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biographical file, NASA Historical Reference Collection.
Updated September 18, 1997