20th Century Space History: X-15 Rocket Airplane and Spacecraft, Hypersonic Test Program Transiting from Air to Space, History, Images, and Movies (Two CD-ROM Set)

 
9781422006726: 20th Century Space History: X-15 Rocket Airplane and Spacecraft, Hypersonic Test Program Transiting from Air to Space, History, Images, and Movies (Two CD-ROM Set)

This unique electronic book on CD-ROM has the finest collection of documents, photographs, and resources available anywhere about the X-15 rocket airplane and spacecraft. In addition, there is extensive material about two aviation and space pioneers, Scott Crossfield and Chuck Yeager, and detailed information about the X-1 and lifting body programs.

The X-15 was a rocket-powered aircraft 50 ft long with a wingspan of 22 ft. It was a missile-shaped vehicle with an unusual wedge-shaped vertical tail, thin stubby wings, and unique fairings that extended along the side of the fuselage. The X-15 weighed about 14,000 lb empty and approximately 34,000 lb at launch. The XLR-99 rocket engine, manufactured by Thiokol Chemical Corp., was pilot controlled and was capable of developing 57,000 lb of rated thrust (actual thrust reportedly climbed to 60,000 lb). North American Aviation built three X-15 aircraft for the program. The X-15 research aircraft was developed to provide in-flight information and data on aerodynamics, structures, flight controls, and the physiological aspects of high-speed, high-altitude flight. A follow-on program used the aircraft as a testbed to carry various scientific experiments beyond the Earth's atmosphere on a repeated basis. For flight in the dense air of the usable atmosphere, the X-15 used conventional aerodynamic controls such as rudder surfaces on the vertical stabilizers to control yaw and canted horizontal surfaces on the tail to control pitch when moving in synchronization or roll when moved differentially. For flight in the thin air outside of the appreciable Earth's atmosphere, the X-15 used a reaction control system. Hydrogen peroxide thrust rockets located on the nose of the aircraft provided pitch and yaw control. Those on the wings provided roll control. Because of the large fuel consumption, the X-15 was air launched from a B-52 aircraft at 45,000 ft and a speed of about 500 mph. Depending on the mission, the rocket engine provided thrust for the first 80 to 120 sec of flight. The remainder of the normal 10 to 11 min. flight was powerless and ended with a 200-mph glide landing. Generally, one of two types of X-15 flight profiles was used: a high-altitude flight plan that called for the pilot to maintain a steep rate of climb, or a speed profile that called for the pilot to push over and maintain a level altitude. The X-15 was flown over a period of nearly 10 years--June 1959 to Oct. 1968--and set the world's unofficial speed and altitude records of 4,520 mph (Mach 6.7) and 354,200 ft (over 67 mi) in a program to investigate all aspects of piloted hypersonic flight. Information gained from the highly successful X-15 program contributed to the development of the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo manned spaceflight programs, and also the Space Shuttle program.

In 199 flights, the X-15 spent eighteen hours above Mach 1, twelve hours above Mach 2, nearly nine hours above Mach 3, nearly six hours above Mach 4, one hour above Mach 5, and scant minutes above Mach 6. It flew to Mach 6.72 (4,520 mph) and an altitude of 67 miles. Twelve pilots flew it, and one of them died. Beginning as a hypersonic aerodynamics research tool, the X-15 eventually became much more than that. The X-15 furnished a focus and stimulus for hypersonic studies, with many great accomplishments: development of the first large restartable "man-rated" throttleable rocket engine, the XLR99; first application of hypersonic theory and wind-tunnel work to an actual flight vehicle; development of the wedge tail as a solution to hypersonic directional stability problems; first use of reaction controls for attitude control in space; first reusable superalloy structure capable of withstanding the temperatures and thermal gradients of hypersonic reentry; development of new techniques for the machining, forming, welding, and heat-treating of Inconel X and titanium; development of improved high-temperature seals and lubricants; development of t

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This CD-ROM is packed with over 14,000 pages reproduced using Adobe Acrobat PDF software - allowing direct viewing on Windows and Macintosh systems. There are over 240 image files with extraordinary photographs of the X-15, and 66 movie files in the MOV and MPG computer video formats. The Acrobat cataloging technology adds enormous value and uncommon functionality to this impressive collection of government documents and material.

Our news and educational discs are privately compiled collections of official public domain U.S. government files and documents - they are not produced by the federal government. They are designed to provide a convenient user-friendly reference work, utilizing the benefits of the Adobe Acrobat format to uniformly present thousands of pages that can be rapidly reviewed, searched by finding specific words, or printed without untold hours of tedious research and downloading. Vast archives of important public domain government information that might otherwise remain inaccessible are available for instant review no matter where you are. This book-on-a-disc format makes a great reference work and educational tool. There is no other reference that is as fast, convenient, comprehensive, thoroughly researched, and portable - everything you need to know, from the federal sources you trust.

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