In front of his F-100 fighter. Boeing file photo
Van accumulated 6827 hrs as a pilot, both for Army Air Forces/USAF and as a test pilot for North American Aviation (later Rockwell) and Aero Spacelines Inc. He flew B-24 Liberator and B-26 Marauder by WW II end. Later, as a test pilot, he flew P-59, P-80, F-84, F-86, F-94, F-100, F-102, N-9M "Flying Wing", A3J, T-39, B-58, XB-70, NAA "Hoverbuggy", and ASI "Guppies", among others. He accumulated 95 hrs in the XB-70 Valkyrie program, setting several aviation records. On 6 June 1966 he achieved Mach 3.05 (exactly 2000 mph), the last Mach3 flight of the program.