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Louis W. Schalk, Jr., (1929-2002) graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1948 with a bachelor of science in military arts and engineering. He received his aviation training at Nellis Air Force Base, and was assigned to a fighter bomber wing in Germany. In 1954, he attended the Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base and graduated at the top of his class. Schalk served as a test pilot at Edwards until 1957, when he joined Lockheed Aircraft as an engineering test pilot. In 1959 he was selected as chief test pilot for Lockheed Martin's Advanced Development Programs, i.e., "Skunk Works." In 1962, Schalk made the first flight of the Lockheed A-12 (Blackbird), and later flew Mach 3 flights of the Lockheed SR-71 (Blackbird). He was the winner of the 1964 Society of Experimental Test Pilots Iven C. Kincheloe Award.




bulk 1948-1957


Nancie Schalk Johnson, Gift, 2012


0.23 Cubic feet ((1 box))


No restrictions on access.


Collection descriptions

Archival materials



Newspaper clippings

Vhs (videotape format)

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of .23 cubic ft of photographs, newspaper articles, and military documentation chronicling Louis W. Schalk's aviation career. The military records include the following: medical exam documentation; 2nd Lieutenant certificate (1948); individual flight records, 1949-1957, from the Air Force Flight Test Center (ARDC) at Edwards AFB, showing him flying the Lockheed F-104A Starfighter, the North American F-86 Sabre, F-100A Super Sabre, the Douglas C-47D Skytrain, and the Republic F-84 (P-84); and memos saying he was to perform maintenance test flights in the Lockheed T-33 (TP-80, TF-80) Shooting Star, Lockheed F-80 Shooting Star, Republic F-84, McDonnell F-101 Voodoo, Lockheed F-104 Starfighter, and North American F-86 Sabre. The photographs consist of thirty-eight black and white, mostly 8 by 10 inch, images of Schalk and the various aircraft he flew. The collection also includes a folder of newspaper articles, and one videotape of the Lockheed A-12 (Blackbird)'s first flight and other Schalk-related footage.




Newspaper clippings

VHS (videotape format)


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Lockheed Aircraft Corp

Topics Aeronautics
Test pilots
Lockheed A-12 (Blackbird)


Louis W. Schalk, Jr. Collection, Accession 2013-0013, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.

Archival Repository

National Air and Space Museum Archives