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North American X-15: books - history and technology

A book on the North American X-15? Here are illustrated books on the history, models and technology of North American aircraft.

The X-15 Rocket Plane - Flying the First Wings into Space

With the Soviet Union's launch of the first Sputnik satellite in 1957, the Cold War soared to new heights as Americans feared losing the race into space. "The X-15 Rocket Plane" tells the enthralling yet little-known story of the hypersonic X-15, the winged rocket ship that met this challenge and opened the way into human-controlled spaceflight.
Drawing on interviews with those who were there, Michelle Evans captures the drama and excitement of, yes, rocket science: how to handle the heat generated at speeds up to Mach 7, how to make a rocket propulsion system that could throttle, and how to safely reenter the atmosphere from space and make a precision landing.

This book puts a human face on the feats of science and engineering that went into the X-15 program, many of them critical to the development of the Space Shuttle. And, finally, it introduces us to the largely unsung pilots of the X-15. By the time of the Apollo 11 moon landing, thirty-one American astronauts had flown into space - eight of them astronaut-pilots of the X-15. The X-15 Rocket Plane restores these pioneers, and the others who made it happen, to their rightful place in the history of spaceflight.

Author:Michelle L. Evans
Specs:480 pages, 23 x 16.5 x 3.8 cm / 9.1 x 6.5 x 1.5 in, hardback
Illustrations:45 photographs
Publisher:University of Nebraska Press (USA, 2013)
EAN:9780803228405
Book: The X-15 Rocket Plane - Flying the First Wings into Space

The X-15 Rocket Plane - Flying the First Wings into Space

Language: English

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X-15 - The World's Fastest Rocket Plane and the Pilots Who Ushered in the Space Age

The exciting story of the X-15 - the iconic rocket plane of the Cold War space race - is recounted by John Anderson, curator of aerodynamics at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. This experimental space plane was on the cutting edge of hypersonic aerodynamics, and its winged reentry from space foreshadowed the development of the Space Shuttle decades later.
Launched from the wing of a modified B-52 bomber - again foretelling a concept that would be used decades later, in this case by Space Ship One and Space Ship Two - the ship rocketed higher and faster than any manned aircraft of the time.
Designed to approach seven times the speed of sound, it was the first hypersonic aircraft ever created and was engineered to function both in the Earth's atmosphere and at the edge of space.

Illustrated with period NASA and USAF photographs, as well as exclusive Smithsonian photography of the first of three X-15s built, X-15 captures the risks and dangers of the X-15 program as Anderson follows the test pilots (including Neil Armstrong) who pushed the very limits of their piloting skills to master groundbreaking experimental technology. Even with the fatal crash of the third X-15, the overall success of the program helped pave the way for NASA to continue to the Moon - and this is the definitive, expertly curated, and beautifully illustrated account of its development.

Author:John David Anderson, Richard Passman
Specs:144 pages, 26 x 21.5 x 1.7 cm / 10.25 x 8.5 x 0.67 in, hardback
Illustrations:25 b&w and 150 colour photographs
Publisher:Motorbooks International (USA, 2014)
EAN:9780760344453
Book: X-15 - The World's Fastest Rocket Plane and the Pilots Who Ushered in the Space Age

X-15 - The World's Fastest Rocket Plane and the Pilots Who Ushered in the Space Age

Language: English

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North American X-15 (Osprey)

The revolutionary X-15 remains the fastest manned aircraft ever to fly. Built in the two decades following World War II, it was the most successful of the high-speed X-planes.
The only recently broken 'sound barrier' was smashed completely by the X-15, which could hit Mach 6.7 and soar to altitudes above 350,000ft, beyond the edge of space.

Several pilots qualified as astronauts by flying above 50 miles altitude in the X-15, including Neil Armstrong, the first man on the Moon. The three X-15s made 199 flights, testing new technologies and techniques which greatly eased America's entry into manned space travel, and made the Apollo missions and Space Shuttle viable propositions.
With historical photographs and stunning digital artwork, this is the story of arguably the greatest of the X-Planes.

Author:Peter E Davies
Specs:80 pages, 25 x 18.5 x 0.7 cm / 9.8 x 7.3 x 0.28 in, paperback
Illustrations:200 b&w and 50 colour photographs
Publisher:Osprey Publishing (GB, 2017)
Series:X-Planes (3)
EAN:9781472819918
Book: North American X-15 (Osprey)

North American X-15

Language: English

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North American X-15 Pilot's Flight Operating Instructions - Pilot's Flight Operation Instructions

The X-15 rocket plane flew at Mach 6.72 and at altitudes above 67 miles - at the threshold of space! The men who flew this amazing plane became the USAF's first astronauts.
Powered by an XLR-99 engine capable of producing 70,000 pounds of thrust at peak altitude, the X-15 pushed the envelope for manned aircraft past the post office. Notably, both Apollo commander Neil Armstrong and Space Shuttle commander Joe Engle piloted the X-15.

Originally highly restricted, the manual was recently declassified and is here reprinted in book form. This affordable black and white facsimile has been reformatted. Care has been taken however to preserve the integrity of the text.

Author:North American Aviation
Specs:196 pages, 25.5 x 20.5 x 1 cm / 10 x 8.1 x 0.39 in, paperback
Illustrations:b&w photographs
Publisher:CKE Publications (USA, 2010)
Series:Pilot's Flight Operation Instructions
EAN:9781935327868
Book: North American X-15 Pilot's Flight Operating Instructions - Pilot's Flight Operation Instructions

North American X-15 Pilot's Flight Operating Instructions

Language: English

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Last update:15-06-2024