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George Marrett

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Contrails Over the Mojave: The Golden Age of Jet Flight Testing at Edwards Air Force Base
George J. Marrett  More Info

Cheating Death: Combat Air Rescues in Vietnam and Laos
George J. Marrett  More Info

Howard Hughes: Aviator
George J. Marrett  More Info

Testing Death: Hughes Aircraft Test Pilots and Cold War Weaponry (Ausa)
George J. Marrett  More Info

Booklist said of Howard Hughes: Aviator, “Marrett was an experimental test pilot for the Hughes Aircraft Company for 20 years, and before that he flew 188 combat missions for the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War. This scrupulously researched book begins by recounting Hughes' early flying years (his first flight took place in 1920, when he was 14) and continues with his work in developing aircraft during World War II and the postwar era, the growth of Hughes Aircraft, the early age of jets, and his famous flight in the Spruce Goose. Marrett tells how Hughes became a billionaire and relates his later calamitous years in Las Vegas, where, because of his desire for isolation, he became a recluse. Marrett also recounts Hughes' successful work as a film producer and his relationships with actresses, some of the most famous stars of the 1920s and 1930s. With 31 photographs, this is an engrossing look at the man and his contributions to the history of aviation.”


According to the book description of Cheating Death: Combat Air Rescues in Vietnam and Laos, “That was the pilots' creed. They flew low and slow, at treetop level, at night, in monsoons, and in point-blank range of enemy guns and missiles. They accepted missions no one else wanted, and they were the heroes other pilots prayed for when shot down. Flying the World War II–vintage Douglas A-1 Skyraider, a single-engine, propeller-driven relic in a war of "fast movers" -- that is, jets -- those intrepid Air Force pilots flew one of the most dangerous missions of the Vietnam War, helping rescue thousands of downed Air Force and Navy pilots.


With a flashback memory and a style all his own, former Air Force Captain George J. Marrett depicts some of the most compelling aerial combat of any war, rendering the people, places, and battles with a unique blend of warts-and-all clarity, heart-pounding passion, and mordant wit.”

George Marrett was born in Grand Island, Nebraska in 1935 and graduated in 1957 from Iowa State College in Ames, Iowa with a bachelor's degree in Chemistry. He entered the United States Air Force as a Second Lieutenant from the Reserve Officers Training Corps. Marrett received pilot training at Webb Air Force Base in Texas where he flew the Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star. After graduation in 1959, he went to advanced flight training at Moody AFB in Georgia where he flew the North American F-86 Sabre. Marrett spent four years in the 84th Fighter Interceptor Squadron at Hamilton Air Force Base, California, flying the McDonnell F-101 Voodoo.


During his career, George J. Marrett flew 188 combat missions on the Douglas A-1 Skyraider in Vietnam and tested more than forty types of military aircraft in twenty-five years as a test pilot for the Air Force and Hughes Aircraft Company.  George Merrett is the author of Testing Death: Hughes Aircraft Test Pilots and Cold War Weaponry; Contrails Over the Mojave: The Golden Age of Jet Flight Testing at Edwards Air Force Base; Howard Hughes: Aviator; and, Cheating Death: Combat Air Rescues in Vietnam and Laos.


According to the book description of Contrails Over the Mojave: The Golden Age of Jet Flight Testing at Edwards Air Force Base, “In Contrails over the Mojave, Marrett takes off where author Tom Wolfe's The Right Stuff ended in 1963. Marrett started the Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards AFB only two weeks after the school's commander, Col. Chuck Yeager, ejected from a Lockheed NF-104 trying to set a world altitude record. He describes life as a space cadet experiencing 15 Gs in a human centrifuge, zero-G maneuvers in a KC-135 'Vomit Comet,' and a flight to 80,000 feet in a Lockheed F-104A Starfighter. After graduating from Yeager's 'Charm School,' he was assigned to the Fighter Branch of Flight Test Operations for three years. There he flew the Air Force's latest fighter aircraft and chased other test aircraft like the X-15 rocket ship and the XB-70A Valkyrie as they set world speed and altitude records.


Marrett takes you into the cockpit with him going vertical in a T-38 Talon, high-G maneuvering in an F-4C Phantom and wet runway landing tests in the accident-prone F-111A Aardvark. Marrett relives stories of crashes when his test pilot friends were killed. He writes about Air Force test pilot Col. 'Silver Fox' Stephens setting a world speed record in the YF-12 Blackbird and Lockheed test pilot Bob Gilliland flying a single-engine, minimum-control speed stall in the SR-71 spy plane. He recounts dead-sticking a T-38 to a landing on Rogers Dry Lake after a twin-engine failure and conducting dangerous tail hook barrier testing in a fighter jet without a canopy. Marrett also writes about a UFO sighting in the night sky above the Mojave Desert, a mysterious sighting now referred to as The Edwards Encounter.”

According to the book description of Testing Death: Hughes Aircraft Test Pilots and Cold War Weaponry, “As a test pilot at Hughes Aircraft for twenty years, Marrett tested the most sophisticated airborne radar and missiles ever designed for Navy and Air Force aircraft. This memoir recounts his skill as a pilot and puts readers in his cockpit during the F-15, F-16, and F-18 weapons systems flyoff, and during the firing of a Mach 3 Phoenix missile from an F-14A Tomcat at a Soviet MiG Foxbat target. Marrett relives stories of espionage, deadly crashes, and the development of the B-2 Spirit stealth bomber radar. He combines the thrill of test flying with the humor and tragedy that is the everyday life of a test pilot.”

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