JET PILOT, ASTRONAUT, MAN ON THE MOON
Aside from the astounding accolade of being the first human on the Moon, Neil Armstrong was also an aerospace engineer, US Naval aviator and ace test pilot. Prior to his NASA career, Armstrong was an officer in the US Navy serving with VF-51 during the Korean War, flying over 78 combat missions in his F9F Panther. Later as a research pilot at Edwards AFB, Armstrong served as project pilot on the F100 Super Sabre A and C variants, F 101 Voodoo, and the Lockheed F 104A Starfighter. He also flew the Bell X-1B, X-5 and most notably the X-15 rocket plane taking the longest and highest flight of any test pilot then successfully landing the aircraft in one piece. It was unanimously agreed amongst all of Armstrong's Air Force and NASA superiors, colleagues and friends that he was the most technically capable of any pilot they had know, he was clinical and single minded, two of the key attributes for astronaut selection. Combining his superior capabilities with clean cut All American good looks, he was the perfect poster boy for the US governments new Man In Space Soonest program. On July 20th 1969, Armstrong did what no human had ever done before and was immortalised in history. The classic image above shows Armstrong resplendent in his lucky red USAF PX cap, you can find the Eastman 6 panel version here in the same red colourway with a subdued wash.