View Full Version : Bio of George Smith...

Rick Deckart
04-30-2007, 01:10 PM
I need you help, I am looking for the biography of a guy named George Smith, I once had it as a kid, but it got lost some 10 years ago. I was not able to find a copy again as I don't remember the title of the book it was part of.
FYI George Smith was the first man who left a plane at super sonic speed, and survived against all odds. As if that were not enough, he had a plane crash before which left both legs and one arm stiff, and despite all text-book knowledge and predictions he was able to regain full mobility and able to classify as one of the few super sabre test-pilots of his time.


Rick Deckart
05-01-2007, 02:32 AM

Here is a link with a short paragraph about George F. Smith, first person to use an ejection seat at supersonic speed... He had a plane crash before that incident. Anybody heard about this? Please?

Derek Simonds
05-01-2007, 02:48 PM

I think this will help. This is a review of a book called "Eject! The Complete History of U.S. Aircraft Escape Systems"


Here is a link to a Time article. I think these should get you heading in the right direction. Really interesting stuff, I will come back and revisit later when I have more time.

Rick Deckart
05-01-2007, 10:39 PM
Thank you Derek, and yes he certified for the super sabre again. Do you have some information about his first plane crash. I remember a short chapter about the DIY rehab exercises he did.

Rick Deckart
05-02-2007, 10:51 AM
I first read about George Smiths accidents when I was 14. His first plane crash is of similar quality. As far as I recall he was in a plane which was noseheavy and could no longer be steered. He was on a direct collision course with a factory(?) full of people when he had two options: (a) bail out and safe his life or (b) try to get the plane over the factory even if this means to die. He chose b and crashed with the machine behind the factory. Wounded on a massive scale, being told he would be invalid for the rest of his life, both legs and one arm would be stiff etc. As far as I remember he was very depressed and about to loose any interest in life when a doctor very harshly reminded him to get his act together. He should at least try to cope with it, before accepting that all is lost. Well he did and underwent a grueling self-prescribed training to come back, get again his flight certification and even to qualify as one of the few Super Sabre test pilots. Life writes stranges storys... I am a bit surprised the article didn't mention his first accident.

Rick Deckart
05-04-2007, 03:56 AM
Thanks again Derek, finally I got it!

Derek Simonds
05-04-2007, 09:10 AM
Where did you find it? I would be interesting in reading it also.

Rick Deckart
05-04-2007, 09:30 AM
In an internet second hand bookshop, it's in German and from 1960, sorry. I you want I can send you a copy of the chapter (leave me your email). Not exactly literature as the book is written for the average 16 year old aviation jock, but to the best of my knowledge it is the only source where both accidents are described. The supersonic ejection is well known of course but the first accident? Not a single trace on the internet... Back then (and still today) I found it inspiring that one can (with a big amount of luck of course) come back after that kind of crashes.