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DescriptionThe North American X-15 rocket-powered aircraft was part of the X-series of experimental aircraft, initiated with theX-1, that were made for the USAF, the NASA, and the USN . The X-15 set speed and altitude records in the early 1960s, reaching the edge of outer space and returning with valuable data used in aircraft and spacecraft design. It currently holds the world record for the fastest speed ever reached by an aircraft. During the X-15 program, 13 flights (by eight pilots) met the USAF spaceflight criteria by exceeding the altitude of 50 miles (80.47 km), thus qualifying the pilots for astronaut status; some pilots also qualified for NASA astronaut wings.Of all the X-15 missions, two flights (by the same pilot) qualified as space flights, per the international FAI definition of a spaceflight by exceeding a 100 kilometer (62.137 mi, 328,084 ft) altitude. (Wiki) TextureTextures and color maps are included. HistoryThree X-15s were built, flying 199 test flights, the last on 24 October 1968. Twelve test pilots flew the X-15, among them were Neil Armstrong (first man on the moon) and Joe Engle (a space shuttle commander). In July and August 1963, pilot Joe Walker crossed the 100 km altitude mark twice, thus joining the NASA astronauts and Soviet Cosmonauts as the only men to have crossed the barrier into outer space (Alan Shepard was the first American in space, while Soviet Yuri Gagarin was the first human being in space).U.S. Air Force Test pilot Maj. Michael J. Adams was killed, on 15 November 1967, in X-15 Flight 191 when his craft (X-15-3) entered a hypersonic spin while descending, then oscillated violently as aerodynamic forces increased after re-entry. As his craft's flight control system operated the control surfaces to their limits, the craft's acceleration built to ±15 degrees vertical and ±8 degrees lateral. The airframe broke apart at 60,000 ft altitude, scattering the craft's wreckage for 50 square miles. On 8 June 2004, a monument was erected at the cockpit's locale, near Randsburg, California. Maj. Adams was posthumously awarded astronaut wings for his final flight in craft X-15-3, which had reached 266,000 ft (81.1 km, 50.4 mi.) of altitude. In 1991, his name was added to the Astronaut Memorial monument, Kennedy Space Center, Florida.Bomber NB-52A (s/n 52-003), permanent test variant, carrying an X-15, with mission markings; horizontal X-15 craft silhouettes denote glide flights, diagonal silhouettes denote powered flights.The second X-15A was rebuilt after a landing accident. It was lengthened 2.4 ft (0.74 m), a pair of auxiliary fuel tanks attached under the fuselage, and a heat-resistant surface treatment applied. Re-named the X-15A-2, it first flew on 28 June 1964, reaching 7,274 km/h (4,520 mph, 2,021 m/s).The altitudes attained by the X-15 aircraft do not match that of Alan Shephard's 1961 NASA space capsule flight (116 miles), nor subsequent NASA space capsules and space shuttle flights. However, the X-15 flights did reign supreme among rocket-powered aircraft until the third spaceflight of Space Ship One in 2004. The widely-reported record achieved, by the small X-43A scramjet test bed, on 16 November 2004, of approximately Mach 10 (6,600 mph, 10,622 km/h, 2.95 km/s) at 95,000 ft (29 km, 17.99 mi) is an air-breathing jet engine record. (Wiki)