I am so sorry to hear that Bill has passed on August 15th, 2010. He has been a highly valued friend and mentor since 1992, when I was aerospace reporter for the Daily Breeze in Torrance. I left Southern California for New York in 1994, but we stayed in touch over the years.

I had hoped to introduce my four-year-old son to him. Aubrey is obsessed with space exploration, and I had wanted him to know Bill, who will be remembered as one of aerospace’s brightest stars.

My deepest sympathies to Bill’s family.

An obituary ("William “Bill” Everett Haynes, 86, decorated Vietnam fighter pilot, of Rancho Palos Verdes, CA") appears on his web site

Alex Castaldo adds:

Here is a passage Bill wrote many years ago reflecting his appreciation of Daily Spec:

[DailySpec] is often a window on the souls of its members.

And a window on our own souls is often opened when we read what

Others write here.

It is lessons on life.

Chess strategies.

Investment in markets, life, family, nation and the future.

It can be and often is profound and superficial; deep and shallow and always enlightening, even when a writer may not be.

It sends out tendrils seeking answers and finds them, coiled about ideas we would never have found alone.

The [site] lives and throbs with the insights, prejudices, wants and experiences of the members.

There is a selection process at work here, as some find an intellectual home … others move in for a while and then move on.

Those who remain don't always agree and contention boils up, simmers and fades, sometimes leaving a residue of hostility but never, never boredom.[…]

Surely we, the weavers [of this tapestry] are much the better for it, and must acknowledge the debt each of us owes to each other, and to the two who first spread the warp and the woof.
Thank you Victor; thank you Laurel. Bill

Also interesting was his post on the national debt from March 31, 2008. (Though the figures today are completely different).

Notice to readers: to honor Bill we will stop updating Dailyspec for the next 24 hours.

Laurel Kenner adds:

Bill Haynes embodied the ideals of courage, persistence, mastery and friendship. Young at heart to his death this month at 86, he stayed clear of the cynicism, apathy and fear that often silence those who can offer innovation and guidance to realizing daring visions.

I met Bill when he was in his seventies and nearing the end of a remarkable career in the space industry. I was an aerospace reporter at a Los Angeles daily newspaper. Bill was then working for SAIC, a top space consulting firm. He took on the daunting job of educating me about the industry, inviting me to aerospace conferences where he would be found exchanging choice anecdotes about the beginnings of the aerospace industry or holding serious talks with groups of brilliant young engineers who looked to him as a mentor. He passed along to me his outrage about waste in the industry, but he also inspired me with dreams of unbelievable adventure that might just lie right the corner: voyages to Mars, commercial space exploration, cheap space launches. He introduced me to the ideas of geniuses like Gerald K. O'Neill'Neill and scientists exploring the barriers of longevity.

Bill was doing 100 pushups a day well into his 80s. The Friday before his fatal car crash, he flew the ultralight plane he had just finished building this year. 

Outspoken to the last, the essay he posted on his poignantly titled "Time Left" blog in April of this year succinctly summarized his vision:

*Human Space Exploration <>*

*The primary current barrier to space exploration is cost; the exorbitant cost of getting into low earth orbit, currently in the high thousands of dollars per pound.  (Space News Apr 21-27, ’97, pg 3: $22,222/lb on the Sp Shuttle; ref NASA) But I see that as a transient problem.  Without going into what we will do specifically to lower the cost of getting in to orbit (although there are a number of efforts under way), we can cite historic precedents for saying that the cost will come down.  Every means of transportation known to humankind has gone through a cycle of high initial costs succeeded by steadily reduced costs until the transport means is available at low cost to everyone.  The earliest example is walking; Luke tells us in the parable of the prodigal son that the father welcomed his son’s return by telling the servants to bring him a robe and sandals. The sandals were generally reserved for persons of stature and were a symbol of authority two thousand years ago. A later example is the horse, which in medieval times was generally reserved for the nobility, so much so that it is called the age of chivalry, from the French “cheval”, for the horses ridden by chivalrous knights.  A modern example is the jet airplane which began as the high cost, limited domain of the military and has now become the transport of choice for millions of people.  That space transportation will be the first exception to this rule seems unlikely,  but the effects of cheap space transportation on our civilization will be much more far-reaching than these older examples.  Cheap access to space will lead to mankind populating the solar system, yes.  But far more important, it will give us access to unlimited raw materials and energy.  Combined with the access to information created by the computer revolution, this will give mankind all three elements necessary for unlimited wealth: unlimited energy, raw materials and knowledge.  The unspoken assumption is that we will exhibit the wisdom necessary to exploit those elements.* 

Among those attending Bill's memorial was his long-time friend, Apollo astronaut Buzz Aldrin, who said meeting Bill had been the best thing about the Apollo program.  Another friend, Rand Simberg, wrote on his "Transterrestrial Musings" blog:

*Remembering Bill Haynes

*He flew for the military from the post-WW-II era to Vietnam, was a jet test pilot, was an F-100 squadron commander, risked his life many times for many years, and continued to enjoy commanding high-performance machines all of his life, when ironically, it suddenly and unexpectedly ended with him losing a battle of momentum between his Mazda sports car and a Toyota Highlander, on his way to church, a devout Lutheran who spent his life dreaming of the stars, now at final peace with his God. In that regard, he reminds me, sadly, of Pete Conrad, who after commanding a mission to the moon and back, and becoming a leading light of entrepreneurial space, died riding the motorcycle that he loved on a tight curve just outside of Ojai.* 

*Bill Haynes used to tell the story of when he joined the US Army Air Corps in the 1940s, and told them that he wanted to go into space. “Better put down ‘extreme high-altitude flight,’ son,” the recruiter told him, after thinking for a bit. “The army doesn’t have a space program. Yet.” It still doesn’t, of course, because not long after, it spun off the Air Corps into the Air Force.*

*I first met him in 1981, when we were both working for the Aerospace Corporation in El Segundo. He was working the Military Man-In-Space program, which was looking into military applications for humans in space, which would be tested with military astronauts on the Space Shutte, which was just going into service. After his military career ended in the late sixties, he had worked on both Skylab and Spacelab, and probably knew as much about space station design issues as anyone at the time. He was highly critical of the space station studies occurring at Marshall and JSC at the time, and predicted many of the problems that the program would encounter over the next decade and a half before it finally started actually launching parts into space.* 

Victor and I have a four-year-old son, Aubrey, who is mesmerized by space launches and knows every stage of the Apollo mission. Hardly a day goes by when Aubrey doesn't "go to the moon." One of my fondest wishes had been to introduce him to Bill, so that he could learn from the best and kindest of masters. Goodbye, old friend. Thanks for being a star. Obituary:

William “Bill” Everett Haynes, 86, decorated Vietnam fighter pilot, of Rancho Palos Verdes, died Sunday, August 15, 2010, while driving his little red sports car to church. His loss is deeply felt.

Bill was born in Paris, France, on January 18, 1924, to Everett Campbell Haynes, a noted jockey in Europe between the World Wars, and Edna Heise Haynes. The Haynes family, including his younger brother, John Barrett Haynes, returned to Oklahoma in 1933, and moved to Los Angeles in 1942.

Bill relentlessly pursued his goal to be a fighter pilot and his dream of space travel. In 1943, he volunteered for the US Army Air Corps, where he served until the end of World War II. He obtained his undergraduate engineering degree at UCLA in 1949, and immediately joined the US Air Force.

His Air Force career took him and his family to Arizona, Germany, Ohio, Oklahoma, Southern California, Florida, and Virginia.

Prior to his service in the Vietnam War, Bill continually educated himself on the principles of flight and aircraft design and maintenance. He graduated from the Air Force Institute of Technology at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, in 1954, and from the USAF Experimental Test Pilot School at Edwards AFB, California, in 1956. In 1965, he earned his Master of Arts from USC in research and development systems management.

Bill worked in the Minuteman missile program in Cocoa Beach, Florida, starting in 1965.

From 1967 to 1968, Bill bravely served as the commander of the 90th Tactical Fighter Squadron (nicknamed the “Dice”) at Bien Hoa AFB, Republic of South Vietnam. Bill flew 187 combat missions over the Ho Chi Minh trail. He was decorated with the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Bronze Star, the Air Medal and the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry. For the rest of his life, Bill enjoyed keeping up with his fighter pilot buddies via email and reunions.

He capped his Air Force career with a year in the Pentagon. He retired as a Lt. Colonel.

Following his retirement, Bill worked from 1969 to 1991 with various defense contractors, including Martin Marrietta, Nord Micro, Dornier System, Goldsworthy Engineering, Aerospace Corporation, and SAIC, in Colorado, Germany and Southern California.

Bill moved to Rancho Palos Verdes in 1977, where he lived with his beloved wife, Christine Apelles Haynes, until his death.

Bill is survived by his wife, Christine, his daughters Susan Ellen Roberts, of Dallas, Texas, and Kirsten Michele Howland, of Palos Verdes Estates, his sons John Barrett Haynes, of Los Angeles, and Richard Craig Haynes, of Pilot Point, Texas, and his grandchildren, Emma Kent Roberts and Caden Everett Robertson Howland. His parents and his brother, a Korean War veteran, predeceased him.

In retirement, Bill enjoyed anything involving flight. From 1998 to 2004, he worked with a team building a replica of the original airplane flown by the Wright Brothers. After that, he flew his own hand-built Ultralight airplane. His most recent flight was last Friday.

Bill continued to be actively engaged intellectually until the end. He held US Patent no. 4,828,207, for “fluid lock” technology. He wrote and published articles on various scientific issues, including the presense of “Square Craters on the Moon.”

He deeply loved his grandchildren, his pet parakeets and holding forth on the great issues of the day.

Bill was a loyal member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Rancho Palos Verdes, for over 30 years.

Prior comment by Laurel Kenner (5/25/10):

Department of Happiness and Heroes:

Specs who know Bill Haynes will be glad to hear that last week he successfully flew the plane he built. [To see picture of actual plane, see our prior post from April 23]

The flight took place in the turbulent conditions over the mountains near Chino, California. Bill noticed shortly after takeoff that his throttle automatically went to idle, so he spent the next 45 minutes holding the throttle in his right hand and working the controls with his left hand. "If you're flying a plane for the first time, you don't want to land it right away," he told me.

Ha. I would have wanted to land it right away. You may remember that Bill is 86 years old.

In addition to being a tough ex-fighter pilot Bill is a rocket scientist. He's also a helpful and optimistic person, which puts him right in tune with DailySpeculations.Com .

Jeff Rollert comments:

Bill was wonderful, in giving me and my kids a tour of the aircraft he was building at the Compton Airport. Yup, that Compton.

He was a classic gentleman and a refreshing person. Not a single shred of ego (though he was really proud of still being certified to fly the Wright Flyer).

We'll miss him.





Speak your mind

2 Comments so far

  1. Barrett Haynes on July 30, 2016 2:22 pm

    Thank you for the kind words about my father, Bill Haynes. He told me that his dream (& intention) was to fly into his annual F100 SuperSabre convention in his light plane with Buz Aldrin his co-pilot (they were best of friends). This was not to be, even if he had not been killed as Buz’s wife forbade it. But dad so wanted this that he was not going to give up. His accident was mostly his fault, a simple error in judgement on his part (but his vision was excellent). He is the missing man now, but make no mistake he is with our pilots & ground crews in spirit til we all mount up with wings as eagles. Dad’s technophilia was for his lady- the North American Super Sabre.The Super Sabre was the most beautiful Thunderbirds jet in AirForce History! God Bless America & our Gallent Soldiers. Barrett Haynes, Inventor

  2. L Kenner on August 5, 2016 7:01 pm

    Dear Barrett,

    I was so pleased to hear that like your father, you are an inventor. Bill Haynes was a true eagle, and one of the most inspiring and unforgettable people I have known. I know that many others smarter and more accomplished than me share this opinion.

    With great respect,

    Laurel Kenner


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