Download American X-Vehicles: An Inventory-X-1 to X-50 by Dennis R Jenkins, Tony Landis, Jay Miller PDF

By Dennis R Jenkins, Tony Landis, Jay Miller

For it slow, it appeared the sequence of experimental plane subsidized via the U.S. executive had run its path. among the past due Forties and the past due Seventies, virtually thirty designations were allotted to airplane intended to discover new flight regimes or untried applied sciences. Then, mostly, it ended. yet there has been a resurgence within the mid- to past due- Nineteen Nineties, and as we input the fourth yr of the recent millennia, the designations are as much as X-50.

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An X-25A is at the Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio, and an X-25B is at the AFFTC Museum at Edwards AFB. American X-Vehicles: An Inventory X-1 to X-50 33 X-26 Lockheed / Schweizer First Flight: 3 July 1962 Sponsors: DARPA, USA, USN Last Flight: 1973 Fastest Flight: 158 mph Total Flights: Unknown (many) Highest Flight: 18,500 feet The X-26As were unpowered gliders used by the Navy Test Pilot School. This is an X-26B, a powered derivative used as a stealthy observation aircraft. (Lockheed via the Jay Miller Collection) The X-26A was a Schweizer SGS 2-32 sailplane that was used by the Navy to expose novice pilots to the phenome­ non of yaw/roll coupling.

The design was essentially identical to the SV-5D used in project PRIME as the X-23A, allowing both ends of the flight spectrum to be tested on the same shape. The X-24A decisively demonstrated that lifting-bodies could consistently make pre­ cision landings onto a hard runway, proving the concept for the future Space Shuttle. Only a single X-24A was manufactured, but two extremely similar jet-powered SV-5Js were also built. The SV-5Js were to be powered by a single J60 turbojet engine and used as trainers to introduce pilots to the low-speed handling characteristics of lifting-bodies, but in the end neither aircraft ever flew.

After a serious crash on 10 May 1967 the airframe was rebuilt as the M2-F3 with a central vertical stabilizer that largely cured an earlier stability problem. The HL-10 was a totally different shape, but shared many common systems with the M2-F2/3 and was also powered by an XLR11. Its first flight was on 22 December 1966, and the HL-10 would ultimately become the fastest and high­ est flying of the manned lifting bodies. 8 mph / 1,291 mph Total Flights: 228 (-I) / 161 (-II) 40,000+ feet / 83,235 feet Highest Flight: The D-558-I used straight wings and a single turbojet engine—the D-558-II used swept wings and the same Reaction Motors XLR11 that powered the X-1 (and many others).

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