Theodore R. Venturini (Ted)
For the most part of Ted Venturini’s unique career was focused on tomorrow and how he could make the daunting task of being a USAF Loadmaster better by working smarter, with less manpower. His vision was to embrace the 3 man flight crew, pilot, co-pilot and loadmaster. To do this we step back into history when Ted began his unparalleled odyssey as a FLIGHT TEST LOADMASTER.
Beginning in 1968 then TSgt. Venturini was assigned to Edwards AFB CA, and home of the USAF Flight Test Center (AFFTC). The place where all new and highly modified aircraft were tested and proven to perform as design specifications dictated. Calling upon years of operational experience Ted’s voice became known within the Flight Test World as “The Godfather”. MSgt Venturini became the project USAF loadmaster for the USAF’s new C-5A in 1969 and carried onto the next generation of prototype airlifters in 1973-74 with the Boeing Aircraft YC-14 and the Douglas Aircraft YC-15, Advanced Medium STOL Transport (AMST) test programs. The USAF was looking to fill the void of airlift capability that was thought to exist between the C-141A and the C-130. Little did anyone realize at the time, these three test programs would set the stage for the next generation airlifter, the venerable C-17 Globemaster III.
Valuable lessons learned gleaned during these programs would allow Venturini to try and capture the finer points of each aircraft and bring to the USAF these improved innovations that would allow the capability of this next airlifter to do more with less. The Godfather’s voice of reason was recognized in the various levels of aircraft design and acquisition with the contractors, the USAF Program Office and most importantly with his bosses at the AFFTC. Hence the development of the C-17 cargo mission was positively influenced. No single individual has impacted the overall mission of the C-17 like Ted Venturini.
Along his varied and unique career, Ted Venturini retired from the USAF and began a challenging career as a C-17 contractor continuing his quest to give the USAF and especially his fellow loadmasters a state-of-the art aircraft that is today unequaled in the world of airlift and air delivery. The C-17 is found throughout the world today, supporting a multitude of airlift missions not only by the USAF but also of many foreign countries. Wherever the C-17 flies today, the voice and vision of the “Godfather of Airlift” goes with it, ensuring the mission is successfully met as safely as possible.