United States Air Force Academy

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Dr. Thomas Yechout

Professor of Aeronautics

Department of Aeronautics

Thomas Yechout
Contact Information

(719) 333-9089



Dr. Tom Yechout is a Professor of Aeronautical Engineering at the U.S. Air Force Academy. He earned his Doctor of Engineering degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Kansas and is an American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Associate Fellow. He is an Air Force veteran with 25 years of service which included development and flight testing of the F/FB-111, A-7D, and F-4E aircraft as well as extensive experience with design, development, and flight testing of the A-10. He is the recipient of numerous awards including the NASA Outstanding Achievement Award, Frank J. Seiler Award for Research Excellence, and the Heiser Award as the Outstanding U.S. Air Force Academy Senior Faculty Educator. He was also honored as the Carnegie Foundation 2011 Colorado Professor of the Year. In addition, he has served as the principal investigator for numerous wind tunnel investigation programs, holds the patent for the Rakelet wing tip modification concept, and has authored over 200 technical publications.


DE, Aerospace Engineering, University of Kansas (1984)

MA, Business Management, Central Michigan University (1976)

MS, Mechanical Engineering, University of Southern California (1972)

BS, Aeronautical Engineering, University of Minnesota (1968)

Professional Experience


Professor: January 1992

Associate Professor: May 1986

Assistant Professor: January 1981

Date of Original Appointment: July 1979

OTHER RELATED EXPERIENCE (Teaching/Industry/etc):

Adjunct Professor, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, 1993-1998

Director of Operations Analysis, Air Force Space Command Headquarters, 1987-1988

Airframe Program Manager, A-10 Systems Program Office, 1976-1979

Aircraft Maintenance Officer, 354th Tactical Fighter Wing, 1975

Digital Flight Control Engineer/Manager, Air Force Flight Dynamics Laboratory, 1973-1976

Flight Test Engineer, Air Force Flight Test Center, 1969-1973

Flight Test Engineer, Air Force Tactical Airlift Center, 1968-1969

Structural Test Engineer, Bellanca Aircraft Corporation, 1967


Patent – US 8382041 B1, Rakelet Wing Tip Modification to Improve Range and Endurance

Consultant to fourteen development programs:
A-10 Degraded Configuration Aerodynamic and Stability Evaluation, 2018 – present

NASA Dynamic Stability Evaluation of NASA Orion, Space X Dragon 2, and Boeing CST-100 Crew Capsules, 2018 – present

A-10/LAU-131 Expanded Rocket Capability, 2016 – 2018

NASA Orion Launch Abort Vehicle, 2017 – present

Space X Dragon 2 Crew Capsule, 2015 – present

NASA Maraia Sample Return Capsule, 2012 – 2015

A-10 Drooped Leading Edge, 2010 – 2016

NASA ACCESS Flight Test Hazard Mitigation Team, 2012 – 2013

NASA Crew Exploration Vehicle (Orion), 2006 – present

Lockheed-Martin (Marietta) C-130 Drag Reduction 2005 – 2010

NASA Space Shuttle Return to Flight Effort, 2004 – 2006

X-38 Crew Recovery Vehicle Development Program, 1999 – 2003

AC-130 Gunship Drag Reduction Program, 1998 – 2002

U.S. Ski Team, Nordic Ski Jumping Aerodynamics, 1990 – 1993

X-29 Research Aircraft Wind Tunnel and Flight Test Program, 1984 – 1987

B-1B Bomber Flight Test Program, 1982 – 1984

Swedish Air Force JA-37 Viggen Flight Control Development, 1974 – 1976

Honors & Awards

2013 & 2002 NASA Outstanding Achievement Award

2011 Carnegie Foundation Colorado Professor of the Year

2008 AIAA Special Service Citation

2006 American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Summerfield Award

2005 Outstanding USAFA Senior Faculty Educator (Heiser) Award

Research advisor for student papers which won First Place at: 1994,
2002, 2007, 2008, 2011, and 2016 AIAA International/National Student Competitions

1992, 1993, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2015, 2016 and 2017 AIAA Region V Student Competitions

Research and Scholarly Interests

Aircraft Performance, Stability, and Control, Aircraft Flight Testing, Wind Tunnel Testing


Over 200 publications, articles and technical papers. Detailed list on request.