Knight remembers 50th anniversary of his father’s flight record
Flyover by the vintage planes of the Condor Squadron at the 2016 Memorial Day celebration at Eternal Valley in Newhall. Bill Reynolds/The Signal
By Gina Ender
Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017

Tuesday marks 50 years since the world’s speed record for a winged powered aircraft was set in an X-15 plane.

Colonel William J. “Pete” Knight of the United States Air Force was the one flying the plane, setting the half-century record at 4,520 mph, reaching Mach 6.7. Mach 1 is equal to the speed of sound.

The record has remained unchallenged as of October 2017, according to NASA.

His son, Congressman Steve Knight (R-Palmdale), honored his father and his record on a social media post to mark the anniversary.

“I am so proud of my father and his achievements, but I am most proud of his willingness to take a risk and try to push and understand that the sky is no limit,” Knight wrote on Facebook. “The resolve of the American people is burning bright and our thirst for new records and new challenges has to be quenched.”

In his career, Pete Knight was an aeronautical engineer, Vietnam War combat pilot, test pilot and astronaut in the X-20 Dyna-Soar and North American X-15 programs.

Colonel Knight represented the Antelope Valley in various capacities as an elected official, first as a councilmember for Palmdale in 1984 and then as the city’s first elected mayor in 1988.

He was elected to the California State Assembly’s 36th district in 1992 before being elected to the State Senate’s 17th district in 1996. He served in the Senate until his death in 2004.

Congressman Knight previously held the same Assembly seat his father did before moving onto the Senate and to Congress.

About the author

Gina Ender

Gina Ender

Gina Ender is a journalist covering city government and breaking news in the Santa Clarita Valley. She joined The Signal as a staff writer in February 2017. You can contact Gina Ender at gender@signalscv.com, 661-287-5525 or follow her on Twitter at @ginaender.

Knight remembers 50th anniversary of his father’s flight record

Tuesday marks 50 years since the world’s speed record for a winged powered aircraft was set in an X-15 plane.

Colonel William J. “Pete” Knight of the United States Air Force was the one flying the plane, setting the half-century record at 4,520 mph, reaching Mach 6.7. Mach 1 is equal to the speed of sound.

The record has remained unchallenged as of October 2017, according to NASA.

His son, Congressman Steve Knight (R-Palmdale), honored his father and his record on a social media post to mark the anniversary.

“I am so proud of my father and his achievements, but I am most proud of his willingness to take a risk and try to push and understand that the sky is no limit,” Knight wrote on Facebook. “The resolve of the American people is burning bright and our thirst for new records and new challenges has to be quenched.”

In his career, Pete Knight was an aeronautical engineer, Vietnam War combat pilot, test pilot and astronaut in the X-20 Dyna-Soar and North American X-15 programs.

Colonel Knight represented the Antelope Valley in various capacities as an elected official, first as a councilmember for Palmdale in 1984 and then as the city’s first elected mayor in 1988.

He was elected to the California State Assembly’s 36th district in 1992 before being elected to the State Senate’s 17th district in 1996. He served in the Senate until his death in 2004.

Congressman Knight previously held the same Assembly seat his father did before moving onto the Senate and to Congress.

About the author

Gina Ender

Gina Ender

Gina Ender is a journalist covering city government and breaking news in the Santa Clarita Valley. She joined The Signal as a staff writer in February 2017. You can contact Gina Ender at gender@signalscv.com, 661-287-5525 or follow her on Twitter at @ginaender.

Upcoming Events

Jan
12
Fri
all-day Domes – Art Exhibit @ Old Town Newhall Library
Domes – Art Exhibit @ Old Town Newhall Library
Jan 12 – May 11 all-day
Domes - Art Exhibit @ Old Town Newhall Library | Santa Clarita | California | United States
Local resident Naomi Young, is the artist featured in the latest exhibit at the Old Town Newhall Library. The exhibit features original paintings and multimedia by Young, an artist born and raised in Jerusalem, Israel,[...]
Feb
1
Thu
all-day “The Golden Oaks of Santa Clarit... @ Valencia Library
“The Golden Oaks of Santa Clarit... @ Valencia Library
Feb 1 – Jun 1 all-day
“The Golden Oaks of Santa Clarita,” Art Exhibit @ Valencia Library  | Santa Clarita | California | United States
“THE GOLDEN OAKS OF SANTA CLARITA” ART EXHIBIT BY BRAD SERGI ON DISPLAY AT THE VALENCIA LIBRARY Library hours: Mon-Thu 10 a.m. – 9 p.m., Fri 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Sat 10 a.m. – 5[...]
Feb
14
Wed
all-day Tickets Available Now for 41st A... @ Dodger Stadium
Tickets Available Now for 41st A... @ Dodger Stadium
Feb 14 – May 12 all-day
Tickets Available Now for 41st Annual SCV Dodger Day @ Dodger Stadium | Los Angeles | California | United States
SANTA CLARITA DODGER DAY TICKETS ON SALE NOW! Tickets Start at $25 and Benefit Local Schools and Non-Profits It’s time to step up to the plate! The Santa Clarita City Council invites residents to purchase[...]
Apr
19
Thu
all-day Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival Co... @ Event Locations Vary
Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival Co... @ Event Locations Vary
Apr 19 – Apr 22 all-day
BUY YOUR TICKETS NOW FOR COWBOY FESTIVAL CONCERTS – Locations, Times & Prices Vary 25th Annual Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival offers ticketed performances and special events Get ready for some toe-tapping, two-stepping, guitar-picking musical performances![...]
Apr
20
Fri
all-day Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival Co... @ Event Locations Vary
Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival Co... @ Event Locations Vary
Apr 20 – Apr 23 all-day
BUY YOUR TICKETS NOW FOR COWBOY FESTIVAL CONCERTS – Locations, Times & Prices Vary 25th Annual Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival offers ticketed performances and special events Get ready for some toe-tapping, two-stepping, guitar-picking musical performances![...]
7:00 pm Hart High School Presents ‘Bye, ... @ Hart High school Auditorium
Hart High School Presents ‘Bye, ... @ Hart High school Auditorium
Apr 20 @ 7:00 pm
Hart High School Presents 'Bye, Bye Birdie' @ Hart High school Auditorium | Santa Clarita | California | United States
Spring Musical Coming April 2018! Hart High Theatre is proud to present Bye Bye Birdie! April 19, 20, 27 & 28 @ 7pm April 28 & 29 @ 1pm When the draft selects rock star[...]
Apr
21
Sat
all-day Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival Co... @ Event Locations Vary
Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival Co... @ Event Locations Vary
Apr 21 – Apr 24 all-day
BUY YOUR TICKETS NOW FOR COWBOY FESTIVAL CONCERTS – Locations, Times & Prices Vary 25th Annual Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival offers ticketed performances and special events Get ready for some toe-tapping, two-stepping, guitar-picking musical performances![...]
10:00 am Astronomy Day @ Valencia Library
Astronomy Day @ Valencia Library
Apr 21 @ 10:00 am – 10:00 pm
The Local Group Astronomy Club and The Santa Clarita Public Library present our free annual Astronomy Day Celebration. We will be at the Valencia branch of the Santa Clarita Public Library from 10am to 3pm.[...]
10:00 am Resource Parents Needed to Foste... @ College of the Canyons, Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center, Room 222
Resource Parents Needed to Foste... @ College of the Canyons, Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center, Room 222
Apr 21 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Resource Parents Needed to Foster or Foster-Adopt a Child @ College of the Canyons, Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center, Room 222 | Santa Clarita | California | United States
Adoption is a meaningful way for individuals and couples to fulfill their dream of parenting.  There are approximately 64,000 children in foster care in California.  Los Angeles County’s foster care population exceeds 21,000 children with[...]
10:00 am The City of Lancaster’s 27th Ann... @ Sgt. Steve Owen Memorial Park
The City of Lancaster’s 27th Ann... @ Sgt. Steve Owen Memorial Park
Apr 21 @ 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
The City of Lancaster’s 27th Annual California Poppy Festival, Sat & Sun @ Sgt. Steve Owen Memorial Park | Lancaster | California | United States
On April 21 and 22, the City of Lancaster will host the 27th annual California Poppy Festival™ at Sgt. Steve Owen Memorial Park (43063 10th Street West). Drawing more than 40,000 attendees and spanning 35[...]