College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Former NASA Test Pilot “Fast Eddie” to Speak at Iowa State

A former NASA test pilot and 35-year veteran of military aviation, Ed “Fast Eddie” Schneider will share his knowledge and many experiences in a special guest appearance Friday, April 26.  

A guest of the Department of Aerospace Engineering’s chapter of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), he will present a lecture in 0010 Howe Hall at 6:00 p.m.  

Ed “Fast Eddie” Schneider

Schneider’s presentation is titled, “The SR-71 Blackbird, a Research Pilot’s Perspective.” The presentation will cover a history of the triple-sonic Blackbird aircraft family, technical descriptions of the aircraft, and Schneider’s first-hand experience about what it’s like to fly at a speed of Mach 3 at 80,000 ft. A question and answer session will follow the lecture.  

The lecture is open to all Iowa State University undergraduates, graduate students, faculty and staff. 

Prior to the lecture, the AIAA will be holding a dinner for ISU aerospace engineering students, which can be registered for here. 


Schneider became the U.S. Navy Test Pilot School’s youngest graduate at age 24 in 1973. He served on active duty in the U.S. Navy until joining NASA in 1983. At NASA, Schneider became an aerospace research pilot at the Dryden Flight Research Center from 1983-2000, and at the Johnson Space Center from 2000-2004. During his 18-year-career at Dryden, Schneider was best known for his work as project pilot for the F-18 High Alpha Research Vehicle over a nine-year span, becoming the first pilot in history to conduct multi-axis thrust vectored flight. 

During his career Schneider flew over 7,800 hours in 80 types of aircraft, including the SR-71 Blackbird from 1994-1999.  

Schneider flew projects on the SR-71 Blackbird from 1994-1999

Schneider is a fellow of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots, and served as the organization’s President in 1993-94. He is also an inductee of the Kentucky Aviation Hall of Fame, and was awarded the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, the agency’s highest award.