Daily Archives: June 10, 2017

10 June 1969

 North American Aviation Inc. X-15A 56-6670 hypersonic research rocketplane on display at the National Air and Space Museum. (Photo by Eric Long, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution)
North American Aviation, Inc., X-15A-1 56-6670 hypersonic research rocketplane on display at the National Air and Space Museum. (Photo by Eric Long, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution)

10 June 1969: The U.S. Air Force gave the first North American Aviation X-15, serial number 56-6670, to the Smithsonian Institution for display at the National Air and Space Museum.

The North American Aviation, Inc., X-15A-1, 56-6670, being brought into the Arts and Industries building, June 1969. (Smithsonian Institution Archives SI-A-4145-23-A)
The North American Aviation, Inc., X-15A-1, 56-6670, being brought into the Arts and Industries building, June 1969. The wings and sections of the dorsal and ventral fins have been removed. (Smithsonian Institution Archives SI-A-4145-23-A)

The first of three X-15A hypersonic research rocketplanes built by North American for the Air Force and NASA, 56-6670 made the first glide flight and the first and last powered flights of the X-15 Program. It made a total of 82 of the 199 X-15 flights.

Scott Crossfield, North American’s Chief Engineering Test Pilot, made the first unpowered flight 8 June 1959 and the first powered flight, 17 September 1959. NASA Research Test Pilot William H. “Bill” Dana made the last flight on 24 October 1968.

North American Aviation, Inc., X-15A-1 56-6670 at the National Air and Space Museum, Washington, D.C. (D. Ramey Logan via Wikipedia)
The first North American Aviation, Inc., X-15A, 56-6670, at the National Air and Space Museum, Washington, D.C. Above and behind the X-15 is the Douglas D558-II Skyrocket that Scott Crossfield flew to Mach 2.005, 20 November 1953. (D. Ramey Logan via Wikipedia)

© 2016, Bryan R. Swopes

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10 June 1937

Amelia Earhart’s Lockheed Electra 10E Special, NR16020, at Gao, French Sudan (Purdue University Libraries, Archives and Special Collections)

10 June 1937: Leg 12. Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan flew their Lockheed Electra 10E Special, NR16020, from Dakar, French West Africa, to Gao, French Sudan, a distance of 1,130 miles (1,819 kilometers), in 7 hours, 55 minutes. They landed at 14:50 GMT. They informed local officials that they would remain over night and continue on their Around-the-World flight the following day.

Weather reports at the Dakar air field were not altogether encouraging. There were barometric lows threatening tornadoes, or their local equivalent, in the Sudanese region through which our route lay. So, instead of going to Niamey as at first planned, on the advice of Colonel Tabera, I decided to shift the course slightly to the north, making our objective Gao on the upper reaches of the River Niger. Just before six o’clock we were in the air and seven hours and fifty minutes later came down at Gao in the French Sudan. . . Our course from the coast inland over the Senegal and Niger districts lay almost exactly due east. Loafing along at a trifle under 150 miles an hour, the 1,140 mile journey ended pleasantly in the early afternoon.”Amelia Earhart

© 2016, Bryan R. Swopes

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