NASA Dryden’s Smolka, Molzahn Receive Aviation Week Laureate Award

Research pilot James W. Smolka and flight test operations engineer Leslie M. Molzahn of NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center were among aerospace professionals honored by Aviation Week and Space Technology magazine at its recent Laureate Awards presentation. Smolka and Molzahn were members of the joint NASA / Gulfstream Quiet Spike Flight Test Team that was named the magazine’s Laureate winner in the Aeronautics/Propulsion category. The Quiet Spike team was honored for successfully demonstrating a Gulfstream-developed prototype telescoping nose boom on NASA Dryden’s F-15B research aircraft that reduced the intensity of shock waves created when the aircraft flew at supersonic speeds. The telescopic nose boom, when fully developed, could reduce the intensity of sonic booms and help open the nation’s airspace to supersonic flight over land.

James W. Smolka - Research pilot NASA Dryden Flight Research Center - NASA photo/Tom Tschida


Leslie M. Molzahn - Flight test operations engineer NASA Dryden Flight Research Center - NASA photo/Tom Tschida


Other members of the Quiet Spike team from Gulfstream Aerospace honored included staff scientist and technical fellow Donald Howe and project engineers Robert Cowart and Frank Simmons III. The 51st annual awards, presented at a black-tie banquet in Washington March 4, recognized extraordinary achievements of individuals and teams in seven categories of aerospace, aviation and defense.

For more information about NASA Dryden Flight Research Center and its research projects, visit:


Source: Dryden Flight Research Center (DFRC)
Picture provided and copyrighted by Dryden Flight Research Center (DFRC)

For further information about Dryden Flight Research Center (DFRC), click here

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