So yeah, Joe Engle is now the last surviving X-15 pilot.
Let’s raise our glasses to the King of the Sky.
Me with a Russian MIG 15 at the TICO Warbird Air show yesterday. #russian #mig #airplane #tico #warbird #airshow #titusville #1947 #fighter #trainer
Fun With Newspaper Archives: X-15 pilots Scott Crossfield, Joe Walker, and Robert White receive the Harmon Trophy from President Kennedy, November 1961.
Faster. Further. Higher than any in history!
Today is the anniversary of the last and ill-fated flight of the Bell X-2 Starbuster. This airplane was to break the “thermal barrier”, when the plane was traveling fast enough that the friction between the air and the plane became dangerously hot. But what killed this plane and its pilot, Capt. Mel Apt, was “inertia coupling”, where the inertia of the fuselage exceeds the stabilization of the wing, horizontal and vertical stabilizers. However, the Bell X-2 featured the first throttleable rocket engine (instead of individual chambers on previous Bell models) and was the first airplane to exceed Mach 3 and 100,000 feet. It was one of the direct descendants of the X-15 and an early ancestor of the space shuttle.