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Location: Shortcut to Homepage /Aviation/Test Aircraft "X-Planes"/North American X-15/X-15 landing at Edwards with F-104 chase plane

X-15 landing at Edwards with F-104 chase plane

X-15 landing at Edwards with F-104 chase plane
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North American Aviation X-15 followed by a Lockheed F-104A Starfighter chase plane, the North American X-15 ship #3 (56-6672) sinks toward touchdown on Rogers Dry Lake following a research flight. In the foreground is green smoke, used to indicate wind direction.

The F-104 chase pilot joined up with the X-15 as it glided to the landing. The chase pilot was there to warn the X-15 pilot of any problems and to call out the altitude above the lakebed. F-104 aircraft were also used for X-15 pilot training to simulate the landing characteristics of the rocket-powered airplane, which landed without engine power since the rocket engine had already burned all of its propellant before the landing.

The F-104s could simulate the steep descent of the X-15 as it glided to a landing, they did this by extending the landing gear and speed brakes while setting the throttle to idle.

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Product Code: x15 and F104

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