David McBride, director of NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center, is retiring


David McBride, director of NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center, Edwards, Calif., plans to retire on June 30, 2022, after 35 years with the agency. He started his career at NASA as an intern.

During McBride’s tenure as director, the center completed in-flight evaluation of the experimental X-48B/C hybrid wing-body aircraft and demonstrated the spacecraft’s launch abort system Orion.

“David’s contributions to aviation, science and exploration have strengthened our agency’s missions and improved the lives of people across our country – and will do so for generations to come,” the administrator said. NASA, Bill Nelson. “Individuals beginning their careers at NASA – and members of the Artemis generation who dream of one day working here – will be inspired by David, knowing that their work can also lead to a lifetime of service to this legendary agency. wishes him and his family the best for his retirement.

While studying electrical engineering at the University of New Mexico, McBride joined the NASA family as a cooperative education student, specializing in the analysis of digital flight control systems. His engineering assignments included serving as chief engineer for the X-33 Extended Test Range and chief flight systems engineer for the X-29.

Prior to his appointment as Director in 2010, McBride served as Acting Center Director, Deputy Center Director, and Associate Director of Programs and Projects, where he oversaw the Armstrong Flight Research Center portfolio supporting exploration, science and aeronautics.

Upon McBride’s retirement, the center’s assistant manager, Brad Flick, will serve as the center’s interim manager. Flick began his career at Dryden Flight Research Center, now Armstrong Flight Research Center, in 1986 as a flight systems engineer on the F/A-18 High Alpha research vehicle project. The agency will also begin the formal process of identifying a successor soon and announce a selection later.


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