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North American XB-70 RSS

North American XB-70
Images in: /Aviation/Test Aircraft "X-Planes"/North American XB-70

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Close-up photo of XB-70 taken from a chase plane during test flight Close-up photo of XB-70 taken from a chase plane during test flight
 This is a close-up photo of North American Aviation XB-70A taken from a chase plane. The XB-70 had a movable windshield and ramp. These were raised during supersonic flight to reduce drag. When the pilot was ready to land, he lowered the assembly to give both him and his copilot a clear view of the runway.  The XB-70A Valkyrie was the largest experimental aircraft, measuring 190 feet in length, with a wing span of 105 feet and standing 33 feet in height. The aircraft had a delta wing and hinged wing tip that could be folded down to a 65 degree angle to improve stability at the aircraft's supersonic speeds of up to Mach 3. At this speed the Valkyrie was designed to ride its own shock wave.
 
 
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North American Aviation XB-70A parked on a ramp at Edwards AFB North American Aviation XB-70A parked on a ramp at Edwards AFB
North American Aviation XB-70A parked on a ramp at Edwards Air Force Base in 1967. Originally designed as a Mach 3 bomber, the XB-70A never went into production and instead was used for flight research involving the Air Force and NASA's Flight Research Center (FRC), which was a predecessor of today's NASA Dryden Flight Research Center. The aircraft's shadow indicates its unusual planform. This featured two canards behind the cockpit, followed by a large, triangular delta wing. The outboard portions of the wing were hinged so they could be folded down for improved high-speed stability. The XB-70 was the world's largest experimental aircraft. It was capable of flight at speeds of three times the speed of sound (roughly 2,000 miles per hour) at altitudes of 70,000 feet. It was used to collect in-flight information for use in the design of future supersonic aircraft, military and civilian.
 
 
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North American Aviation XB-70A Valkyrie cockpit North American Aviation XB-70A Valkyrie cockpit
 XB-70 cockpit, which shows the complexity of this mid-1960s research aircraft. On the left and right sides of the picture are the pilot's and co-pilot's control yokes. Forward of these, on the cockpit floor, are the rudder pedals with the NAA (North American Aviation) trademark. Between them is the center console. Visible are the six throttles for the XB-70's jet engines. Above this is the center instrument panel. The bottom panel has the wing tip fold, landing gear, and flap controls, as well as the hydraulic pressure gages.  In the center are three rows of engine gages. The top row are tachometers, the second are exhaust temperature gages, and the bottom row are exhaust nozzle position indicators. Above these are the engine fire and engine brake switches.  The instrument panels for the pilot (left) and co-pilot (right) differ somewhat. Both crewmen have an airspeed/Mach indicator, and altitude/vertical velocity indicator, an artificial horizon, and a heading indicator/compass directly in front of them. The pilot's flight instruments, from top to bottom, are total heat gage and crew warning lights; stand-by flight instruments (side-slip, artificial horizon, and altitude); the engine vibration indicators; cabin altitude, ammonia, and water quantity gages, the electronic compartment air temperature gage, and the liquid oxygen quantity gage. At the bottom are the switches for the flight displays and environmental controls. On the co-pilot's panel, the top three rows are for the engine inlet controls. Below this is the fuel tank sequence indicator, which shows the amount of fuel in each tank. The bottom row consists of the fuel pump switches, which were used to shift fuel to maintain the proper center of gravity. Just to the right are the indicators for the total fuel (top) and the individual tanks (bottom). Visible on the right edge of the photo are the refueling valves, while above these are switches for the flight data recording instruments.
 
 
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X-15 with XB-70 Valkyrie at Edwards AFB X-15 with XB-70 Valkyrie at Edwards AFB
 The X-15A-2 with drop tanks and ablative coating is shown parked on the NASA ramp in front of the North American Aviation XB-70. These aircraft represent two different approaches to flight research.  The X-15 was a research airplane in the purest sense, whereas the XB-70 was an experimental bomber intended for production but diverted to research when production was cancelled by changes in the Department of Defense's offensive doctrine.
 
 
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XB-70 NASA Research test plane takes off from Edwards AFB XB-70 NASA Research test plane takes off from Edwards AFB
This side view shows the #1 XB-70A (62-0001) during take-off rotation. The high angle of attack is a result of the combined effects of aircraft weight along with the performance of the propulsion system. The XB-70A, capable of flying three times the speed of sound, was the world’s largest experimental aircraft in the 1960s. Two XB-70A aircraft were built, serial numbers 62-0001 and 62-0207. Ship #1 was flown by NASA Flight Research Center (now NASA Dryden), Edwards, Calif., in a high speed research program.
 
 
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XB-70 on ramp at Edwards AFB prior to test flight XB-70 on ramp at Edwards AFB prior to test flight
North American Aviation XB-70A on the ramp at Edwards Air Force Base, the figure standing on the ramp provides a relative size comparison with the XB-70A aircraft. Six large nozzles for the General Electric engines are shown between and below the two large vertical tails. The XB-70A, capable of flying three times the speed of sound, was the world's largest experimental aircraft in the 1960s. Two XB-70A aircraft were built. The number one XB-70A was flown by the NASA Flight Research Center (now NASA Dryden), Edwards, California, in a high speed flight research program. The second aircraft was lost in a mid-air collision on June 8, 1966 with a NASA F-104.
 
 
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XB-70 takes off from Edwards AFB for test flight XB-70 takes off from Edwards AFB for test flight
Viewed from the front the #1 XB-70A (62-0001) is shown climbing out during take-off, August 17, 1965. Most flights were scheduled during the morning hours to take advantage of the cooler ambient air temperatures for improved propulsion efficiencies. The wing tips are extended straight out to provide a maximum lifting wing surface. The XB-70A, capable of flying three times the speed of sound, was the world's largest experimental aircraft in the 1960s. Two XB-70A aircraft were built. Ship #1 was flown by NASA in a high speed flight research program.
 
 
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XB-70 Valkyrie employing drag chutes to slow down XB-70 Valkyrie employing drag chutes to slow down
 North American Aviation XB-70 Valkyrie rolling out after landing, employing drag chutes to slow down. In the photo, the outer wing panels are slightly raised. When the XB-70 was flying at high speed, the panels were lowered to improve stability.  The XB-70A Valkyrie was the largest experimental aircraft, measuring 190 feet in length, with a wing span of 105 feet and standing 33 feet in height. The aircraft had a delta wing and hinged wing tip that could be folded down to a 65 degree angle to improve stability at the aircraft's supersonic speeds of up to Mach 3. At this speed the Valkyrie was designed to ride its own shock wave.
 
 
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XB-70 Valkyrie in close formation with support aircraft XB-70 Valkyrie in close formation with support aircraft
 The North American Aviation XB-70 Valkyrie was the largest experimental aircraft, measuring 190 feet in length, with a wing span of 105 feet and standing 33 feet in height. The aircraft had a delta wing and hinged wing tip that could be folded down to a 65 degree angle to improve stability at the aircraft's supersonic speeds of up to Mach 3. At this speed the Valkyrie was designed to ride its own shock wave.
 
 
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XB-70 Valkyrie landing after maiden flight at Edwards AFB XB-70 Valkyrie landing after maiden flight at Edwards AFB
 The North American Aviation XB-70 Valkyrie was the largest experimental aircraft, measuring 190 feet in length, with a wing span of 105 feet and standing 33 feet in height. The aircraft had a delta wing and hinged wing tip that could be folded down to a 65 degree angle to improve stability at the aircraft's supersonic speeds of up to Mach 3. At this speed the Valkyrie was designed to ride its own shock wave.
 
 
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XB-70 Valkyrie with wing tips down XB-70 Valkyrie with wing tips down
 North American Aviation XB-70 Valkyrie (62-0001) is viewed from above in cruise configuration with the wing tips drooped for improved controllability.  The XB-70A, capable of flying three times the speed of sound, was the world's largest experimental aircraft in the 1960s. Two XB-70A aircraft were built. Ship #1 was flown by the NASA Flight Research Center(now NASA Dryden), Edwards, California, in a high speed flight research program.
 
 
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XB-70A Valkyrie escorted by TB-58 chase plane "modified B-58" XB-70A Valkyrie escorted by TB-58 chase plane "modified B-58"
 North American Aviation XB-70A #1 taking off on a research flight, escorted by a TB-58 chase plane. The TB-58 (a prototype B-58 modified as a trainer) had a dash speed of Mach 2. This allowed it to stay close to the XB-70 as it conducted its research maneuvers. When the XB-70 was flying at or near Mach 3, the slower TB-58 could often keep up with it by flying lower and cutting inside the turns in the XB-70's flight path when these occurred.  The XB-70A Valkyrie was the largest experimental aircraft, measuring 190 feet in length, with a wing span of 105 feet and standing 33 feet in height. The aircraft had a delta wing and hinged wing tip that could be folded down to a 65 degree angle to improve stability at the aircraft's supersonic speeds of up to Mach 3. At this speed the Valkyrie was designed to ride its own shock wave.
 
 
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XB-70A Valkyrie in high altitude test flight XB-70A Valkyrie in high altitude test flight
The North American Aviation XB-70 (62-0001) is in a level cruise flight mode at a relative high altitude judging from the darkness of the sky. The XB-70A, capable of flying three times the speed of sound, was the world's largest experimental aircraft in the 1960s. Two XB-70A aircraft were built. Ship #1 was flown by the NASA Flight Research Center (now NASA Dryden), Edwards, California, in a high speed research program. The XB-70A Valkyrie experimental aircraft measuring 190 feet in length, with a wing span of 105 feet and standing 33 feet in height. The aircraft had a delta wing and hinged wing tip that could be folded down to a 65 degree angle to improve stability at the aircraft's supersonic speeds of up to Mach 3. At this speed the Valkyrie was designed to ride its own shock wave.
 
 
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