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Extra resources for Hypersonics before the shuttle : a concise history of the X-15 research airplane
The capabilities of the X-15, however, would use vastly more airspace. The proposed trajectories required an essentially straight flight corridor equipped with multiple tracking, telemetry, and communications sites, as well as the need for suitable emergency landing areas. This led to construction of the X-15 High Range extending from Wendover, Utah, to Edwards AFB. Radar and telemetry stations were installed at Ely and Batty, Nevada, as well as Edwards. Telemetty from the X-15, as well as voice communications, were received, recorded, and forwarded to Edwards by the stations at Ely and Batty.
Crossfield made the flight on 22 November, again using the second X-15. The third and final XLR99 demonstration flight was accomplished using X-15-2 on 6 December 1960. The objectives of engine throttling, shutdown, and restart were successfully accomplished. This marked North American Aviation’s, and Scott Crossfield’s, last X-15 flight. ” After this flight, a work schedule was established which would permit an early flight with a government pilot using North American maintenance personnel. The flight was tentatively scheduled for 21 December 1960 with Bob White as the pilot.
In fact, North American’s rapid preparation of drawings and production planning served to highlight the lack of progress on some of the components and subsystems that were essential to the success of the program. X-15 Design and Development or operating the engine, and the power plant would have to be entirely safe during start, operation, and shutdown, no matter what the altitude. The laboratory made it quite clear that a variable thrust engine capable of repeated restats was essential. The engine ultimately selected was not one of the four originally presented as possibilities by the Power Plant Laboratory.