CAPT Alan “Big AL” Armstrong has accumulated over 5,900 flight hours in more than 50 aircraft types, 724 carrier arrested landings, was the first Navy WSO to attain over 1,000 and 2,000 flight hours in the F/A-18 Super Hornet, continuously flew the Super Hornet longer than any other officer in the Navy, and has flown over 60 combat missions while forward deployed during his Naval career. In 2001, he was designated the U.S. Navy’s first Super Hornet Flight Demonstration Team Leader and developed, flight tested, and performed this dynamic routine throughout the nation during the Super Hornet’s inaugural airshow season.
While flying the venerable A-6E Intruder with the “Sunday Punchers” of VA-75, “Big AL” was the first junior officer in Carrier Airwing SEVENTEEN to be designated an Airwing Strike Leader, following which he was selected to attend the United States Navy Test Pilot School. Graduating from Test Pilot School with Distinction, he became the only aviator to fly both the Engineering, Manufacturing & Developmental (EMD) and the Operational Flight Test Programs for the Super Hornet, during which he completed several critical early flight test milestones to include the first night flight, the first crewed arrested landing, the first night carrier launches and arrested landings of the program, and co-authored the final Operational Evaluation report for Congress on the Super Hornet’s suitability for fleet use. Handpicked as the Operations Department Head in the Navy’s first fleet F/A-18F Super Hornet squadron, he led the “Black Aces” of VFA-41 as a Carrier Airwing SEVENTEEN Airwing Strike Leader through an eight-month, combat WESTPAC deployment during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM (OIF) onboard USS NIMITZ (CVN 68), where he personally flew over 30 combat missions.
In civilian life he has worked in investment banking, is a former McKinsey & Co. strategic management consultant, was the CFO for Lenox Financial, and has founded and owns several successful businesses. He owns a 1945 SNJ-6, a WWII-era Naval advanced tactical training aircraft, and frequently pilots the F4U Corsair, P-51 Mustang, the SBD Dauntless Dive Bomber at airshows around the country, in addition to regularly flying a Stearman bi-plane, a J-3 Cub, Beechcraft B-58TC Baron, and more. He holds a BS in Aeronautical Engineering as well as graduate degrees in Industrial Engineering and Management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY. In 2005 he graduated with Honors from the University of Pennsylvania’s world-renowned Wharton MBA program. He is unmarried (widowed) with two young children (Jackson aged 10 and Adam aged 7), and currently lives in Atlanta, GA.