ep 100: The Real Steve Austin

Episode 100 Cover Art

Episode 100 Cover ArtIf you grew up in the 70s, you probably know Colonel Steve Austin. He was an astronaut and test pilot who became the world’s first bionic man after a horrific plane crash. Steve Austin was fictional, but that plane crash was real…and so was the pilot–his name was Bruce Peterson.

Bruce Peterson was a renowned test pilot who made significant contributions to the aviation and aerospace industry. One of his notable achievements was his involvement in developing and testing the M2-F2 lifting body aircraft.

The N2-F2 aircraft was a prototype design for a space shuttle developed in the 1960s. It was a hybrid aircraft that combined features of both airplanes and rockets. The M2-F2 aircraft was designed to fly back to Earth after a space mission, re-enter the atmosphere, and land like a conventional airplane.

Peterson was one of the test pilots who flew the M2-F2 aircraft during its development and testing phase. In May 1967, Peterson experienced a serious crash in the M2-F2 that nearly cost him his life. During a test flight, the aircraft encountered turbulence, which caused it to roll over and dive into the ground.

Peterson’s crash inspired author Martin Caiden to write the book, “Cyborg,” about a test pilot, Colonel Steve Austin, who lost both his legs, an arm, and an eye in a plane crash. The book was made into a TV movie and subsequent series, “The Six Million Dollar Man.”


The Beginning of The Real “Six Million Dollar Man”: The M2-F2 Crash.

Cyborg by Martin Caiden

The Six Million Dollar Man at IMDB

Chris and Jody are Air Force vets who enjoy military history and folklore. They have a podcast. They tell stories. They digress. A lot.

3 thoughts on “ep 100: The Real Steve Austin

  1. Great episode! I can’t believe you went through the whole thing without mentioning the name Lee Majors.

  2. I wanted to apologize to you guys because my daughter is one of those obnoxious Prius drivers you talked about. I tried to raise her right but what can I say? Just give her the finger right back when she passes you on the road and that’ll give her something to stew about for a couple of hours. Great episode as usual and keep em coming.

  3. Thanks for this one guys! Sure brings back a lot of memories of slow motion fights with my friends and saving the world with my six million dollar man action figures.

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