Operational Experience of the X-15 Airplane as a Reusable Vehicle System 670394

The flight environment of the X-15 research aircraft is similar to that of a first-stage rocket booster. The data obtained during the flight program is, therefore, of interest for reusable space vehicles. Detailed information is presented concerning development, operation, and the economic aspects of the vehicle and facilities, including manpower effort, and calendar time required for refurbishment and turnaround. The effect of component improvements, which have been dictated by failure experience, on operations is examined. These data have been derived from more than 7 years of X-15 operations.


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