Joseph Kittinger

Joseph Kittinger

Colonel Joseph William Kittinger II (born July 27, 1928 in Tampa, Florida, United States) is a former command pilot, career military officer and retired Colonel in the United States Air Force. He is most famous for his participation in Project Manhigh and Project Excelsior, in 1960 setting the record longest skydive, from a height greater than 31 kilometres (19 mi). He was also the first man to make a solo crossing of the Atlantic Ocean in a gas balloon.

Serving as a fighter pilot during the Vietnam War, he achieved an aerial kill of a North Vietnamese jet fighter and was later shot down himself, spending 11 months as a prisoner of war in a North Vietnamese prison. In 2012, at the age of 84, he participated in the Red Bull Stratos project as capsule communicator, directing Felix Baumgartner on his record-breaking 39 kilometres (24 mi) freefall from Earth's stratosphere.

Read more about Joseph Kittinger:  Early Life and Military Career, Project Excelsior, Project Stargazer, Later USAF Career, Awards and Decorations, Later Civilian Career, Legacy

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Joseph Kittinger - Legacy
... In September 1992, Colonel Joe Kittinger Park in Orlando, Florida was completed by the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority (GOAA) for the city of Orlando ... The aviation-themed park was named in Kittinger's honor, but was temporarily demolished to permit a highway expansion project of the Florida State Road 408 East-West Expressway ... In 1997, Kittinger was inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame in Dayton, Ohio ...