R. Dale Reed is an aerospace engineer with a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Idaho. He began working at what later became the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center as a research engineer in 1953. He conducted aerodynamic loads research on the X-1E, X-5, F-100, and D-558-II aircraft and performed aerodynamic heating measurements on the X-15 before he began developing, advocating, and implementing the lifting-body flight research program that he writes about in this book. Before his retirement from NASA in 1985, he won four NASA awards ranging from the Exceptional Service Medal to an Associate Fellow Award.
Following his formal retirement, Mr. Reed went to work for a variety of contractors and is today again working at Dryden, now as a contract engineer. In his long career, he has published 14 technical reports and a number of periodical articles. He has also taken out four patents and managed 19 programs. He is currently working actively with the X-38 program described in these pages.