JOE W. KITTINGER, JR.
Joe Kittinger, a native of Orlando, Florida, has been flying aircraft
since 1949, gas balloons since 1955 and hot air balloons since 1964.
After serving 28 years in the United States Air Force, he spent 14
years as Vice President of Flight Operations for Rosie O'Grady's
Flying Circus, which included Banner Towing, Skywriting, the Rosie
O'Grady helium balloon and hot air balloon operations. He is
currently an Aviation and Aerospace Consultant and a Barnstormer in a
1929 New Standard Open Cockpit Bi-Plane.
PRESENT HOLDER OF THE FOLLOWING WORLD'S RECORDS
1. Highest Parachute Jump - 102,800 ft. 16 Aug 1960.
2. Longest Parachute Freefall-4 min. 36 sec. 16 Aug 1960.
3. First man to exceed the Speed of Sound without an
aircraft or space vehicle. (714 mph during freefall)
16 Aug 1960.
4. Most High Altitude Balloon Flights (5) Man High I,
96,000 ft.; Excelsior I, 76,000 ft.; Excelsior II,
75,000 ft.; Excelsior III, 102,800 ft.; and Stargazer,
5. Longest distance flown in a 1,000 cubic meter helium
balloon. 2001 miles in 72 hours. (AA6 & AA7)
15-18 Nov 1983. Solo flight.
6. Longest distance flown in a 3,000 cubic meter helium
balloon. 3543 miles in 86 hours. (AA10, 11, 12, 13) 14-18
7. First person to fly Solo Across the Atlantic Ocean in a
helium balloon. Maine to Italy. 14-18 Sept 1984.
8. NAA Speed Record-Piper Cheyenne 400 LS - Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania to Orlando, Florida. 9 Feb 1986.
GAS BALLOON EXPERIENCE
Gordon Bennett Balloon Race (California) - Won First Place in
the Rosie O'Grady's Flying Circus helium balloon in 1982, 1984 and
1985. The third consecutive win entitled Kittinger to retire the
coveted Gordon Bennett Trophy. (Placed second in 1979, 1980, 1981 and
1987, First Place in 1988, second in 1989). Gordon Bennett Balloon
Race (Europe) - Placed third in 1990, launching from Lech, Austria
with co-pilot Bob Snow.
World's Record (FAI) for the longest distance flown in a 1000
cubic meter helium balloon on 15-18 Nov 1983 from Las Vegas, Nevada to
Franklinville, New York. (2001 miles in 72 hours)
World's Record (FAI) for the longest distance flown in a 3000
cubic meter helium balloon and for First Solo Transatlantic Balloon
Flight from Caribou, Maine to Montenotte, Italy on 14-18 Sept 1984.
(3543 miles in 86 hours)
U.S. National Gas Balloon Champion for the year 1988.
Participant in the following International Balloon Events
France - Chateau Balleroy - 1984 and 1985.
Germany - Christening Ceremony of Rosie's Gas Balloon - 1987.
Australia - Bicentennial Celebration - 1988.
Germany - Opa Rally Gas Balloon Race - 1989.
Russia - Hot Air Balloon Rally - 1989.
Austria - Gordon Bennett Balloon Race - 1990, 1994.
Wadi Rum, Jordan - King Hussein's Birthday Party - 1992.
SUMMARY OF FLYING EXPERIENCE
Air Force Command Pilot and FAA Airline Transport Pilot with 15,000
hours of flight time in 70 different types of aircraft which includes
5,300 hours in jet fighter aircraft. 1,000 hours of combat flying in
Southeast Asia with 483 missions. Destroyed an MIG 21 in aerial
combat on 1 Mar 1972. Master Parachutist with 101 parachute jumps
including two emergency ejections. Five High Altitude Research
Balloon Flights. Extensive flight experience in low altitude helium
and hot air balloons. Owned and operated a hot air balloon passenger
business in Orlando, Florida for 6 years.
MILITARY AIRCRAFT FLOWN AS A PILOT
T-6, T-33, T-34, T-38, T-39, U3A, U-10, L-4, L-17, L-19, L-20,B-25,
B-26, B-57, A-26, C-45, C-47, C-126, F-47, F-51, F-80 (B,C), F-84 (E,
G), F-86 (A, E, F, H), F-89 B, F-94 (B, C), F-100 (A, C, D, F), F-4
(C, D, E).
CIVILIAN AIRCRAFT FLOWN AS A PILOT
Cessna 150, 172, 180, 182RG, 195, 310, Commanche 180, 240, Bonanza,
Erocoupe, T-34, Cherokee, Stearman, Staggerwing D-17S, Cherokee Lance,
Ag-Cat, Fokker Triplane DH-1, Piper 150, 180, Falcon (Ultralight), Air
Tractor, Seneca, Pitts Special, DC-3, Piper J-3 Cub, Great Lakes
Trainer, D-25 New Standard(1929), PT-22 Ryan (1941) Waco UPF7,
Chipmonk, Fleetwings SeaBird(1936), WACO CUC (1935).
During Kittinger's military career in the USAF (1949-1978) he held a
variety of assignments from Fighter Pilot to Experimental Test Pilot,
to staff assignments to Squadron Commander of an F-4 squadron to Vice
Commander of an F-4 Fighter Wing. On 1 May 1972, during his third
combat tour, he was shot down in an F-4 in aerial combat near Hanoi
and was a POW there until released in March 1973.
46 years of flying experience--35 years flying aircraft throughout the
USA, Canada, Mexico, Central America and the Bahamas; 9 years flying
throughout Europe and Africa; 2.5 years flying over South Vietnam,
North Vietnam (no landings), Philippines and Taiwan; one flight across
the Pacific Ocean in an A-26 from California to Thailand; five flights
across the Atlantic Ocean--one in a Cessna 180 from Orlando, Florida
to Salisbury, Rhodesia; 3 in jet fighter aircraft; one in a helium
Silver Star with Oak Leaf Cluster
Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster
Distinguished Flying Cross - Project ManHigh
Distinguished Flying Cross - Project Excelsior (Parachute jump from
Distinguished Flying Cross - 4 Oak Leaf Clusters - Vietnam
Bronze Star Medal with "V" device and two Oak Leaf Clusters
Meritorious Service Medal
Air Medal with twenty three Oak Leaf Clusters
Purple Heart with one Oak Leaf Cluster
Presidential Unit Citation
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award
Army of Occupation Medal
National Defense Service Medal
Vietnam Service Medal with seven Service Stars
Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm
Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal
Harmon International Trophy (Aeronaut)- 1959-President Eisenhower.
Aeronaut Leo Stevens Parachute Medal - 1959.
The John Jeffries Award - The Institute of Aerospace Sciences (now the
AIAA) for outstanding contributions to medical research - 1960.
Aerospace Primus - Air Research & Development Command - 1960.
Hall of Fame - USAF Special Operations - April 1969.
FAI Montgolfier Diplome - 1983 & 1984.
Paul Harris Fellow - Rotary International - 1985.
Order of Daedalians - Distinguished Achievement Award - 1993.
Society of Experimental Test Pilots - Fellow - 1995.
National Aeronautics Association - Elder Statesman of Aviation Award
for lifetime contributions to aviation - 1995.
Barnstormer of the Year - International Society of Aviation
Barnstorming Historians - 1996.
National Aviation Hall of Fame - Inducted July 19, 1997
AWARDS FOR SOLO TRANSATLANTIC BALLOON FLIGHT
Legion of Merit - Italy - Highest Civilian Award
Santos Dumont Medal - French Aeroclub
Le Grande Medaille - City of Paris
Montgolfier Diploma for Gas Ballooning
Revoredo Trophy - International Flight Research Corp.
Heroic Achievement Award - City of Orlando
Joseph W. Kittinger Medal of Achievement - Orange County
John Young Award - Orlando Chamber of Commerce
Distinguished Achievement Award - American Ex-POWs
Montgolfier Diplome - Chesapeake Balloon Association
Achievement Award - Wingfoot Lighter Than Air Society
W. Randolph Lovelace Award - Society of NASA Flight Surgeons
Godfrey L. Cabot Award - Aero Club of New England
Prix De L'Aventure Sportive - French Sporting Adventure Trophy
Chateau De Balleroy - Malcolm Forbes
"THE LONG, LONELY LEAP", 1961 E.P. Dutton & Company; National
Geographic and numerous other aviation articles.
PRESENT MEMBER OF
The Society of Experimental Test Pilots - Fellow
The Order of Daedalians
The Air Force Association
National Aviation Club
AOPA - Aircraft Owner and Pilot Association
The Explorers Club
Experimental Aircraft Association
International Society of Aviation Barnstorming Historians
Honorary Board of Directors, Bob Hope Village
Air Force Enlisted Widows' Home Foundation, Inc.
HONORARY MEMBER OF
The Augsburg Balloon Club
The Italian Balloon Club
The Royal Canadian Air Force 424th Tiger Squadron
PREVIOUS MEMBER OF
The Aerospace Medical Association
The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
The American Rocket Society (Senior Member)
President, Dayton, Ohio Chapter, 1961