X-15 Research Results

Chronology



Date Event
June
1952
NACA Committee on Aerodynamics recommends increase in research dealing with flight to Mach 10 and to altitudes from 12 to 50 miles. Also recommends that NACA endeavor to define problems associated with space flights at speeds up to the velocity of escape from Earth's gravity.
July
1952
NACA Executive Committee adopts recommendations of Committee on Aerodynamics.
September
1952
Preliminary studies of research on space flight and associated problems begun.
February
1954
NACA Research Airplane Projects panel meeting discusses need for a new research airplane to study hypersonic and space flight.
March
1954
Laboratories requested to submit views on most important research objectives and design requirements of a new research airplane.
May
1954
NACA teams establish charaeteristics of a new research airplane, which subsequently becomes the X-15.
July
1954
Proposal for new research airplane presented to the Air Force and Navy.
December
1954
Memorandum of understanding for a "Joint Project for a New High-Speed Research Airplane" signed by representatives of the Air Force, Navy, and NACA.
December
1954
Invitations issued by the Air Force to contractors to participate in the X-15 design competition.
September
1955
North American Aviation, Inc., selected to develop three X-15 research airplanes.
February
1956
Reaction Motors, Inc., awarded development contract for XLR-99 rocket engine,
December
1956
X-15 mock-up completed.
September
1957
Design configuration set. Construction starts.
October
1958
Factory rollout of No. 1 airplane.
June
8, 1959
First glide flight, No. 1 airplane.
September
17, 1959
First powered flight, No. 2 airplane.
November
15, 1960
First flight with XLR-99 engine.
February
7, 1961
Last flight with interim rocket engine.
March
7, 1961
First flight to Mach 4.
June
23, 1961
First flight to Mach 5.
October
11, 1961
First flight above 200 000 ft.
November
9, 1961
First flight to Mach 6.
December
20, 1961
First flight of No. 3 airplane.
July
17, 1962
First flight above 300 000 ft.
November
9, 1962
No. 2 airplane damaged during emergency landing.
June
27, 1963
50th flight over Mach 4.
January
28, 1964
100th flight in series.
June
25, 1964
First flight of rebuilt No. 2 airplane.
August
12, 1964
50th flight over Mach 5.
August
14, 1964
75th flight over Mach 4.
October
15, 1964
50th flight by No. 1 airplane; 119th flight in program.


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