Brian Binnie

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William Brian Binnie
BrianBinnie.jpg
Commercial astronaut
US - FAA Astronaut Wings.png
Nationality American
Born 1953 (age 63–64)
West Lafayette, Indiana, U.S.
Other occupation
Test pilot
Rank Commander, United States Navy
Time in space
~5 minutes
Selection SpaceShipOne 2003
Missions SpaceShipOne flight 17P

William Brian Binnie (born 1953) is a former United States Navy officer and is one of the test pilots for SpaceShipOne, the experimental spaceplane developed by Scaled Composites.

History[edit]

Wife Bub Binnie upon completion of the final flight

Binnie was born in West Lafayette, Indiana, where his Scottish father William P. Binnie was a professor of physics at Purdue University, the family returned to Scotland when Binnie was five, and lived in Aberdeen (his father taught at Aberdeen University) and later in Stirling.[1] When Binnie was a teenager the family moved to Boston.[2]

Binnie, an alumnus of Brown and Princeton Universities, served for 21 years in the United States Navy as a naval aviator flying the A-7 Corsair II, A-6 Intruder, F/A-18 Hornet, and AV-8B Harrier II. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School in 1988. Binnie also copiloted the Atmospheric Test Vehicle of the Rotary Rocket; in 2006, he received an Honorary degree from University of Aberdeen.[3]

SpaceShipOne and spaceflight[edit]

On December 17, 2003, the 100th anniversary of the Wright brothers' first powered flight, Binnie piloted the first powered test flight of SpaceShipOne, flight 11P, which reached a top speed of Mach 1.2 and a height of 12.9 miles (20.7 km). On October 4, 2004, he piloted SpaceShipOne's second Ansari X Prize flight, flight 17P, winning the X Prize and becoming the 435th person to go into space, his flight, which peaked at 367,442 feet (69.6 mi; 112.0 km), set a winged aircraft altitude record,[4] breaking the old record set by the North American X-15 in 1963.[5] It also earned him the second set of Astronaut Wings to be given by the FAA for a flight aboard a privately operated commercial spacecraft.[6]

After space-shot[edit]

In 2014 Binnie joined XCOR Aerospace as senior engineer and test pilot, after working as a test pilot and program business manager for Scaled Composites for many years.[7]

Quotes[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Stirling has a space ace". Stirling Observer. July 19, 2006. Retrieved November 4, 2006. 
  2. ^ Kiely, Kathy (February 23, 2005). "Rocket man". Princeton Alumni Weekly. Retrieved November 4, 2006. 
  3. ^ "Degree for 'first Scot in space'". BBC News. July 3, 2006. Retrieved November 4, 2006. 
  4. ^ "FAI Record ID #9881 – Altitude above the earth's surface with or without maneuvres of the aerospacecraft, Class P-1 (Suborbital missions)" Mass Time Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI). Retrieved: 21 September 2014.
  5. ^ a b Brekke, Dan (October 4, 2004). "SpaceShipOne Wins the X Prize". Wired. Retrieved November 4, 2006. 
  6. ^ "Active Commercial Space Licenses". FAA.gov. Retrieved May 3, 2009. 
  7. ^ Klotz, Irene (April 3, 2014). "Spaceship Pilot Joins Rival Firm". Space News. Retrieved April 4, 2014. 

External links[edit]