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AEDC Fellow Glenn Norfleet remembered for his contributions in ballistic test technology

AEDC Fellow Glenn Norfleet

AEDC Fellow Glenn Norfleet

ARNOLD AIR FORCE BASE, TENN. -- With the death of AEDC Fellow Glenn Norfleet on Sept. 8, past and present team members of AEDC are remembering Glenn’s ballistic testing contributions.

Norfleet began his career at AEDC in 1960, paralleling the nation's entry into the intercontinental ballistic missile era. His technical and managerial leadership, during the following 20 years, significantly advanced and established the state-of-the-art model for test and evaluation of reentry vehicles and systems.

Norfleet devoted the earliest years of his career to pioneering research related to the design and development of impulse wind tunnels, which helped to fill an urgent national need that existed at that time. Such tunnels could simultaneously provide the high velocities, temperatures and pressures required for test and evaluation of ballistic missiles reentry payload systems.

He became a national authority on impulse wind tunnels, aero-ballistic ranges and reentry vehicle research at AEDC.

Norfleet's most valuable contribution to the Range G test capability was the addition of the revolutionary hypervelocity G-track system, which included the model recovery system. His management approach during this work provided one of the earliest prototypes of what evolved into standard practices at AEDC.

His support of AEDC didn’t end after his career with AEDC. He later joined the Arnold Community Council, a community organization founded to support and promote AEDC, and served as vice president for two terms.