science degrees in mechanical engineering from the University of Maine in 1951 and in aeronautical engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology in 1954. He graduated from the National War College at Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D. C., in 1967.
Rushworth began his flight-test career at Wright Field and transferred to Edwards in 1956. Following graduation from the Experimental Test Pilot School, Rushworth reported to the fighter operations branch at Edwards and later became operations officer in the manned spacecraft section while flying the X-15. Prior to flying the X-15, Rushworth flew the F-101, TF-102, F-104, F-105, and F-106. He received the Distinguished Flying Cross for an emergency recovery of the X-15 after premature extension of the nose gear at near Mach 5 speeds, and the Legion of Merit for overall accomplishments in the national interest of initial space flights.-1231
He graduated from the National War College in August 1967 and attended F-4 Phantom II combat crew training at George AFB. In March 1968, Rushworth went to Cam Ranh Bay Air Base in Vietnam as the assistant deputy commander for operations with the 12th TFW and flew 189 combat missions. From April 1969 to January 1971, he was program director for the AGM-65 Maverick, and in February 1971 he became commander of the 4950th Test Wing at Wright-Patterson AFB. General Rushworth served as the inspector general for the Air Force systems command from May 1973 to February 1974 and returned to the AFFTC as commander until November 1975, when he became commander of the Air Force Test and Evaluation Center at Kirtland AFB, New Mexico.
Rushworth retired from the Air Force in 1981 as vice commander of the Aeronautical Systems Division at Wright-Patterson AFB. Bob Rushworth died of a heart attack on 18 March 1993 in Camarillo, California.-1241