Hypersonic : The Story of the North American X-15

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Nineteen years before Space Shuttle, the small, black, rocket-powered, bullet-shaped X-15 showed it was possible to fly into - and out of - space. There had never been anything like the X-15; it had a million-horsepower engine and could fly twice as fast as a rifle bullet. The X-15 set records that stood for years. Specialty Press's bestseller, Hypersonic, has been re-released in a softbound format at a reduced price. This book is the most extensively researched history of the X-15 program yet published. The book was written with the cooperation of surviving X-15 pilots as well as many other program principals and is based on six years of research in Air Force, NASA, and North American archives. It covers the tasks of converting and testing the B-52 carrier airplanes, building the first full-pressure suits to protect the pilot, building the first engineering mission simulators, acquiring the remote lakebed landing sites, and building the radar range. It also covers the flight program in detail, including the most authoritative flight log ever assembled; in many instances, information in this log was derived from the original flight-data recordings. Also covered are each of the experiments that were flown aboard the X-15 late in its career when it became the workhorse of the space program, carrying such things as startrackers destined for the Apollo program and missile-detection systems that would later be sent into orbit on satellites.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 276 pages
  • 228.6 x 231.14 x 17.78mm | 975.22g
  • Specialty Press
  • North Branch, United States
  • English
  • 500 black and white and 50 colour photographs
  • 1580071317
  • 9781580071314
  • 418,652

Review quote

"When all is said and done, I really liked this book and recommend it highly to anyone interested in finding out what the X-15 was all about. A very good mix of technical and historical writing that left me feeling satisfied at the end."--Bill Ingalls"SpeedReaders.info" (02/02/2015)show more

Rating details

16 ratings
4.43 out of 5 stars
5 50% (8)
4 44% (7)
3 6% (1)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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