Pete Knight was one of four Air Force pilots selected to pilot the Dyna-Soar (X-20) aircraft, the first Air Force space program. He was one of eight X-15 pilots to earn his astronaut wings by flying an airplane in space (280,000 feet).
Knight flew or tested 85 different kinds of fighter, trainer, bomber, and transport aircraft. He has more than 6,000 flying hours, including 4,500 hours in jet aircraft.
During his 32 year Air Force career, Knight flew the X-15 ten times. In 1967 he set the X-15 world absolute speed record at Mach 6.76 (4,534 mph) at Edwards AFB.
Knight served as Vice Commander of the Edwards Air Force Base Flight Test Center - Air Force Systems Command; after serving in Vietnam, he was assigned as Test Director for the F-15 System Program office at Wright-Patterson AFB; later he was named Director of the Fighter Attack System Program office; he was the first elected Mayor of Palmdale, California (1988).
Born in Indiana in 1929, Knight attended Butler and Purdue Universities and received his degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. He received his commission through the Aviation Cadet program and was trained at the Test Pilot School and the Aerospace Research Pilot school.
Knight has been honored by: National
Aviation Hall of Fame (1988); USAF Test Pilot School Distinguished Alumni Award (1983); Octave Chanute Award (1968); Citation of Honor - Air Force Association, Distinguished Flying Cross, Legion of Merit Award; and Aerospace Walk of Honor.
Established in 1990 by the Lancaster City Council, the Aerospace Walk of Honor celebrates test pilots who are associated with Edwards AFB. Recognition is awarded for distinguished aviation careers marked by significant and obvious achievements beyond one specific accomplishment.