NASA research pilot John A. Manke is seen here in front of the M2-F3 Lifting Body. Manke was hired by NASA on May 25, 1962, as a flight research engineer. He was later assigned to the pilot's office and flew various support aircraft including the F-104, F5D, F-111 and C-47. After leaving the Marine Corps in 1960, Manke worked for Honeywell Corporation as a test engineer for two years before coming to NASA. He was project pilot on the X-24B and also flew the HL-10, M2-F3, and X-24A lifting bodies. John made the first supersonic flight of a lifting body and the first landing of a lifting body on a hard surface runway.
Manke served as Director of the Flight Operations and Support Directorate at the Dryden Flight Research Center prior to its integration with Ames Research Center in October 1981. After this date John was named to head the joint Ames-Dryden Directorate of Flight Operations. He also served as site manager of the NASA Ames-Dryden Flight Research Facility.
John is a member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots. He retired on April 27, 1984.