X-15A-2 walk around at NMUSAF

Now displayed at the NMUSAF’s Research & Development gallery, the X-15A-2, 56-6671, was created from the second X-15 after a landing accident in 1962. The fuselage was stretched and provision was made for carriage of external tanks. Thus configured, and on the 188th flight of the program USAF pilot Pete Knight took the X-15A-2, covered in an ablative coating and fitted with a dummy scramjet, out to a speed of Mach 6.7. This was the highest speed an X-15 flight would reach, but the airframe received thermal damage despite the ablator, and was retired for display at Dayton.

X-15A-2 photo

North American X-15A-2 on display at the NMUSAF’s new fourth building.

X-15A-2 detail photo

X-15A-2 external tanks

X-15 cockpit photo

X-15 walk around picture

Magazine Articles and Photos:

“How X-15 Will Double Man’s Mach Number” Aviation Week February 3, 1958 p.26-28 2 illustrations

William S. Reed “Simulator Provides X-15 Flight Regimes” Aviation Week & Space Technology October 17, 1960 p.101-103 2 photos

“X-15 Flies With New Engine” Aviation Week & Space Technology November 21, 1960

“North American X-15 Reaches 215,000 ft.” Aviation Week & Space Technology October 16, 1961 p.32

Russell Hawkes “X-15/B-52 Studied as Blue Scout Boosters” Aviation Week & Space Technology October 23, 1961 p.29 1 illustration

William S. Reed “X-15 Objectives Raised to new Limits” Aviation Week & Space Technology November 20, 1961 p.52-67 9 photos

William S. Reed “X-15 Contributes to Structures Research” Aviation Week & Space Technology November 27, 1961 p.57-63 1 photo

“X-15 Modified for Hypersonic Research” Aviation Week & Space Technology November 4, 1963 p.38

Irving Stone “X-15 Use Planned in Ramjet Evaluations” Aviation Week & Space Technology August 31, 1964 p.57-63 2 illustrations

“Delta-Wing X-15 Configuration Proposed” Aviation Week & Space Technology October 18, 1965 p.23 1 illustration

B.K. Thomas, Jr. “X-15 Flights Providing Baseline Data on Reusable Space Vehicles” Aviation Week & Space Technology January 9, 1967 p.67-68

C.M. Plattner “Insulated X-15A-2 Ready for Speed Tests” Aviation Week & Space Technology July 24, 1967 p.74-81 8 photos


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X-15 at Amazon

Hypersonic: The Story of the North American X-15 (Revised Edition) (Specialty Press)

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