It has pointed the way to simplified operational concepts that should provide a high degree of redundancy and increased chance of suc- cess in these future missions. All of the people in industry and in government who have had to face the problems of design and of building the hardware and making it work have gained experience of great value to the more recent programs now reaching flight phase and to future aeronautical and space endeavors of this country.
X-15 Flight 3-65-97
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Please contact us immediately and give us specific information about your concern. NASA began almost immediately to do so and its publications have continued to this day. By the spring of , the number of SPs was large enough to warrant the printing of a small 35 page booklet listing each of them with a short summary of its content.
By , it took a page Special Publication simply to list the titles. This essay is meant to provide some modest information on the NASA Special Publications to those who seek to collect them.
In that short time, the X-l 5 accelerates from subsonic speed to about six times the speed of sound. A myriad of events take place in this 90 seconds: the pull-up to climb altitude; the maintaining of this climb angle to the designated pushover point; monitoring of speed, altitude, and air loads to ascertain that the planned flight is being flown; manipulation of switches to trigger the experiments onboard; and finally shutdown of the engine at the prescribed maximum velocity.
Adaptive Control and the NASA X Flight Revisited
All of these events are performed under an acceleration that presses the pilot into the back of his seat with two to four times the force of gravity. A time deviation of one second in the performance of any of these events can mar the quality of the important data being acquired. Engine shutdown brings some relief of physical stress, but the workload continues. If the flight is an altitude mission, that is, if it leaves the atmosphere, the pilot must operate attitude control rockets to keep the X upright and weathervaned along the flight path until the atmosphere is reentered.
Then come the loads of reentry; the pilot is forced down into his seat with five times his normal weight as the X's fall is broken.
If the mission is a heating research flight, the craft remains within the atmosphere, and at the speed it travels the air loads are massive, usually half to three-quarters of a ton per square foot. Any maneuvering transmits these loads to the pilot; at Mach 5, for example, a simple twenty degree change of heading requires a 5 "g" turn for ten seconds. The craft is now subsonic, and the pilot has practiced the X approach pattern hundreds of times in an F jet. The approach is relaxed and the landing is straightforward.
The flight has ended and the pilot invariably reflects that the mission was challenging indeed. Therefore, the satisfaction of its successful completion is great, and, more than at any other time, the pilot longs for the next flight. This table under construction.
Douglas Model 671/684: The X-15’s Shadow
Weight: 15, lb. Empty 31, lb.
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Fueled 50, lb. Wing Area: sf. Tail Area Tail Span