Douglas D558-II Skyocket

Gene May
Test Pilot
Extraordinaire!

Gene in the cockpit of the Douglas Skyrocket

What Came After the Skyrocket?

This page is nowhere near finished, but here is a little information to whet your appetite.

Under ConstructionAfter Gene quit flying the Skyrocket, he remained active in the project as the program's Head of Flight Operations. He was instrumental in getting the Skyrockets modified to air drop vehicles. He was also involved in other ventures at the El Segundo facility, including the development of the DC-7. I also know that he made frequent trips to White Sands, NM in regards to the Honest John Missiles project.

In 1951 he was named Chief of Flight Operations for the new facility Douglas was building in Tulsa, OK to produce the new B-47 under contract from Boeing. One newspaper account stated the Gene had already been to Seattle for flight training. Unfortunately, before the plant opened Gene had an "episode" while rowing his fishing boat on the Lost River at his mountain retreat in Idaho. Douglas would not let him fly after that, and following a few months of contesting their ruling, he quit to pursue a flying career in the corporate world.

 

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