Born: United States of America
Primarily active in: United States of America

1928 - 2006

Born in Oakland, CA, in 1928, Ronald M. Gerdes entered the Navy aviation midshipman program at the University of California at Berkeley and later completed Naval Aviator training at NAS Pensacola. He served in the Korean War flying the F-9F, and in subsequent years with the Navy he flew Panthers, Banshees and A-4s. He completed his B.S. in engineering in 1957. He began working at Ames, transferring into Flight Operations as a Research Pilot, in 1961. During his career, he made significant contributions to vertical flight aircraft, including the XV-5 Fan-in-Wing, the X-14 Deflected Jet, the UH-1 V/STOLAND, and the XV15 tiltrotor aircraft. He also played a key role in the NASA/DARPA/USMC AV-8 V/STOL Systems Research Program. Mr. Gerdes retired from NASA in 1988 but continued after retirement to make significant contributions to aeronautical science as a contract employee in the Ames Simulation Laboratories. 

Ames Researach Pilot, Ronald M. Gerdes, passed away on February 1, 2006.

AHS Update: Vertiflite Spring 2006