Photo of Chalmers H. Goodlin

Chalmers H. (Slick) Goodlin

Chalmers H. (Slick) Goodlin (1923- ) became interested in aviation at the age of fifteen. Two years later, he had solo piloted a number of different aircraft. He joined the Royal Canadian Air Force on his eighteenth birthday, intrigued by accounts of tremendous air battles over the English Channel in the early days of World War II, but unable to participate as part of the American military since the U.S. had not yet entered the war. He became the youngest commissioned officer in the RCAF and was sent over to the European theater in 1942. By December of that year, the U.S. Naval Air Force had requested that Goodlin transfer back to the states, where he underwent training to become a Navy test pilot. He was released from active duty and found employment with Bell Aircraft as a test pilot in December 1943. In September, 1946, Goodlin was selected to be the first test pilot for the second aircraft in the Bell X-1 program. He piloted twenty-six successful flights in both of the X-1 aircraft from September 1946 until June 1947, when Bell Aircraft's contract was terminated and Goodlin was replaced as test pilot by Chuck Yeager. See Into the Unknown (Washington DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1994); "Chalmers (Slick) Goodlin," biographical file, NASA Historical Reference Collection.


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Updated September 18, 1997

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