North American X-15

Specifications

1st Flight 1959

Crew: One

Length: 50 ft 9 in (15.47 m)

Wingspan: 22 ft 4 in (6.81 m)

Height: 13 ft 3 in (4.04 m)

Wing area: 200 sq ft (19 m2)

Empty weight: 14,600 lb (6,622 kg)

Gross weight: 34,000 lb (15,422 kg)

Powerplant: 1 × Reaction Motors XLR99-RM-2 liquid-fuelled rocket engine, 70,400 lbf (313 kN) thrust

Performance

Maximum speed: 4,520 mph (7,270 km/h, 3,930 kn)

Range: 280 mi (450 km, 240 nmi)

Service ceiling: 354,330 ft (108,000 m)

Rate of climb: 60,000 ft/min (300 m/s)

Thrust/weight: 2.07

Variants

Only three airframes were built.

X-15-1 – 56-6670, 81 free flights

X-15-2 (later X-15A-2) – 56-6671, 31 free flights as X-15-2, 22 free flights as X-15A-2; 53 in total

X-15-3 – 56-6672, 65 free flights, including the Flight 191 disaster

NB-52A – 52-003 nicknamed The High and Mighty One (retired in October 1969)

NB-52B – 52-008 nicknamed The Challenger, later Balls 8 (retired in November 2004)

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