Sunday, June 29, 2014

50 Years Ago: X-15 Number 2 Rebuilt, Flies Again

X-15 Number 2, on a later test flight using ablative coatings and extra fuel tanks, dropping from a B-52 mothership. NASA photo release.

On June 25, 1964, The second-built X-15 test rocket plane returned to service. The craft had suffered a significant, but not destructive, crash back in November 1962, when it had flipped over on its back after a rough landing on a dry lake bed. On it's return flight, Major Robert Rushworth of the USAF dropped from its B-52 carrier, ignited the engine, and flew to an altitude of 82,000 feet, reaching a speed of Mach 4.49! This aircraft survived the rest of its test flights, and is currently preserved for viewing at the Wright-Patterson AFB National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, Ohio.

NASA photo release of the original crash pictures.

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