This page is dedicated to Col. Thacker, one of the JMRC's founding fathers and all around amazing individual. Still flying circles around us at 95!
Colonel Robert E. Thacker, USAF (Ret.) (born 1918) is a retired test pilot, a lifelong model aircraft enthusiast and designer, one of the few pilots in history to do tours of duty in two different theaters of operation (Europe and the Pacific) in World War II and the holder of a number of aviation records.
Thacker's interest in aviation was sparked in 1926 at age eight when a neighbor purchased an operating model aircraft. By 1929, Thacker had completed his first model, that of the Spirit of St. Louis, and went on to earn spending money building balsa gliders. He joined his first aeromodeling club in El Centro, California in 1932. He would also become the Southern California yo-yo champion that year; his prize was $40.00 in the form of $25, $10 and $5 gold coins.
A graduate of the Air Force Test Pilot Academy at California's Edwards Air Force Base, Thacker was responsible for testing a wide variety of aircraft between 1939 and 1970, including the first accelerated tests of the P-80 combat-ready jet fighter, assisted by then Captain Chuck Yeager.