Aviators Remember And Honor Armstrong

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Since the death of astronaut Neil Armstrong on Saturday, the aviation community has been paying tribute to his memory and his career. In addition to serving as a NASA astronaut, the National Business Aviation Association noted, Armstrong worked as a project pilot on many pioneering aircraft, including the X-15, which flew at altitudes up to 67 miles and reached a top speed of 4,534 mph. He flew more than 200 different kinds of aircraft, including jets, rockets, helicopters and gliders. He was also an aerospace engineer and a university professor. "Neil Armstrong inspired generations of people to reach for their dreams, and all of us in the aerospace community have been inspired by his example," said NBAA President Ed Bolen.

EAA remembered Armstrong as an "aviator at heart," and recalled his visits to AirVenture, the most recent in 2003 (a video of his talk there is posted online). President Barack Obama also honored Armstrong, saying: "Today, Neil's spirit of discovery lives on in all the men and women who have devoted their lives to exploring the unknown That legacy will endure -- sparked by a man who taught us the enormous power of one small step." A statement from Armstrong's family remembers him as "an advocate of aviation and exploration throughout his life, [who] never lost his boyhood wonder of these pursuits." The family concluded their statement with a suggestion for those who wish to salute his memory: "Honor his example of service, accomplishment, and modesty, and the next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink."

AVweb's editorial director Paul Bertorelli shared his outlook on Armstrong in a blog post; click here to join the discussion.