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In Memoriam: James F. "Skeets" Coleman

James F. “Skeets” Coleman, the project test pilot on the Convair XFY-1 vertical takeoff and landing research aircraft, died 20 May 2014 of natural causes in Oceanside, California. He was ninety-five. The XFV-1, which was given the unofficial nickname Pogo, was developed in response to a US Navy request for vertical takeoff and landing tail-sitting fighter that could be operated off frigates or cargo ships. Coleman, who made all but one XFY-1 test flight, made the first full transition flight (vertical takeoff, horizontal flight, vertical landing) on 2 November 1954. Coleman flew horizontally for twenty-one minutes and spent seven minutes hovering. He was later awarded the Harmon Trophy, given to the outstanding aviator of the year worldwide, in 1955.

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