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Location: Shortcut to Homepage /Aviation/Test Aircraft "X-Planes"/North American X-15/Test pilot Neil Armstrong next to X-15 after flight

Test pilot Neil Armstrong next to X-15 after flight

Test pilot Neil Armstrong next to X-15 after flight
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 NASA Dryden test pilot Neil Armstrong is seen here next to the X-15 ship #1 (56-6670) after high speed research test flight. Armstrong made his first X-15 flight on November 30, 1960, in the #1 X-15. He made his second flight on December 9, 1960, in the same aircraft.

 This was the first X-15 flight to use the ball nose, which provided accurate measurement of air speed and flow angle at supersonic and hypersonic speeds. The servo-actuated ball nose can be seen in this photo in front of Armstrong's right hand.

 The X-15 employed a non-standard landing gear. It had a nose gear with a wheel and tire, but the main landing consisted of skids mounted at the rear of the vehicle. In the photo, the left skid is visible, as are marks on the lakebed from both skids. Because of the skids, the rocket-powered aircraft could only land on a dry lakebed, not on a concrete runway.

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